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When Jane was about twelve, her father became the Vicar of Edgeworthstown, a village formerly, and once again today, called Mostrim (from the Irish "Meathus Truim"). It was here that she became friendly with the author Maria Edgeworth, as described by her son George R. K. Smith. "Mother was a great favourite of Maria Edgeworth, and it showed her regard to stop to see mother while on her way to Dublin. She used to give her one of her new books when published. When four or five years old I remember [their] post-chaise with a postilion at our hall door on John [Market] Street. I do not think it was hung on leather straps for even then more modern carriages were used, and Mr. Edgeworth was more likely to be in the advance than a follower of style...Two of my sisters, perhaps Mary Jane and Fanny, commenced talking to each other in front of the drawing room window in a very high key, mimicking Miss Edgeworth who was talking inside. Miss E. had a high aristocratic voice. She remarked what nice-voiced children mother had."

Jane grew up at the Edgeworthstown rectory

It isn't known how she met John Bennett Smith of Cavan, but they were married by her father at his church. Jane was given away by Robert Edgeworth, Maria's father, and the reception dinner was held at Edgeworth House. Mr. Edgeworth was among other things, an inventor. George R. K. Smith relays a story in his remniscences, surely told to him by his parents, that between courses the table was rolled out of the room by a servant by means of a pole and hook and another table already prepared for the next course rolled in, "so feet of company were for a moment exposed. It was another of that remarkable man's feats."
     John and Jane moved into her grandfather Keating's house in Kells, where the Keating family had lived for generations. After giving birth to twelve children and losing only one while they were a baby, the family was forced to give up on Ireland. A bad economy and disease decimated their finances, and the once wealthy family was looking at the possibility of succumbing to the widespread famine. They sailed to New York City in 1849 and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jane's husband had retired from business before they left Ireland, and although he is called a merchant in the 1850 Federal census, he may not have been actively involved. George Smith, their only surviving son, seems to have been the provider for the family. After George married and started his own family, his parents joined him in moving to Brooklyn, New York, where his father died. Jane didn't stay on the East Coast, but moved to Franklin, Indiana, to live with her daughter Isabella Donogh. The Donoghs were living in a large house next to Cincinnati's Eden Park when Jane died. She is buried in a family plot in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.

Jane lived with her daughter Isabella at the end of her life in this comfortable house

children of Jane Margaret Keating and John Bennett Smith:

i. Maria Jane, b. 6 March 1813 (m. James Feris and remained in Ireland)
ii. James William b. 19 September 1814 (attended Trinity College, became a minister, moved to Canada and the U.S. and probably died on his way to California during the Gold Rush)
iii. Frances Letitia b. 15 May 1816 (m. cousin William Keating and remained in Ireland)
iv. George Robert Keating b. 16 February 1819
v. Elizabeth Carolina b. 5 May 1820
vi. Isabella Georgina b. 7 April 1822 (m. Ormsby Hamilton Donogh)
vii. Charlotte Thomasina b. 29 March 1824 (m. Henry Johnson Montgomery)
viii. Anna Ricarde b. 26 May 1826 (m. John A. Kirkland)
ix. Lucy Jacquelina b. 28 January 1828 (m. 1. Charles Megrue? 2.? George Mason)
x. John b. 11 September 1830, d. 17 September 1830
xi. Henrietta Sophia b. 29 January 1832 (m. Edwin Mason)
xii. Olivia Hannah b. 18 September 1834, d. 30 March 1849

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted