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
9 July 1845
Parish Church, Dublin
Maiden Name FLEMING
Mother as yet unknown
Father's Occupation Officer
of Royal Irish Artillery
Marital status Spinster
of spouse John
Living at time of Marriage
Triton Terrace, Irishtown, Dublin
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
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!!
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!!
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!
to contain himself any longer, he moves purposefully over to where John and Mary Jane are standing.
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.
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"!