Monday, September 14, 2015

52 Ancestors #37: Three Brothers Married Three Sisters

Ancestor Names: John Arias Jennings (1848-1925), Leroy Peter Jennings (1841-1919), and William T Jennings (1853-1908)

John William Jennings, Jr. was a grandson of Benjamin Jennings (c1740-1815), who fought in the Revolutionary War, and a son of John William Jennings, Sr. (c1777-1858), who was a veteran of the War of 1812. John Sr. moved his family to Amherst County, Virginia, by 1850. Many of his descendants still live in Amherst County.

John Jr. married Elizabeth "Eliza" Ann Vernon on 32 Mar 1832. They were married over 50 years and had 11 known children, including three sons who married three sisters.

John William and Eliza Ann (Vernon)
Jennings, Jr.; photograph courtesy of member jeaniespence777

Leroy Peter Jennings

Leroy Peter, or Leroy Powhatan as he is known by his Texas descendants, Jennings was born on 23 November 1841. He served in the 19th Virginia Regiment during the Civil War and was promoted at least twice. On 10 August 1865 he married Isabella M. White, daughter of Willis and Jane (Drummond) White. According to Leroy's obituary, they had 11 children together. Two died in infancy and a daughter died at the age of 24. Isabella died on 12 April 1883 at the age of 41. Leroy married Sarah Ellen Clements, daughter of James P. and Eliza Jane (Allen) Clements on 29 October 1884. The couple moved that same year to Texas, where they had ten children. Leroy died on 18 May 1919 in Mineola, Texas. Sarah died in 1951. They are interred in Cedars Memorial Gardens in Mineola.

Leroy Peter Jennings; photograph courtesy of
member buffalo4me

Known children of Leroy Peter and Isabella M. (White) Jennings
  • Oscar William born 1 March 1867, Amherst County, Virginia; died 17 July 1952, San Diego County, California; married 1) Emma (maiden name unknown) and 2) Irma Bernard Harris
  • Minnie Etta born 23 October 1869, Amherst County; died 9 February 1961, Kirbyville, Texas; married James A. Henry
  • Jane born circa 1869 in Amherst County; died 4 November 1871 in Amherst County
  • Edgar Willis born 8 April 1871, Amherst County; died 21 April 1962, Houston, Texas; married Betty Elizabeth Henry
  • Harry Lee born 19 April 1873, Amherst County; died 22 December 1958, Ojai, California; married Leona May Jameson
  • Charles Marion born 1 Mary 1875, Amherst County; died 1 March 1971, Palestine, Texas; married Mary Elizabeth Harrington
  • Rosa Bell born 31 March 1877, Amherst County; died 23 April 1930, Tulia, Texas; married George Stanley Key
  • Archie Herbert born 25 June 1878, Amherst County; died 9 July 1943, San Bernardino County, California; married Stella E. Marchand
  • Virginia Verna born 6 December 1879, Amherst County; died 1903
  • Cora Jane born 13 April 1881, Amherst County; died 31 May 1965, Hearne, Texas; married 1) Edward Henry Jennings, her first cousin, and 2) Oscar Thomas Gray

William T. Jennings

Leroy's brother, William T. Jennings, was born on 21 April 1853. He he married Isabella M. White's sister, Emma T. White, on 1 July 1875 in Amherst County. They had one known son before Emma died of pneumonia in April 1880.  When the census was enumerated that year, William and his two-year-old son were living with William's parents and he worked on his father's farm. He married Victoria A. Old on 5 April 1882 and they had two children in Amherst County before moving to Lynchburg by 1897. In Lynchburg, William and his family lived at 812 Main Street and he ran a boarding house. Two children were born in Lynchburg. By 1916 Victoria was listed in the Lynchburg city directory as a widow and proprietor of Jennings House and Monticello Hotel. She eventually moved to Washington, DC, where she lived at 173 New York Avenue, NE and owned her own home. She was not working and two youngest children were living with her. Nothing more about Victoria is known after 1920. A fellow Jennings researcher provided 1908 as the date of William T. Jennings' death, but I have been unable to find any documentation to support that date.

Child of William T. and Emma T. (White) Jennings:
  • Albert Lewis born 22 November 1876, Amherst County; died 25 February 1941, Bedford, Virginia; divorced

John Arias Jennings

Last among the Jennings brothers to marry a White sister was Leroy's brother John Arias Jennings. He married Roberta F. White on 3 November 1870 in Amherst County. The couple had six known children before Roberta died on 11 August 1886. She was buried in the Jennings family cemetery in Willow, Virginia. John then married Mary M. Craft on 3 November 1870. By 1900 the couple lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, at 523 Monroe Street and John worked at Murrell's Dairy. However, in 1910, John owned a farm in Stonewall, Virginia. John had farmed before on land in Amherst County. I do not know if he owned that farm or rented it. If he owned, perhaps it was lost in the Panic of 1893, which until the Great Depression, was the worst economic downturn the U.S. had experienced. John died on 15 July 1925 of aortic regurgitation caused by cancer of the liver. He was interred in the Hebron Baptist Church Cemetery in Stonewall. His second wife, Mary, was alive at the time of his death. I have not yet been able to trace her after John's death.

Top: Headstone of John Arias Jennings, courtesy of FAG volunteer Joan Mays;
Bottom: Headstone of Roberta F. (White) Jennings; courtesy of FAG volunteer
Marlene Fitzgerald

Children of John Arias and Roberta F. (White) Jennings:
  • Edward Thomas born 24 December 1873, Amherst County; died 6 October 1965, Los Angeles County, California;
  • Roberta  "Berta" E born 1876, Amherst County; died 26 Nov 1927, Lynchburg; married James Spencer Morgan
  • Willis W born 6 July 1877, Lynchburg; death unknown; married Mary (maiden name unknown)
  • Zachariah "Zack" Charles born 23 December 1878, Amherst County; died 20 December 1958, Los Angeles County; married 1) Mary Gertrude Eldridge and 2) Fannie Green or Bohachek
  • Maude Florence born 10 October 1881, Amherst County; died 23 October 1952, Richmond, Virginia; married Clarence William Franklin
  • Isabelle born 11 April 1883, Virginia; died 30 August 1946; married Raymond J. Davis
This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge optional them Large Family.


  1. My Grandmother was Maude Florence Jennings and I have the very old family Bible which has entries going back to 1832. All of the names listed above are in the "Family Records" section of the Bible. My Grandmother, Maude Jennings married Clarence W. Franklin and I am Diane Franklin Margolin.

    1. What a treasure that family Bible must be! I'm glad my research was correct. If you've ever thought about photographing the pages of the Bible, I would love copies. My email address is psd11719 @ gmail . com (no spaces)

  2. Benjamin Jennings is my 6th Great Grandfather, My third GG is Leroy P. Jennings and Richard Marchand Jennings is my great grandfather, he passed back in 1998. This is great info, thanks!