The Tener Family

This is a journal kept by Dennis Holmes and friends concerning the Tener Family.
The links below will take you to the "Tener Blue Book" - "TENER: A History of the Family in France, Ireland and America"; and to a Finding Aid.

NEW! Tener Eckelberry: A Life
NEW! The Art of Renee Duke, Tener Eckelberry's First Wife
The Tener Book Site
The Tener Book
Finding Aid
Tener Family Photos
Previous Updates

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Robert "Robin" Tener 1770-1857

I had previously tried to post this on September 1, 2004. BUT, my ability to navigate the technology was impaired: however, improved since then. SO, here it is!

It has been a while since I posted anything. So today I was feeling guilty, and then began to wonder 'what to post?' I recently came into some 'new' information - shared with me by Tener descendents. And, I should add here, that I cannot state how many times I have related how lucky I have been in receiving such incredible cooperation and interest in pursuing the Tener Family History. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and cooperated.

When we visited Pittsburgh, PA in June 2002, we made a side trip to Homewood Cemetery. In a number of resources it was obvious that many Tener's and family had made Homewood their final resting place. It is a beautifully landscaped, and well maintained memorial park. If interested they do have a web site with a lot of information about the 'Park':

In any event, we found the property interesting, and we received wonderful cooperation from a lady who was the historical or genealogical liaison. (*I guess in part because the governor was buried there, they were very familiar with the Tener name when I called ahead and asked for an appointment. I followed up my phone call with a letter - and a date and approximate time when we'd be in town, and then at the Park.) That experience left a favorable impression with me, and so today I'll write about more Tener's at another cemetery.

Robert 'Robin' Tener is first mentioned in the Tener Blue Book on page 23. First, it is noted that he was one of four sons of Thomas and Matilda Jebb TENER. He was born in 1770. Robert, often called 'Robin', grew up in the linen business where his travels created an opportunity for him to meet John Kinley another linen merchant of Newry, County Down. Robin married John's daughter, Sarah Kinley, and moved to Armagh in 1800.

According to the TBB, Robin later returned to Dungannon where he lived on Perry Street until 1833 when he immigrated to America with the younger members of his family. He was described as a devout, religious man who founded the Church of Christ in Ireland. There is not much else about Robin readily available.

In May 2004 I provided more in depth information on Robin, written by his son Isaac upon the occasion of his death:

I was not able to locate much about Robin in America. In a website for Historic Pennsylvania I did locate a short piece where there is a "Robert Tener" who was listed among a group of people, mostly men, who were engaged in business in the Borough or Town of Washington, PA. in 1838; and Robert Tener was listed as a 'merchant'. This entry is located on page 493 of History of Washington County, Pennsylvania: with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men / edited by Boyd Crumrine (1838-1916); Illustrated, Philadelphia: L.H. Everts and Co., 1882.

In the same book, page 521, which can be viewed on line at;cc=pitttext;sid=2061c22fc357919bb7aec792a9a23049;q1=Tener;rgn=full%20text;idno=00hc17099m;view=image;seq=0547there is reference to Robert Tener among the list of "brethren who have been elected to the office as overseers or elders, as far as has been ascertained, …" This notation was extracted from a sermon delivered in 1881 - during a "Semi-centennial Sermon."

Perhaps here I might mention an exciting web site that has a lot of books scanned and searchable, under the Historic Pennsylvania umbrella. This site, if you choose to conduct your own research is located at: and another is located at

In the 1850 U S Census we are able to locate Robin in the New Market Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It might have been a lovely or substantial home, and property, inasmuch as it was listed at a value of $2,500.00. All of the above is presented to get us to what I wanted to 'post' in the first place.

I was pleased to receive a copy of some material which was seemingly compiled on, or documented in a note dated, March 12, 1931 by Edith Tener Nesbit (TBB pg. 74) and Frank Tener (TBB pg. 75?). The material is 'confirmed' in a later letter, dated July 15, 1935, addressed to Hampden Tener by S.W. Tener (TBB pg. 75.) [These materials were shared with me by S.W. Tener's granddaughter.] For my convenience, let me merge the two sources to present the following: from the records of Monument Cemetery, located at the corner of Broad and Berks Streets, Philadelphia. This cemetery is (as of July 15, 1935) 99 years old and is still being used. The (following information regarding two) graves are in two adjoining lots, numbered 327 and 356 in Section G.

"The book records are well preserved - beautiful handwriting - but the name is spelled Tener, Tenor and Tenner. The graves are in one row and reading from left to right are as follows. Parts of some of the inscriptions are no longer legible.
"Lot 356:
Grave No. 1 - North James, born Dungannon May 12, 1915; died Jan 30, 1848, age 32
Grave No. 2 - North Robert (not legible), age 36
Grave No. 3 - North Sarah, born Shee?? Near Newry interred Mar. 11, 1855, age 74
(** My records show, "Sheepbridge")
also in Grave 3: Matilda, no marker but records show interred same grave with Sarah on July 14, 1872, age 52
Grave No. 4 - North Robert, born near Castle Caulfield 1771 - interred Oct 21, 1857, age 87

Lot 327:
Grave No. 1 - North Thomas, born Armagh May 2, 1819, died Schuylkill Haven May 7, 1854, age 35
Grave No. 2 - North Hugh W., interred Jany. 22, 1887 (no marker of any kind), age 64

"The record also shows that a male baby named John O. Galbraith (also spelled Galbreath) and three days old was interred. Probably the son of David Galbraith on Londonderry (I visited him there in 1889) who married daughter of Richard Tener (Matilda according to TBB page 73) of Philadelphia (I well remember old Richard when James Smith took me to Philadelphia in 1877).This letter concludes with, 'and that will be all. Affectionately, S. W. Tener": and includes a notation that a copy went to Alexander C. Tener, Pgh.

(**I also received a photocopy of the record ledgers and Stephen Tener was absolutely correct - the handwritting is beautiful.)

In trying to learn more about this cemetery, Monument Cemetery in Philadelphia, a little more research reveals a new fact. I have exchanged some e-mails with a lady who had posted, on the internet, some information about this cemetery, and her ancestors. She told me, in an e-mail, that Monument Cemetery was closed around 1956. She added that "official record" is that the remains were removed to Lawnview Cemetery in Rockledge, PA. I telephoned Lawnview and they telephonically confirmed that they have 'some' of the transferred; but if they do not have the Tener's, she could locate them. I sent a letter seeking copies of their records - and now I have to wait.Comments, corrections, or other Family leads graciously received.

Perhaps it is a good lthing that there was a delay in posting this story. I received a letter dated September 10, 2004 from Mount Peace Cemetery - Pine Grove Cemetery - Lawnview Cemetery, of Rockledge, PA. The secretery wrote confirming that their records reflect the above - as reported by Ethel Tener Nesbit and Stephen Tener. And, she adds, the Monument Cemetery was "vacated by court decree in 1951." The Tener family was removed to the above grave in Lawnview Cemetery on June 25, 1956. There is an eight-inch by twenty-inch marker on each grave with the last name only.