Origins of surname
This was a name brought back by the Crusaders, derived from Mattathiah, meaning 'gift of the Lord'. Originally it was only a personal name, but it became a surname by the mid-1200s.
This name first made an appearance in Jersey records in the middle of the 18th century.
It is remarkable that of 125 baptism and birth records from then until the end of the 19th century, 121 are found in St Helier registers.
- Descendants of William Matthews 2017
- Descendants of Joseph Matthews
- Descendants of Charles Matthews 2017
- Matthews baptisms in Jersey
- Matthews marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Matthews marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Matthews burials in Jersey
- John Matthews involved in meeting concerning reform of the States in 1848
- Mrs Matthews is a victim of highway robbery in 1848
Great War service
- James Albert Charles Mathew (St H), ex-RMIJ, Sapper RE
- Charles William Matthews (1885- ) (St H) son of Charles James and Harriet Mary Jolin Le Dain, Private, RJGB
- Herbert Charles Matthews(1883- ) son of John Charles and Elizabeth Sarah Trachy, Private, RJGB
- Leon Matthews (1886- ) (St H) Private, Royal Army Veterinary Corps
To Australia, and back, and back
The Matthews family, which had its origins in Jersey in the early 19th century, or earlier, emigrated in successive generations to Australia, back to Jersey and then back to Australia.
William Matthews, apparently born in Jersey about 1814, and possibly the son of William and Mary Mauger, married Amelia Eyres , born in St Peter Port, Guernsey, at St Saviour's Parish Church on 29 August 1834.
They were a firmly Jersey-based family and they had three sons and three daughters between 1835 and 1847. Then William died in 1849, leaving Amelia to bring up her young family.
Nothing is known about William, the eldest. Frederick (1837-1903) emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1859 at the age of 22. He met and married Jane Burke, an immigrant from Ireland, in 1861, and they had seven children, four boys and three girls. They all remained in New South Wales, close to Braidwood, where their parents married, throughout their lives, with the exception of Edwin, the eldest son, born in 1865.
He was to return to Jersey at some point in the first few years of the 20th century, but first we pick up his father's youngest brother, also called Edwin. He was running a toy and fancy goods shop at 30 Halkett Place in the 1880s. This was taken over by a Miss Dumaresq. Edwin must have done well out of his business because the 1891 census showed him living at Brisbane Villas, West Park Avenue - an up-market street at the time, 'living on his own means', with wife Elizabeth and 19-year-old sailor son George. They were still there ten years later, Edwin now described as a 'retired fancy dealer', aged 57.
Back to New South Wales and, in 1888, Edwin the nephew married Annie Rogers in Braidwood. By 1910 they had emigrated to Jersey, where their only child, Nellie Jeanne, was born in 1914. Edwin is pictured outside the family's fancy goods shop at 51 Halkett Place, where they were in business for more than ten years from about 1910. This is the same premises which Edwin the uncle had previously traded from, because No 30 became No 51 when the street was renumbered in the 1890s.
It would appear that Edwin the nephew moved to Jersey to trade from his uncle's former shop, but he was evidently not so successful, perhaps because fancy goods were not a number one priority for islanders and a declining number of tourists during the years of the Great War. By 1917, Edwin, Annie and Nellie Jeanne had moved to Bristol, and were soon on their way back to Australia.
These were difficult times and, although young Annie showed considerable artistic talent, the Sydney Art College had closed and she studied home science at a technical college, helping her uncle Will, a tailor, and taking work home from a milliner to help surrport her family.
The next we hear of her was her marriage to her cousin Leslie Rowland Matthews (1915-1947) in Chatswood, NSW, in 1940, soon after her qualification as a registered mental nurse. She had opted for this specialism because she was too short to be a regular nurse. The cousins had a son, Ronald, in 1944, and Leslie, who served in the Forces in World War Two, died in 1947.
Annie married for a second time in her later years and visited the island of her birth at least once in the 1970s.
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Notes and references
- ↑ The spelling of her name is uncertain, and varies from marriage record to children's baptism records