Wednesday, September 12, 2012


[Photo:  WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS (born 15 Apr 1842 in Marietta, Washington, Ohio - death at age 62 on 16 Mar 1905 in Columbus, Ohio, buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Fairfield, Ohio)]

(12 Sep 2012 – A Family Story is only alive when it is being shared and told; when it becomes 'silent', the Story is lost and the Family forebears are forgotten.  So, sit back and be as amazed as I was, when I discovered this Family Story that I will share with you here, as we remember our forebears and bring this Family Story alive again!!  Dorothy Hazel Tarr)


In our Family, there are many surprises of the ordinary and the extraordinary variety.  Here is a Short Family Story that took many centuries to record, but only a few paragraphs to tell.  

NOTE:  ANY errors or inconsistencies in this Short Family Lineage Story are my own, from typing, spelling, or research errors, and will be addressed as time permits and information is gathered.  Comments are welcomed in the spirit they are offered to this compiler (that would be me).

A Family Story Worth Millions

We begin this Family Story where I first began my Jennings Family Research, with WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS {my maternal-second–Cousin-4x-removed -- which means he is a very close cousin to me in DNA — just several generations distant from me}.  My Cousin WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS and I have the same Great Grandparents.  His Paternal-First-Great-Grandfather ZEBULON JENNINGS JUNIOR (1735-1776) is also my Maternal-Fifth-Great-Grandfather, more on this below.

WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS was a well-respected and well-known family genealogist and wrote several books on our Family that were published and are available free on the Internet at [ ].  Many of these books were distributed to Family members and have been handed down through the generations and are still in the possession of some family members.  In addition, WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS was (in his time) a civil engineer and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Past President of the Ohio Society of Civil Engineers, and Past President of the Ohio Institute of Mining Engineers.

William Henry Jennings' -- Lineage

WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS was born on 15 Apr 1842 in Marietta, Washington, Ohio.  He passed away at age 62 on 16 Mar 1905 in Columbus, Ohio, and is buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Fairfield, Ohio.

WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS was the second child of Junia Jennings (born 10 Sep 1800 in Fayette City, Fayette, Pennsylvania - died 19 Feb 1871 in Marietta, Washington, Ohio) and Junia's second wife Eliza Ann Reckard Jennings (born 18 Sep 1810 in Marietta, Washington, Ohio - died 7 May 1888 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio).  There were two children of this union:   Sarah Letitia Jennings Wiley (1834-1887) and WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS.

Junia Jennings' first wife was Hannah McCabe Jennings (born 1804 in Athens, Ohio - died on 19 Dec 1831 in Marietta, Washington, Ohio), and they were married 5 Aug 1820 in Marietta, Washington, Ohio.  There were five children of this union:  Charles Ludlow Jennings (1820-1884), Julia Ann McCabe Jennings (1822-1822), Robert Ferdinand Jennings (1823-1825), Mary Elizabeth Jennings (1825-1834), and Robert McCabe Jennings (1828-1864).  

Hannah McCabe Jennings was the daughter of Robert McCabe (1784-1823) and Polly McCracken McCabe (1784-1823).

In 1831, Junia Jennings was a widower with three living children (ages 11, 6, and 3) to raise alone.  On 2 Apr 1833 in West Virginia, Junia Jennings (age 32, widower) married his second wife Eliza Ann Reckard (age 22).

Eliza Ann Reckard Jennings was the daughter of Calvin Reckard (1760-1826) and his second wife Rhoda Borden Reckard (1771-1825). 

Junia Jennings was the fifth child of nine children born of his parents  Jonathan Jennings (born 14 May 1769 Westfield, Essex, New Jersey – died 2 Nov 1808 Marietta, Washington, Ohio) and Elizabeth Stephenson Jennings Nixon (born 27 Jun 1775 Westfield, New Jersey – died 22 Aug 1852 Marietta, Washington, Ohio).

Jonathan Jennings was the fourth child of six children born of his parents ZEBULON JENNINGS JUNIOR (born 26 Nov 1735 New Jersey – died 16 Oct 1776 New Jersey) and JOANNA LITTELL JENNINGS (alternate spelling Lyttle / Little) (born 13 Sep 1746 New Jersey – died after 1780 New Jersey).  (NOTE:  ZEBULON JENNINGS JUNIOR and JOANNA LITTLE JENNINGS are my maternal-fifth-great-grandparents.  And, Jonathan Jennings is my maternal-fourth-great-grand-uncle.)

William Henry Jennings' -- Marriage and Children

On 16 May 1867, in Middleport, Meigs, Ohio, WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS married his first wife Caroline Frances Allen Jennings (born 10 May 1847 in Middleport, Meigs, Ohio - died 16 Dec 1879 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio) by Reverend T. S. Stivers, Methodist Minister and relative of the bride.  There were three children of this union:  Frank Washburn Jennings (1868-1938), William Arthur Jennings (1873-1902), and Walter Jennings (born 1873 - died after 1880).

Caroline Francis Allen Jennings' parents were John Newell Allen (born 25 Sep 1810 Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut - died 14 Jun 1868 Middleport, Meigs, Ohio) and his wife Cyrene Stivers Allen (born 28 Jan 1818 Meigs County, Ohio - died 24 Feb 1863 Middleport, Meigs, Ohio).  Caroline Frances Allen was the fourth child of the eight children born to her parents.

On 19 Dec 1883 in Lancaster, Fairfield, Ohio, WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS,  a widower at age 27 with three sons, married his second wife  Frances Ann Weaver Jennings (born 24 May 1849 Ohio - died 11 Mar 1935 Ohio).  The wedding was performed by Reverend William P. McLaughlin, assisted by Reverend S. A. Keene, Methodist Ministers.  There was one child from this union: Mary Frances Jennings Postle (1885-1969).

Frances Ann Weaver Jennings' parents were James Weaver (1818-1898) and Rachael Ann Mytinger Weaver (1821-1897).  Frances Ann was the fifth child of the eight children born to her parents.

William Henry Jennings – Autobiography

So now that we have WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS' lineage identified, I will add the following autobiography that was written by WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS, himself and published when he was age 57, in his book entitled, " A Genealogical History of the Jennings Families in England and America - Volume II The American Families", Page 76, 77, (Published in 1899, Columbus, Ohio).  {NOTE:  WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS passed away in 1905, just six years after this publication date.}

WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS, the compiler of these records, was educated in the public schools of Marietta, Ohio; but the strongest formative influences entering into his training were the precepts and example of his parents, whose loving memory he is pleased thus publicly to honor.  As a young man, he chose the profession of Civil Engineer, which profession has determined his life's work.  He was engaged as Engineer during the location and construction of the Columbus & Hocking Valley R.R. (Railroad), and afterwards was Chief Engineer, serving with this company for twenty-two years.  During his term of service with this road, he necessarily familiarized himself with mines and mining, and became conversant with the geology of Ohio, especially as to the coal measures, and has published a map of the Hocking and adjacent coal fields.  Since 1888, he has done general engineering work, principally in the line of organization and location railroads; at present (January 1899), he is Chief Engineer of the Hocking Valley and Lake Erie R. R.  He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Past President of the Ohio Society of Civil Engineers, and also Past President of the Ohio Institute of Mining Engineers.  His present address is Columbus, Ohio (in 1899).
Caroline Francis Allen, the first wife of W. H. Jennings, was fourth daughter of John Newell & Cyrene (Stivers) Allen, and was a lineal descendant of Samuel Allen and Ann Allen, his wife, who emigrated from Bridgewater, Somerset County, England, and located at Braintree, Mass., in 1630.  She is also a descendant of John and Priscilla Alden.
Francis Ann Weaver, second wife of W. H. Jennings, was the third daughter of James Rachel Ann (Mytinger) Weaver.


William Henry Jennings' – Family Tribute

So now that we have William Henry's lineage and life revealed, I will add the following Jennings Family Biography and Tribute that was written by William Henry Jennings, himself, about our Family in his book entitled, "A Genealogical History of the Jennings Families in England and America - Volume II The American Families", Page 76, 77,  (Published in 1899, Columbus, Ohio), SOURE LINK [ ].  (NOTE: William Henry passed away in 1905, just six years after this publication date.)

In the foregoing pages [in the book mentioned above], we have taken the members of Jonathan Jennings' Family (born 14 May 1769 New Jersey- died 2 Nov 1808 Ohio) individually and endeavored to show their leading characteristics.  The little that remains to be said can be said of them collectively.
 When this Family came to Ohio, but twelve years had elapsed since the first settlement had been made at Marietta, Washington County, Ohio, on the Ohio Company's Purchase.  Twelve years of hard labor by the colonists had made but little impression upon the compact and almost boundless forest, and Jonathan Jennings and his Family found their home an almost unbroken wilderness.  Nearly all of the members of that Family lived to see the forest disappear under the ax, and in the progress of improvement, they saw the rude cabins of the pioneers give way to more pretentions dwellings; saw the broad river flowing before their doors become a highway of commerce and bear upon its bosom hundreds of steam vessels; saw their homes and the homes of their fathers connected by bands of electricity; heard the whistles of the locomotives echoing through the valley, and saw civilization spreading over all the mighty territory.  In effecting this revolution, a [American] revolution accomplished by courage, industry and intelligence, they nobly bore their parts.
They did not aspire to public positions, but were willing to work hard, and content to earn independence and moderate fortunes by economy, thrift, and laborious effort.
Though their names are not exalted in history, their descendants can rejoice in the fact that they fairly won a right to the proudest title an AMERICAN can bear:  THEY WERE GOOD CITIZENS.
Although their educational advantages were limited, they were all possessed of good intellect that made them respected by their neighbors.
Through the lives of all ran a deeply religious vein that was a marked characteristic.  At the time of the advent of the Family into Ohio, they were Presbyterian, but there being no Church of that denomination nearby, they subsequently became Methodists.
And now that all have passed away, it is with a melancholy pleasure that we recall their stories of honorable achievements and labors of a time when the eyes now closed in death, were bright with intelligence, and the strong hearts forever stilled, were beating with life and courage.  Their posterity will do well to keep always in sight the examples of their well-spent and useful lives.


My Own After-Thoughts

Although my Cousin WILLIAM HENRY JENNINGS says our Family did not have any "notable" personages, I will contradict him by adding that because of the genealogy research that I have done thus far of our FAMILY, I have found numerous persons that are well known in the history of the United States of America and across the oceans into Africa, Europe, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, and other countries.

Below are some names that, if not recalled immediately to your mind, can be found using the internet.  Many of them have whole websites, wikipedia, genealogy societies, books, and more devoted to their Family History.  Amazing!!
North America

David (Davy) Stern Crockett (1786-1836)
William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)
Laura Ingersoll Secord (1775-1868)
Zebulon Jennings Junior (1735-1776) died in the American Revolutionary War in 1776, and descendants can claim membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) under his name.
Bowman Family (alternate spelling: Baumann)
Secord Family
Jennings Family (alternate spellings: Jenyns, Jennens)
Reckard Family (alternate spellings:  Rickard, Record)
Scott Family (alternate spellings:  Schott, Schot, Schoot)

Across the Oceans

Lady Margaret Jane Scott Jennings (1672-1727) of Belfast, Ireland, was married Sir James A. Holmes (1668-1727).  (Lady Margaret Jane was first-Cousin to Sarah Jennings Spencer-Churchill, First Duchess of Marlborough.)  Their only child and heir to their estate was Janette Scott Jennings Holmes, who had moved permanently to the USA, circa 1700s, before the death of her father.  (NOTE:  Unsubstantiated info says the Holmes Estate is still intact, lodged in the Bank of England, and worth billions.  Don't get too excited.  For over a hundred years, many descendants and/or their attorneys have tried to find a way to get at it, but their quests always ended with no money, and, if they were too persistent, mysterious accidents.  It's said the British government will never let it go!!  )  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)

Sarah Jennings Spencer-Churchill, First Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744) (old spellings was Jenyns and Jennens).  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)

King Charles II of England.  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)

King James II of England.  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)

William Jennings (Jenyns or Jennens), commoner in Britain, died at Acton Place in County Suffolk, England, aged about 97 years, on 19 June 1798.  His grandfather was, Humphrey Jennings (Jenyns or Jennens).  William Jennings amassed a fortune documented as being in the MILLIONS that some called the largest of any commoner in Britain.

Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands, 1841-1904).  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965), twice the British Prime Minister, an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, an artist, and the only British Prime Minister to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States of America.  (He is a descendant of Sarah Jennings Spencer-Churchill, First Duchess of Marlborough).  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)
Diana Frances Spencer Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess of Wales, (1961-1977).  (Her children are in direct-line for being KING OF ENGLAND after their father Prince Charles of Wales.)  Her firstborn son is William Arthur Philip Louis Spencer Windsor, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge (born 1982); and when he becomes King, will be called William V of England.  And, her second son is "Harry" Henry Charles Albert David Spencer Windsor, Prince of Wales (born 15 Sep 1984).  (Diana, and her sons, William and Harry are descendants of Sarah Jennings Spencer-Churchill, First Duchess of Marlborough).  (NOTE:  Our Family is Cousins to this royal lineage and we have MANY connections over hundreds of years.)

Family Tale of MILLIONS
(Humphrey Jennings and William Jennings Estate) 

This branch of Jennings family is of very ancient origin.  They seem to have settled in England before the Norman Conquest.  They were of Danish extraction, and the first to settle was a Danish captain brought into England by Canute, King of Denmark.  He was baptized into the Christian faith.  He had certain manors [estates and houses] lying upon the seacoast near Norwich , given him by King Canute as a reward for his former services done for his father Sweyne , King of Denmark.

Little is known of this branch of the Jennens family until the reign of King Henry VIII, 1509-1547, when one, Robert Jennens, is found in the royal household and a favorite of the King, who presented him with a sword and belt and sent him to Shottle in Derbyshire to act as chief warden, deerstalker, and ranger.

The family became very wealthy and descent follows to a William Jennings (or Jennens), who died on 19 Jun 1798 at Acton Place, County Suffolk, England, aged about 97 years.  William Jennings was described as a “crusty old bachelor” and a miser, but he had amassed a fortune documented as being in the MILLIONS that some called the largest of any commoner in Britain.  He is the most interesting figure in the English family and it is around his immense fortune that all the legal battles were fought for many years. 

Since at his death, William Jennings died a bachelor and his estate was left intestate [no children, no brothers, and no will], his death touched off an estate "contest" among lawyers on two continents that lasted over 135 years, literally hosts of claimants appeared and The Great Jennens Case was the rich prize for which they contended.

By English common law the estate was to be divided among his first cousins, descendants of William Jennings' grandfather, Humphrey Jennings (or Jennens); and so the legacy became known as the Humphrey Jennings (Jennens) Estate

By 1821, the succession had been essentially settled, with the family of Lord Curzon, Richard William Penn Curzon-Howe,  (born 1796 - died 1870) (made Earl of Howe that year) gaining the bulk of the real estate.  (SPECIAL NOTE:  Richard William was the son of the Honorable Penn Assheton Curzon, (born?  - died 1797).

Many thousands of pounds were spent honestly, and perhaps as much more dishonestly, proving relationship.  The trouble was over his paternity, whether he was a son of John Jennens or Robert Jennens.
However, that did not stop the lawsuits, which came first from British and Irish claimants, then, beginning in 1849, from America.  At least seventeen cases were before the court-three distinct claims by the Martin family; five distinct claims by Elizabeth Jennings family; two distinct claims by Henry Jennings family; three distinct claims by Edward Jennings family; four distinct claims by Joseph Jennings family.  At various times there were seventeen legal proceedings in operation, the last being filed (and thrown out of court) in 1934 on behalf of a group of American claimants.  According to one account, the Bank of England had to employ seven clerks just to handle correspondence related to the claims, in spite of the fact that there was almost nothing left to fight over. 
SPECIAL NOTE:  The “Great Jennens Case” became a symbol of such legal dissipation and frivolity, that it is said that it was from these vexatious and long pending suits that Charles Dickens (7 Feb 1812 – 9 Jun 1870) derived his idea for the “Jarndyce and Jarndyce” case in his 1852 novel "Bleak House", which has been made into movies and TV mini-series.



Our family is related to Jennings Family Lineage (or Jennens) through MARY GRACE JENNINGS SCOTT (1872-1908), first wife of JAMES ALFRED SCOTT (1864-1935).  (SPECIAL NOTE: Mary Grace Jennings Scott and James Alfred Scott are my maternal-first-grandparents.)

Also, none of the Jennings Family in the USA were awarded any of the MILLIONS, for the British used the Court to keep the money in Britain. 

So many surprises in OUR FAMILY HISTORY! 

LOVE MY FAMILY!  I feel very honored to be a part of this FAMILY TREE.  I love being a part of the history of this land.  I love that my family were here before me ... and will be here after me.  However, this is not the end, for there are other family members and new generations to come.  This is just a short story for those family members that are interested in OUR FAMILY STORY and HISTORY.


JUST A FEW of the many SOURCE LINKS—,_1st_Duke_of_Marlborough,_Duchess_of_Marlborough,_3rd_Earl_of_Sunderland,_Princess_of_Wales,_Duke_of_Cambridge,_11th_Duke_of_Marlborough

About the Charles Dickens' book--
Promotional trailer for Masterpiece Theatre's BBC production of "Bleak House."  BRILLIANT miniseries on Youtube--
About the Jennings Family Lineage—
Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County Pennsylvania, Volume I Fayette County  
William Henry Jennings books on internet --
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