jane austen family tree

Jane Austen Family Tree

Unravel the intricacies of Jane Austen’s family lineage and delve into the captivating world that shaped her extraordinary life and literary genius. This meticulously crafted article takes you on an illuminating journey through the captivating family tree of the esteemed English novelist.

From her revered parents, George Austen and Cassandra, to the diverse tapestry of her extended family, including Francis Austen, Charles Austen, Henry Austen, and Edward Austen Knight, every branch of her ancestry is explored with utmost precision.

Immerse yourself in the luminous connections that wove the very fabric of Jane Austen’s existence and influenced her exceptional literary career. Prepare to be enthralled by the profound impact of family on this literary luminary.

Key Takeaways

  • Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, to parents George Austen and Cassandra. She was the second youngest of eight children.
  • Austen’s father, Reverend George Austen, nurtured her love for literature and education, which can be seen in her novels that explore themes of social class and marriage.
  • Austen had a close relationship with her sister Cassandra, who played a vital role as her confidante and literary critic. After Jane’s death, Cassandra preserved her sister’s legacy.
  • Austen’s extended family, including her cousin Eliza de Feuillide and brothers James, Francis, Charles, Henry, and Edward, played significant roles in her life and writing career, providing support, financial stability, and inspiration.

Early Life

During her formative years, Jane Austen’s early life was shaped by the values and societal norms of 18th century England. Born on December 16, 1775, in the small village of Steventon, Hampshire, Austen was the second youngest of eight children. Her father, George Austen, was a rector and her mother, Cassandra, came from a prominent family.

Growing up in a close-knit household, Austen was surrounded by a supportive and intellectual environment. The Austen family valued education and encouraged their children to pursue learning and creativity. Austen’s sister, also named Cassandra, was her closest confidante and friend throughout her life.

Austen’s early experiences and observations of the world around her would later serve as inspiration for her insightful and satirical novels.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen, the renowned English novelist, was a key figure in her family’s intellectual and creative pursuits. Born on December 16, 1775, in Hampshire, England, Austen was the seventh child of Reverend George Austen and his wife Cassandra.

Here are three important aspects of Jane Austen’s life:

  1. Education and Writing: Austen received an excellent education, primarily from her father and older brothers. She started writing at a young age, and her novels, including ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ showcased her wit, social commentary, and keen observation of human nature.
  2. Family Support: Austen had a close relationship with her sister Cassandra, who was her confidante and lifelong companion. Her brothers, particularly Edward, James, and Henry, also played significant roles in her life, offering encouragement and support for her writing career.
  3. Marriage and Legacy: Despite receiving several proposals, Austen never married. Her novels brought her critical acclaim, but she only achieved literary success posthumously. Today, Austen’s works continue to be celebrated for their timeless themes, vivid characters, and sharp social satire.

George Austen

Reverend George Austen, the father of Jane Austen, played a pivotal role in shaping his daughter’s intellectual and creative development. As a clergyman, he provided a nurturing environment for Jane’s education and fostered her love for literature. George Austen’s influence on Jane’s writing can be seen in her novels, such as “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice,” which often explore the themes of social class, love, and marriage.

Here is a table highlighting some key aspects of George Austen’s life:

Married1764Cassandra Leigh
Children8Jane, Cassandra, James, George, Edward, Henry, Francis, Charles
OccupationClergymanSteventon, Hampshire
ResidenceChawton CottageAfter retirement
ConnectionLloydAdopted son
ConnectionLefroyFamily friend

George Austen’s dedication to his family and his role as a father figure laid the foundation for Jane Austen’s literary success and continues to shape her legacy as one of the most celebrated authors in English literature.


Cassandra, the sister of Jane Austen, played an integral role in her sister’s life and literary endeavors. Born on January 9, 1773, Cassandra Elizabeth Austen was the second daughter of George Austen and Cassandra Austen (née Leigh). She grew up in a close-knit family, along with her six siblings, including her beloved sister Jane. Cassandra and Jane shared a deep bond, and Cassandra’s influence on Jane’s writing cannot be overstated.

Here are three important aspects of Cassandra’s role in Jane Austen’s life:

  1. Trusted Confidante: Cassandra was Jane’s closest confidante, providing unwavering support and understanding. They exchanged numerous letters, which offer valuable insights into Jane’s thoughts and emotions.
  2. Literary Critic: Cassandra played a crucial role in reviewing Jane’s manuscripts and providing constructive feedback. Her discerning eye helped shape Jane’s writing style and contributed to her success as a novelist.
  3. Unmarried Life: Unlike Jane, Cassandra remained unmarried throughout her life. After Jane’s death in 1817, Cassandra devoted herself to preserving her sister’s legacy, safeguarding her letters, and ensuring her works were published posthumously.

Cassandra’s unwavering support and influence on Jane Austen’s life and work make her an essential figure in the Austen family tree.

Extended Family

Moving forward in the discussion, focusing on the extended family, we can explore the significant connections and influences that played a role in shaping Jane Austen’s life and literary career.

Eliza de Feuillide, Austen’s cousin, was an important figure in her life. Eliza’s scandalous marriage and subsequent widowhood had a profound impact on Austen’s understanding of societal norms and the struggles faced by women.

Additionally, Edward Austen Knight, Austen’s brother, played a crucial role in her life. He provided her with a home at Godmersham Park and later, Chawton House, allowing Austen the stability and privacy necessary for her writing.

The Fowle family, who Austen was briefly engaged to, influenced her writing as well. Austen’s familiarity with the family record and their connections to the navy can be seen in her novel Mansfield Park.

Through these extended family connections, Austen was able to draw upon real-life experiences and relationships, adding depth and authenticity to her literary works.

Edward Austen

Edward Austen, the brother of Jane Austen, played a significant role in her life and provided her with the stability and support necessary for her literary career. Here are three important aspects of Edward Austen’s influence on Jane Austen:

  1. Financial support: Edward, as the adopted son of wealthy relatives, inherited their estate and offered financial assistance to Jane and her family. This support allowed Jane to focus on her writing without the constant worry of financial instability.
  2. Inspiration for characters: Edward’s life and personality influenced some of Jane’s characters. For instance, Edward’s kindness and generosity can be seen in characters like Mr. Knightley from ‘Emma’ and Edward Ferrars from ‘Sense and Sensibility.’
  3. Publishing assistance: Edward helped Jane navigate the publishing world by connecting her with publishers and negotiating publishing deals. Without his guidance and connections, Jane may have struggled to get her works published.

Edward Austen’s support and influence were crucial in shaping Jane Austen’s literary career and ensuring her works reached a wider audience.

Cassandra Austen

Continuing the discussion from the previous subtopic, the role of Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen’s sister, in her life and literary career cannot be overlooked. Cassandra was not only Jane’s sister but also her closest confidante and lifelong companion. As the second daughter in the Austen family, Cassandra shared a deep bond with Jane and played a significant role in shaping her writing. She provided constant support and critique, serving as Jane’s sounding board for her novels and offering valuable feedback. Furthermore, Cassandra was entrusted with the task of preserving Jane’s legacy after her death, editing and publishing her unfinished works. The close relationship between Jane and Cassandra Austen undoubtedly had a profound impact on Jane’s development as a writer and continues to fascinate scholars and readers alike.

Name:Cassandra Austen
Relationship:Jane Austen’s sister
Role:Close confidante, critic, editor, and preserver of Jane’s literary works

James Austen

James Austen was the third son in the Austen family and played a significant role in Jane Austen’s life and literary career. Here are three key points to help you understand his importance:

  1. Clerical career: James followed in his father’s footsteps and became a clergyman. He served as the rector of Steventon, where Jane Austen grew up. His position allowed Jane to observe and draw inspiration from the social interactions and events in the community.
  2. Literary encouragement: James supported Jane’s writing ambitions and encouraged her to pursue her passion for storytelling. He provided feedback on her early works and even helped her negotiate with publishers.
  3. Collaboration: James collaborated with Jane on a novel manuscript titled ‘The Watsons.’ Although the work was never completed, their collaboration highlights the close relationship between the two siblings and their shared interest in writing.

James Austen’s influence on Jane Austen’s life and writing cannot be understated. His support and collaboration played a vital role in shaping Jane Austen’s literary career.

Francis Austen

Francis Austen played a pivotal role in Jane Austen’s life and career as she navigated the literary world.

Francis was Jane Austen’s eldest brother, born on April 23, 1774, in Sevenoaks, Kent, England. He joined the Royal Navy at a young age and achieved the rank of Admiral in 1830.

Francis served in various naval positions, including commanding the naval forces in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars. His successful naval career provided stability and financial support to Jane and her family.

Moreover, Francis’s connections in the military and his social standing allowed Jane access to a wider network of influential individuals, which greatly aided her in the publication and promotion of her novels.

His presence in Jane Austen’s family tree undoubtedly had a significant impact on her life and literary success.

Charles Austen

Jane Austen’s family tree further expands with the inclusion of Charles Austen, who played a significant role in Jane Austen’s life and literary journey. Charles was the youngest brother of Jane Austen and served as a naval officer in the Royal Navy.

Here are three key points about Charles Austen:

  1. Naval Career: Charles Austen joined the Royal Navy in 1786 at the age of 12. He rose through the ranks and eventually became a Rear Admiral. His naval career took him to various locations, including the West Indies and North America.
  2. Supportive Brother: Charles Austen was a supportive brother to Jane Austen. He encouraged her writing and even helped publish her novels, including ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
  3. Family Life: Charles Austen married Fanny Palmer in 1807, and they had several children together. He enjoyed a close relationship with his sisters, particularly Cassandra Austen and Jane Austen, as well as their close friend Martha Lloyd.

Charles Austen’s naval career, support for his sister’s writing, and strong family ties make him an important figure in the Austen family tree.

Henry Austen

Henry Austen played a significant role in the life and literary journey of Jane Austen as her supportive brother and a trusted confidant.

Born on June 17, 1771, Henry was the sixth child of George Austen and Cassandra Leigh. He shared a close bond with Jane and was one of her most ardent supporters.

Henry pursued a career in banking and became a partner in a London bank, which provided financial stability for Jane and their family. He also actively promoted Jane’s novels, helping her navigate the publishing world and negotiate favorable terms.

Additionally, after Jane’s death, Henry played a key role in preserving her legacy by arranging the publication of her unfinished works and writing a biographical note about her.

Henry Austen’s unwavering support and dedication to his sister’s literary career make him an integral part of the Jane Austen family tree.

Edward Austen Knight

Edward Austen Knight was the second eldest son in the Austen family. He was born on February 16, 1767, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Edward was the brother of renowned author Jane Austen and played a significant role in her life.

Here are some key facts about Edward Austen Knight:

  1. Adoption: In 1783, Edward was formally adopted by the wealthy Thomas Knight II, who had no male heirs. This adoption led to Edward changing his last name to Knight.
  2. Inheritance: After Thomas Knight II’s death in 1794, Edward inherited the estates of Godmersham Park in Kent and Chawton House in Hampshire. This newfound wealth provided financial security for Edward and his family.
  3. Family: Edward married Elizabeth Bridges in 1791, and they had eleven children together. He was known for his close relationship with his nieces and supported Jane Austen’s writing career.

Edward Austen Knight’s inheritance and support of his family had a significant impact on the Austen family’s fortunes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Were Jane Austen’s Hobbies and Interests During Her Early Life?

During her early life, Jane Austen had a variety of hobbies and interests. She enjoyed reading and writing, particularly poetry and fiction. Austen also had a keen interest in socializing, dancing, and playing the piano.

How Did George Austen’s Profession as a Clergyman Influence Jane Austen’s Writing?

George Austen’s profession as a clergyman greatly influenced Jane Austen’s writing. Through her father’s role in the church, she gained insight into the social dynamics and moral values of the time, which she skillfully portrayed in her novels.

Did Cassandra Austen Have Any Significant Influence on Jane Austen’s Literary Career?

Cassandra Austen, Jane Austen’s sister, played a significant role in her literary career. As Jane’s confidante and critic, Cassandra provided invaluable feedback and support, influencing the development of Jane’s writing style and themes.

What Were the Occupations or Professions of Jane Austen’s Extended Family Members?

The extended family members of Jane Austen had various occupations and professions. Their diverse range of jobs included clergy, navy officers, lawyers, landowners, and farmers. These occupations provided a rich background for Austen’s understanding of society and influenced her literary works.

How Did Edward Austen Knight’s Inheritance Affect Jane Austen’s Financial Stability and Ability to Focus on Her Writing?

The inheritance received by Edward Austen Knight had a significant impact on Jane Austen’s financial stability and ability to focus on her writing. Further analysis will provide a detailed understanding of this influence.

Q: What is Jane Austen Family Tree?

A: Jane Austen Family Tree is a visual representation of the genealogical connections of Jane Austen and her relatives.

Q: How can I access Jane Austen Family Tree?

A: You can access Jane Austen Family Tree online through various websites dedicated to Austen family history or in books that provide a comprehensive analysis of her genealogy.

Q: Who were Jane Austen’s parents?

A: Jane Austen’s parents were George Austen and Cassandra Leigh.

Q: How many siblings did Jane Austen have?

A: Jane Austen had six brothers and one sister.

Q: What were the names of Jane Austen’s siblings?

A: Jane Austen’s siblings were James, George, Edward, Henry, Francis, Charles, and Cassandra.

Q: Who was Jane Austen’s closest friend and confidante throughout her life?

A: Jane Austen’s closest friend and confidante throughout her life was her sister, Cassandra Austen.

Q: When was Jane Austen born?

A: Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775.

Q: When did Jane Austen die?

A: Jane Austen passed away on July 18, 1817.

Q: What are some notable works by Jane Austen?

A: Some notable works by Jane Austen include “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Emma.”

Q: How did Jane Austen earn income?

A: Jane Austen earned income through her writing, primarily from the sales of her novels.


In conclusion, the family tree of Jane Austen provides a comprehensive understanding of her immediate and extended family members.

From her parents George and Cassandra, to her siblings Francis, Charles, Henry, and Edward Austen Knight, each individual played a significant role in shaping Austen’s life and literary career.

This detailed account offers valuable insights into the familial connections and influences that contributed to Austen’s enduring impact on English literature.