Jennie Kennedy

Dear Friends,

Due to interest in Jennie Kennedy, I have created this page to essentially make it easier to show to those who are interested all known information concerning (the now, well, almost) famous Jennie Kennedy

Well, let's start at the beginning…

My grandmother, Bessie, she always called herself Bessie, (Macfarlane) Brown had in her possession numerous family photographs which were passed down. Within that packet were two photographs, one labeled Jennie Kennedy and the other Aunt Jennie Kennedy.

Jennie Kennedy:

According to the Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900, Lindenmuth was active about 1890 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


Aunt Jennie Kennedy:

Aunt Jennie Kennedy was photographed in Mauch Chunk by J. Brown. According to the Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900, J. Brown was Josiah Brown, no dates given. Not much help there. Bill Auld says that J. Brown was definitely Joseph Brown.

Bill has a site about the Photographers of Mauch Chunk

The first clue was the notation on the photograph: Aunt Jennie Kennedy. My grandmother did have an aunt on her mother's side named Jennie, but it was Jennie Hyndman (1840-1890), daughter of Samuel and Rebecca (Blair) Hyndman, and she never married. Her father's side (Macfarlane) was well documented and without a Jennie of any sort. Perhaps she was a great aunt. Rebecca (Blair) Hyndman had a sister Jennie, who would have been a great-aunt to my grandmother-worth investigating. Jennie was the eldest daughter of John and Jean Blair; Rebecca the youngest. Among my grandmother's items was the Blair Bible which showed the birth dates of Jennie and Rebecca: i.e. Jennie: 1 Nov 1797; Rebecca: 10 Aug 1811 -14 years apart in age.

Click on image for larger view

One thought is that the two photographs are of the same person at different ages, but on close examination, it appears that they are not. Jennie Kennedy seems younger than Aunt Jennie Kennedy. Not being an expert, however; I would guess that the style of the Lindenmuth photo is of a later date than that of the J. Brown. To make matters worse (perhaps I should say more interesting?) I found two other unidentified photo in the same album that appear to be similar in appearance to the Lindenmuth portrait.

According to the Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900, S. W. Burcaw was active 1864-66 (the mount is imprinted S. W. Bercaw).


Jas. Zelner photographer, Mauch Chunk, carte-de-visite, According to the Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900, James Zelner was active 1870-80. Click photo for detail.

By close comparison, lets see if there is a match. Ears are always a good way to compare (I've eliminated Aunt Jennie from the mix).

Left to right: Lindenmuth portrait labeled "Jennie Kennedy"; middle, portrait by Bercaw/Burcaw of Allentown; right, from group portrait.

It is pretty obvious that the lady on the left "Jennie Kennedy" is not part of the group; the ear of the lady on the right could match the center one, but it is inconclusive; however, their jaws and hair style do match. I believe that the middle and the right portraits are of the same person. Read further for her identity.

From the information found in the US Census and the Upper Mauch Chuck Cemetery records, I have concluded that Aunt Jennie Kennedy is Jennie Blair, wife of Samuel Kennedy. 1850 US census of Mauch Chunk showed a Samuel Kennedy age 60, born Ireland; Jennie Kennedy age 53, Ireland, Samuel Kennedy age 20, Ireland.

The Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery records show an interment in the Samuel Kennedy plot of a Jennie Kennedy aged 85, died 4 March 1883. This checks out with the Bible and the cemetery records. My conclusion is that Jennie Blair Kennedy and Rebecca Blair Hyndman are sisters and that Jennie, married Samuel Kennedy. As to the other Jennie Kennedy, she is possibly the Jane Andrews that married James Kennedy, the son of Samuel and Jane Blair Kennedy.

The identity of the"family above" was solved Bill Auld. click here for the solution.

The Jennie Kennedy mystery is now solved!

With thanks to Dan Wilson who connected me with Elaine McCutcheon of Australia, the identity of the photograph of Jennie Kennedy in my collection is now known. She is Jane (Jennie) Andrews who married James Kennedy, son of Samuel and Jane (Blair) Kennedy. Click here for more about this Jane and the interesting saga of the Andrews family who originally immigrated from Ireland to Carbon County, then returning to Ireland and then finally to Australia.

With additional information supplied by Jack Sterling and Dan Wilson, I have prepared a descendant chart of Samuel Kennedy and Jane (Jennie) Blair. Kennedy chart

Any additional information about the Kennedys would be appreciated.

Additional images which might be related supplied by Bill Auld with his comments.

Here are photos of Jennie and Rebecca (Rebecca is on the left), probably at about the same age (they could be sisters!). Actually, they just look like two old skinny ladies. Rebecca's photograph is by Peter Kuntz, Mauch Chunk, and Jennies's is by J. Brown, Mauch Chunk.


Rebecca (Blair) Hyndman and Jennie (Blair) Kennedy. Rebecca by Peter Kuntz, Mauch Chunk; Jennie by J. Brown, Mauch Chunk.

Thanks to Bill Auld who made me look at the Kennedy photos again and Jack Sterling for his input and time.

Will Brown