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EDITING SHAMROCK ROSE AND THISTLE Ancestors of Jean Elizabeth Mathews

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My Mathews Great-Great Grandparents
John Gibbons Mathews & Mary Jane Fleming


The journey begins so far with the Dublin marriage on 9 July 1845 of John Gibbons Mathews and Mary Jane Fleming. John was the son of Henry Maxwell Mathews, a Gentleman!
They married in the Donnybrook Parish Church, (C of I).  John was a military man, a Sergeant of Lancers,  serving with a Nottingham regiment which was possibly stationed in Dublin at that time. It was the time of the Great Potato Famine, and there was a strong Military presence in Dublin.
That could explain perhaps how he came to meet Mary Jane, whose father David Fleming was an Officer in the Royal Irish Artillery, and living in Dublin, Triton Terrace, Irishtown, (possibly a military barracks). I have yet to find a Mother for Mary Jane, as she was not named on the marriage certificate of John & Mary Jane.
Census entries from 18??? finds John & Mary Jane living with???
On 17th January 1847, their son Henry Maxwell David Mathews is christened in Hounslow, London, England.  Whether he was born there or not is yet to be established. Maybe John & Mary Jane transferred to Hounslow after their marriage - Hounslow was also the home of some military barracks at that time.   I believe John & Mary Jane had at least 2 other children, I have reference in a letter to Henry's sisters Mary & Lucy.

Well - he could have looked something like this!!

Officer of the 17th Lancers by L Mansion & L Eschauzier

Reprint published by Connoisseur Publishing Co. 1909 of the original uniform plate published by Spooner 1830-40 from the series of 70 plates entitled Military & Naval Costumes by L Mansion and L Eschauzier, coloured by Martin C Bowen.

JOHN GIBBONS MATHEWS was my paternal great-great-grandfather.  John was a Sergeant of Lancers in Dublin at the time of his 1845 marriage to Mary Jane Fleming.  His father was Henry Mathews, a gentleman.  His mother at this stage, still unknown. 
Census information given by Henry Maxwell David Mathews (John & Mary Jane's son) states that his father John Mathews was born in Newatt (could be Newrath) Ireland, c???. His mother Mary Jane Fleming on that same census states she was born in Portarlington, Laois, Ireland c?????
Nothing more is known at this stage about Henry Maxwell Mathews, the father of John Gibbons Mathews, or indeed John himself.   I am still trying to find out what regiments were in Dublin in 1845.  On the Marriage OPR John's usual place of residence is stated to be Nottingham, England, so I am also looking at Nottingham regiments of the time. 
I'm  considering the fact that Henry was a Gentleman, maybe it was possible that a commission was bought for John - that seemed to be the way of things then!  Maybe our John was a bit of a rebel, and the Army life was going to straighten him out!!   Who knows!!   Lots of if's but's and maybe's - but that's part of this game I am playing!

And I'm sure Mary Jane was a lovely Irish Colleen!!

MARY JANE FLEMING was my paternal Great Great Grandmother.  I have been able to find out little about her at this stage, other than the information from the OPR marriage record, which is as follows:-
Date and place of birth               Probably Ireland around 1824
Date and place of death             Unknown
Marriage date                                9 July 1845
Place                                               Donnybrook
                                                          Parish Church, Dublin
Maiden Name                                FLEMING
Children                                          Henry Maxwell David
                                                          Lucy Mathews
                                                          Mary Mathews
                                                          Mother as yet unknown
Father's Occupation                   Officer of Royal Irish Artillery
Marital status                                Spinster
Name of spouse                          John Gibbons MATHEWS
Living at time of Marriage          Triton Terrace, Irishtown, Dublin


As I work my way through the lives of our family, forward from the time of the marriage of John Gibbons Mathews and Mary Jane Fleming in Ireland in 1845, I constantly think and wonder on how life would have been for them, their forebears and their descendants, in their movements throughout the world.  Quite a contrast I think, to those of my maternal coal mining families.


lt lets loose the reins of my imagination - fantasy begins to mingle with fact (I am an avid reader of historical family novels), and I think we have great potential for a wonderfully romantic beginning here!!


I have this wonderful picture in my head of a military ball in Dublin in 1845, maybe in Dublin Castle, where military balls were often held at that time.   In the ballroom stands a beautiful raven haired Mary Jane Fleming, in a wonderful flowing powder blue gown, hair piled up on top of her head,  delicately decorated with little white rosebuds. Her future husband Sergeant of Lancers John Gibbons Mathews stands close beside her, while her Royal Irish Artillery Officer father David Fleming watches them from across the ballroom,  and frowns as he takes a long thoughtful pull at his cigar!!


As the evening wears on, David becomes more and more aware that his beautiful daughter, and the impressive young Sergeant by her side, are obviously very much in love, and he becomes increasingly concerned for his daughter.  Twice already a soldier has nearly broken her heart, and he is not going to allow it to happen again! 


Unable to contain himself any longer, he moves purposefully over to where John and Mary Jane are standing.


Mary Jane sees her father coming -  that look on his face is familiar - and decides it is time to go and visit the powder room.  She whispers something quietly to John and moves gracefully away.


David looks askance at his daughter as she leaves, then turns to John and bursts out with, "Sir, just what, exactly, are your intentions towards my daughter and what are your prospects"?


John looked at David thoughtfully, then replied, "Sir, my intention is to marry your daughter.   As for my prospects - well - my father Henry Maxwell Mathews is a Gentleman, and by the time that our future son Henry Maxwell David Mathews will marry his Jane Dunnill, I too sir, will be a Gentleman"!

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