Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fearless Females, March 2: Jenny Burns

I missed the first day and I have a very busy month ahead of me, but I'm going to try to participate as much as I can in The Accidental Genealogist's Fearless Females daily prompts for Women's History month. 

Today's is simple: "Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?"

Here's my photo:

This is Jane "Jenny" Robertine Burns, my great-great-great-grandmother. This photo is one of my all-time favorites, and has been pretty popular over on my Flickr photostream, too, so it was a natural choice.

I have no idea when or where this photo was taken, but it's by far the youngest picture of her I've ever seen. All I can suggest is that she is not wearing a wedding ring, so the picture was probably taken before her marriage to Thomas Fogden Overington, which took place on June 5, 1855. Long-time readers may remember my post last year about this wedding.

A little more about Jenny:
  • She was born on January 27, 1836 in Frankford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Her parents were Dr. Robert Bruce Burns, a Scottish immigrant, and Elizabeth Love Yarnall, a Philadelphian woman.
  • She had one older sister and eight younger siblings.
  • She married her husband Thomas when she was 19 and he was 26.
  • They had two sons, John (1864) and William (1871).
  • The family lived at the Overington mansion "Oaklands" at 4606 Leiper Street in Frankford, which is now Overington Park.
  • They attended services at Trinity Church Oxford in Oxford and its daughter institution, St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Frankford (which the Overingtons helped to found).
  • Thomas passed away in 1877 at the age of 48, unusually young for his family (for example, his father passed away in 1892 just a month before his 100th birthday). He was buried at Trinity Church Oxford in Oxford, Philadelphia.
  • Jenny lived another fifty years, but wore a widow's mourning black every day for that half-century.
  • She passed away on September 4, 1927 at the age of 91. She was buried beside her husband.
More photos:

Jenny with her granddaughter Claudia "Poppy" Overington, on or about May 16, 1906

And her gravestone:


  1. Welcome to Geneabloggers! I've been a member for about five months.

    Regards, Grant

    1. Thanks, Grant! I'm hoping it will help motivate me to write more.

  2. Hi, Sandi. Found your blog via GeneaBloggers. It'll be very interesting to follow an archealogist's perspective on family and community history.
    By the way, your Grandmother Jane was a very elegant lady.
    Enjoy your adventure!

  3. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"
    The Heritage Tourist at In-Depth Genealogist:

  4. Hi sandi your mother is my sister and your grandmother Phyllis's is my mother my name is Anne would like to stay in touch with you my e mail is hope to hear from you


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