James, Jane & Mary Jane MATTHEWS

JAMES MATTHEWS (1814 - 1885)

JANE ROWE (1819 - 1897)

James was born in Cornwall, England in September 1814 and christened a month later at St. Levan. From later records, we believe he grew up to be a farm laborer in that English county. In 1843, he married Jane Rowe.

Jane was five years his junior, being born in 1819 and christened further north in Cornwall, at St. Agnes near Truro on April 11th. 1819. She was to bear him at least seven children, six of whom would emigrate to Australia. Elizabeth, born in 1857, either died or remained in England. (There may have been other children, but no more are currently known of.)

James' younger brother, Enoch emigrated with his wife Elizabeth to Australia in January 1860 as a goldseeker and by 1870 had established himself as a "Hay and Corn Merchant and General Storekeeper" in Eldorado. Enoch may have been the first of his family to travel to the new colony.

The eldest daughter of James and Jane, Anne, arrived at Port Phillip in Victoria at age twenty-four aboard the "Corona" in February 1869. Sons; Hosea and Henry followed nearly two years later on the "Essex" in January 1871. Their Uncle Enoch was to die at Eldorado in April of that year.

It would appear if any letters were sent back 'home' they must have spoken favourably of life in the new colony as James and Jane were soon to follow with daughters Mary (21) and Alice (18). These four arrived at Port Phillip on 24th. September 1872, along with 364 other passengers, after a little more four months at sea in the "Colonial Empire". Jane was 52 and James 57, both well advanced in years to be starting anew in a foreign land.

The family settled in north-eastern Victoria on part of what had been the pastoral lease, taken by Joseph Docker in 1848, called the Bontherambo Run.

James was to die on July 18th. 1885 and was buried in the Eldorado Cemetery. His tombstone is most emphatic about his age, stating it to be 70 years, 10 months and 4 days. It bears also the unusual inscription "My eyes are closed, my grave you see, therefore prepare to follow me."

It was some eleven years before Jane was to be buried with him, after her death in 1897.

MARY JANE MATTHEWS (1850 - 1930)

Mary was born in St. Buryan, Cornwall, England to James and Jane Matthews on September 20th. 1850. It is believed her parents were farm laborers in this part of Land's End, Cornwall. She was christened in nearby St. Levan in December that year.

On the 24th. September 1872 she arrived at Port Phillip in the colony of Victoria, along with her mother, father and younger sister Alice. They had sailed from Plymouth on the "Colonial Empire". The ship's papers list both girls as domestic servants.

The family then settled on part of what was the Bontherambo pastoral run in north-east Victoria near Wangaratta.

A little over a year later, she married Hannibal Edwards, a Cornish miner living in Eldorado. She bore him eight children, three whilst they lived in Eldorado and five more in Chiltern. Her second and third children were to die young; daughter Mary in her first year and son James before reaching four years of age.

Mary was to die at the home of her daughter Emiline. To quote the Colac Herald of October 20, 1930: "The death occurred on Friday evening last at the residence of her son-in-law Mr. Leslie Hope Church Street Colac of Mary Jane Edwards at the age of 80 years. The internment which was private took place at the Colac cemetery on Saturday afternoon."