The Puzzling Brooklyn Roots of Sir Winston Churchill

NYC sightseeing guide Tommy Silk of Landmarks of New York explains the puzzling Brooklyn roots of the famous former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. While Churchill himself was born in Oxfordshire, England, his mother Jeanette (Jennie) was born in Cobble Hill, specifically at 190 Amity Street, although a plaque at 426 Henry Street claims otherwise.

Some people don’t realize that Winston Churchill was half American, and fewer still know that his mother was from Brooklyn.

Jennie was the daughter of Leonard Jerome, a wealthy financier who was famously known during his time as the “King of Wall Street” due to his flamoyant speculation and investments. He was good friend of and business partner with railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, which ensured that his three surviving daughters married well.

Jennie married Lord Randolph Churchill in April 1874 and had two sons, Winston Leonard Churchill in November 1874 and John Strange Spencer-Churchill in February 1880. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.