Jennie Jerome Churchill
Biography of Jennie Jerome Churchill
Lady Randolph Churchill (9 January 1854 – 29 June 1921), born Jeanette Jerome, was the American-born wife of Lord Randolph Churchill and the mother of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome was born in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn in 1854, the second of three daughters of financier, sportsman, and speculator Leonard Jerome and his wife Clarissa (always called Clara), daughter of Ambrose Hall, a landowner and sometime New York State Assemblyman. She was raised in Brooklyn and other parts of what would become New York City. She had two sisters, Clarita and Leonie. Leonard Jerome was rumored to also be the father of the American opera singer Minnie Hauk.
There is some controversy regarding the time and place of her birth. A plaque at 426 Henry St. gives her year of birth as 1850, not 1854. However, on January 9 in 1854, the Jeromes lived nearby at 8 Amity Street (since renumbered as 197). It is believed that the Jeromes were temporarily staying at the Henry Street address, which was owned by Leonard's brother Addison, and that Jennie was born there during a snowstorm.
A noted beauty (an admirer, Lord d'Abernon, said that there was "more of the panther than of the woman in her look") Jennie Jerome worked as a magazine editor in early life. Hall family lore insists that Jennie had Iroquois ancestry, through her maternal grandmother; however, there is no research or evidence to corroborate this.