As Rachel returned to
From the picture, you can see that Mary Paul was indeed related to the Christmas name. Here’s the recap of Rachel’s finding:
Combining with the Roots Web, we see that Jeffrey Paul (died in 1730) and Elizabeth Christmas (born 1689) were married in 1708, and had eight children, among others Christmas Paul, who later married Ellen Carew of County Wexford (!) circa 1739. Christmas Paul and Ellen Carew had seven children, among others Joshua Paul, who married Sarah Gun of
We have not found Mary Paul’s date of birth yet, but it’s pretty much confirmed that the ‘Christmas’ element in Jane Christmas Lefroy was a homage to Mary’s ancestors. I also searched for the naming tradition circa 17-19 centuries, and I found among others this one:
The first son was named after the father's father.
The second son was named after the mother's father.
The third son was named after the father.
The fourth son was named after the father’s eldest brother.
The first daughter was named after the mother's mother.
The second daughter was named after the father's mother.
The third daughter was named after the mother.
The fourth daughter was named after the mother’s eldest sister.
At least, Thomas Langlois Lefroy followed the rules by naming his eldest daughter, his own Guardian Angel, after Mary Paul's mother (Jane Patterson) and he used her ancestor's name for ‘Christmas’. I duly give in to these facts.
But my romantic side still thinks that Tom paid a safe silent homage to Jane Austen there, for Christmas holidays were important for both Jane and Tom (not only once Jane inserted Christmas references as important events in her novels). And as dear Kari noticed, Tom had such a ‘coincidence’ to have a mother-in-law named Jane, whose husband was related to Christmases, hence the perfect name of ‘Jane Christmas’. In Kari’s words: ‘how eerily-coincidental that her name would become Jane AND her middle name Christmas. Even with the historical tradition of it it's just too perfect really.’
Why, my dear Kari, I whole-heartedly agree. And to me, Jane Christmas is still one of the most beautiful Anglo-Saxon name, in my humble opinion ;-)
Pic 1: Paul family tree, compiled by Rachel Kingston from Burke 1843
Pic 2: 'Dance of the Christmas Angel' by Deanna C.
Many thanks to Anielka for her eagle eyes… spotting that the name of Mary’s father was actually JEFFRY Paul, instead of Joshua Paul. It is our mistake for not detecting it earlier, hence we apologise for that. The picture you see now already has the part altered… and now Mary’s father was indeed Mr. Jeffry Paul.