Jeanette was the first child born to Jane (8) Erin Emmet and Bache McEvers. In an 1827 letter to her brother John (5) Patten Emmet, Jane (8) said that baby Jeanette, was "cutting her teeth without the least trouble!" Jeanette, her sister Mary and brother Addis spent a good deal of their childhood at the McEvers country house, "Mount Alto," which was on the west side of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson, now replaced by Gen. Ulysses S Grant's tomb. Bache McEvers rented the house from a cousin, Gulian Verplanck, and two neighbors were close friends of the family: John William Schmidt, the Consul General from Prussia for many years, and his wife Eliza Ann Bache, a first cousin of Bache McEvers, and Mr & Mrs Samuel Morrell Whitlock, a son of Capt William Whitlock and owner, with his brother William, of the Havre line of packet ships.
Given Bache McEvers' fondness for children and for party tricks, his household was usually full of young people. Jeanette grew up amidst a welter of cousins and friends and at the age of 24 she married Samuel Haight Whitlock on February 21, 1850 at the Calvary Church in New York. Samuel was the nephew of the "Mount Alto" neighbors and the son of William Whitlock, an enormously successful merchant and ship owner. Having graduated from Columbia College in the Class of 1837, Sam sailed to Europe in the spring of 1838 with a classmate, John Ireland Tucker and two other friends; the four of them joined Philip Rhinelander, who fortunately kept a journal of their adventures. After a summer in France, the group left Marseilles for Greece and then moved on to Egypt, which few Americans had visited. They chartered a boat, went up the Nile, stopping to visit the principal ruins, and Rhinelander took note of passing boats "laden with human cargo - black Nubian slaves, disgusting filthy objects being borne to the markets of Cairo." Abyssinian women were sold as concubines for a little as $100, but Rhinelander primly added "I was not tempted."
After spending a month in Turkey, the five young men sailed on to Vienna, where Rhinelander died of cholera in the fall of 1839. Tucker and Whitlock continued on, finally leaving France for New York in the spring of 1840. Sam then entered a law office and prepared for a career as a lawyer. In the fall of 1847, he was hit by a ball at the Racquet Club and lost an eye, condemned, as George Templeton Strong put it in his diary, "to a black patch over an eye for life." Despite the patch, Sam married Jeanette in 1850 and they produced two sons: William and Bache. They lived on Staten Island near Jeanette's sister, Mary (McEvers) Cunard, but Sam came down with a fever in the spring of 1856 and died within a few weeks. Strong's diary laments: "Sad to think of Sam Whitlock's past nonchalant gaiety and good nature... Sadder to remember his enviable vigor and enterprise, walking, leaping and climbing years ago when we were together in the Catskills."
Jeanette was left a widow with two small boys before her 30th birthday. She raised them, first on Staten Island, and then back in the city. On a trip to Europe in 1884, less than 30 years after Sam's death, she died in Wiesbaden, Germany. Her body was brought back to New York and buried next to her husband in the Trinity Church Annex Cemetery in Manhattan.