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EDITING SHAMROCK ROSE AND THISTLE Ancestors of Jean Elizabeth Mathews


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Whitefield Watson


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 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 Dunnell, I too sir, will be a Gentleman"!

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On this page I'll include photos and stories from a recent family reunion. I'll describe where and when the reunion was held and how many people attended.

Here I might put a group shot from the reunion.


Here I might put a picture of all of us catching up with each other.