WHITTON and RITCH -Surname Studies and people from the Island of GRAEMSAY, Orkney

Jeannie Foster Kennedy

Jeannie Foster Kennedy

Female 1865 - 1950  (85 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name Jeannie Foster Kennedy 
    Born 26 Feb 1865  Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 12 Dec 1950  Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I15825  Whitton
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2019 

    Father James Kennedy,   b. Abt 1830 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Martha ?,   b. Abt 1830 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F6757  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Robert Pim Butchart,   b. 30 Mar 1856, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1943, Victoria, B C, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 25 Feb 1884  Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Jennie McLaughlin Butchart,   b. 28 Feb 1885, Owen Sound, Grey, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1950, Oak Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)  [natural]
     2. Mary Chatwin Butchart,   b. 9 Aug 1887, Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jan 1972, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2019 
    Family ID F6755  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • A very adventurous lady who enjoyed ballooning and flying. She later became a qualified chemist.

      The Story of Butchart Gardens
      by Dave Preston
      Introduction and Excerpts

      Late one mid-December afternoon in 1950, an elderly woman looked out of the window of her home in Victoria, and softly whispered to her nurse: "I've never seen a more beautiful sunset." A moment later, she died.

      The woman was Jennie Butchart, and during her eighty-two years on this earth she helped make a small corner of it so beautiful that more than a million people a year travel to see it. The legacy she left rivals the splendour of any sunset and Butchart Gardens continues to amaze visitors from around the world . . . it's a remarkable legacy, left by a remarkable woman. And one which her family continues to cherish.

      *

      Jeanette Foster Kennedy was born on February 26, 1868, in the downtown of fast-growing Toronto, Ontario. Her Canadian-born mother, Martha Kennedy, was of Irish origin but little is known of her Irish father, James Kennedy, except that he was a reasonably successful seed and commission merchant. His untimely death occurred the same year Jeanette was born.

      According to her family and friends, the young Jennie was "round-faced, rosy-cheeked, wide-awake and full of laughter." Though polite and well-mannered, she was an active child and not afraid to show her natural athletic skills. "I rode almost as soon as I could walk," she told a reporter years later, and she could drive a coach and horses, or a "four in hand" at a very young age.

      When her mother died in 1880, Jennie moved to Owen Sound, another busy Great Lakes port of the time, to live with her aunt, Mrs. Robert Paterson. Although there were seven other children in the family already, Jennie settled down quickly into her new home, and enjoyed outdoor life. She would help out on the farm and a favourite companion was a large collie dog, which helped Jennie chase and round up cattle; an illicit pastime that earned them both a frequent scolding.

      "My aunt was an excellent housekeeper," she later recalled, "and we were taught domestic science in the good, old-fashioned, unforgettable school of experience." The skills she learned in that basic kitchen would stand her in good stead, when later the world, as it would seem, began to visit her home and appreciate her role as gracious hostess.

      *

      Robert Pim Butchart was a tall, lean young man of Scottish descent, with a good head for figures and a fine business career unfolding before him. Owen Sound, in the township of Sydenham, was a burgeoning port, first settled in 1840, as steamers were busily opening up this part of the continent via the Great Lakes.

      Church attendance and associated social gatherings were requisite, and Bob soon became friendly with Jennie Foster Kennedy. Bob's father and Jennie's uncle Robert had been colleagues on the town council and active members of local society. Jennie and Bob's courtship was deemed to be a good match, and well encouraged.

      At twenty-seven years old, having outsmarted or out-manoeuvered Jennie's other suitors, Bob Butchart won the hand of his eighteen-year-old bride. They went down to Buffalo for the wedding and Jennie shelved any thoughts of furthering her career in visual arts, devoting herself instead to her new husband and providing support to this determined entrepreneur.