Sunday, 9 September 2007

Mary Paul’s Genealogy

As Rachel returned to Ireland with the precious pedigree of Mary Paul, I can write a short article about it (thanks so much, Rachel!). The family tree is summarised from Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage 1843, a very old book and cannot be copied without extra cautions. Rachel took notes of it and created the pedigree below based on Burke's descriptions.

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 County Kilmaney in 1771. One of their sons, Robert Joshua Paul, used to be an officer in the army before becoming very rich. The Rootsweb site stops at Robert Joshua Paul, without any information on his marriage and descendants, but Burke's book that Rachel found revealed that Robert Joshua was indeed Mary's grandfather.

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.

Update 28 October 2007

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.


Tina said...

I agree with you, Icha; I'm sure the name 'Jane' always brought up memories for Tom, and the word 'Christmas' too. Keep on the trail!

Anonymous said...

My thanks too, Rachel. I knew that there had to be something about them.

You are very good!

Linda the Librarian

Anonymous said...

Oooh, good points.
I think that Tom saw that the name Jane Christmas could serve two purposes-- and homage to Jane Austen... and lucky for him, the ancestral link gave him more of an excuse to name the daughter Jane.

Icha said...

Yeah, weird eh? I also think that Tom did not want to cheat his wife... but he also wanted to pay homage to JA. Sweet... and such a luck to have a mum-in-law named Jane, with wife's family related to Christmases!

madmats said...

There's indeed a problem with that family tree from Burke's...
Mary PAUL was born around 1774 (death in 1858 at 84), and her parents married in Dublin in 1768 (IGI index) so they must have been born around 1740-1750, and so Mary PAUL's grandfather Robert Joshua PAUL is born around 1710-1720 making it impossible for him to be also a brother of Joshua Christmas PAUL (1773-1842) and William Gun PAUL (1775-1833)...
There's a typical generation mistake. I am still working on it.
Regards from your correspondant Matteo from Italy.

Icha said...

Really... that's very interesting, Madmats... I hope Rachel reads your latest comment, because it was her findings that lead to this amazing genealogy discovery about Mary Paul. I guess, after more than a year, we're not really finished yet with this detective works...