Mrs Jean Mary Fysh was born at 'Woolnorth', Circular Head, on 3 Oct 1858 to John Charles McDowall (c.1838-1884) and his wife Jane Mary Robson. In 1866 the family moved to Bothwell, and later to Christchurch, New Zealand. Jean McDowall married Philip Oakley Fysh in Hobart on 23 Jan 1890. He was the eldest son of Philip Oakley Fysh who received a knighthood in 1896. Philip junior managed his father's warehouse business of PO Fysh & Co. Ltd in Launceston.
Their two sons were born in Launceston: Philip Oakley on 25 Dec 1897; and Gordon Willis on 14 Jan 1899. Her husband died suddenly on 25 Dec 1922. Jean was active in many community organisations. Among them were the Liberal League, Christ Church Congregational Church, Broadland House School, Red Cross, Victoria League, RSPCA, League of Remembrance, St John's Mothers' Union and the YMCA. She died aged 100 on 22 May 1959. See The Examiner 21 Jan 2006, p. 29.