It is often said in genealogy research that finding information about our female ancestors is especially hard. It's as if women were non-persons when it came to record-keeping. You see vital and church records time and again where the male is listed but if the female is mentioned at all, it is by first name only.
Which brings me to my 9th great grandmother, Jane Gallion, who has fascinated me for reasons I can't explain since I first found her. The spelling of Jane's last name varies: Gallen, Gellyn, Gallin, Gellyn, Gallant, Gillon, and so on. Could she have been of French Huguenot origin? She may have been born in London (many references list that as her birthplace) in 1599, and baptized at the ancient church that still stands in the Strand, St Clement Danes, where the Gallin spelling is used. There is no record of the names of her parents.
Jane was married twice, first to Thomas Paine (abt 1608-abt 1635), described as a London merchant, who may have died either in England or in Massachusetts Colony. They had two children, Jane (abt 1625-1648 and Thomas (1632-abt 1657). Was Thomas Paine already in Massachusetts and did she join him? Or had they emigrated together as a family after the birth of their son? For a woman to undertake such a journey alone with two young children with no family to meet her would have been quite unusual at that time.
By 1635, Jane Gallion was married to Thomas Mayhew (1593-1682), and they had their first of four known daughters, Hannah (abt 1635-1723). It was a second marriage for both. I write about Thomas here -- my first immigrant ancestor profile. Their daughter, Martha (abt 1638-1717) is my 8th great grandmother.
Jane's daughter from her marriage to Thomas Paine, Jane Paine (abt 1625- abt 1648) went on to marry Thomas' son by his first marriage, Rev. Thomas Mayhew (abt 1616-1657).
While much is recorded about the life of Jane's husband Governor Thomas Mayhew, almost nothing can be found about Jane. I know that she is buried with her second husband Thomas Mayhew in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard. Jane died about 1666, predeceasing her husband by about 22 years.
The never ending story continues.....
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