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.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hampden Frost Tener's Writings

Over the past year or so I had shared a number of H.F. Tener's writings. There are more and I will continue to share them.

One of these, toward the end of the nearly 100 pages that I have, gives a personal perspective of how the family evolved; I would like to share that one - edited to remove the names of family still living. And I would also like to finish with a piece he wrote that pretty much concludes his writings - that I possess. In it's closing he asks, "What does this tell us about the Teners?" - and he proceeds to answer rather profoundly.

I had started to get into genealogy in late 2001, and expanded my 'research' in 2002. By the time I located Hampden Frost Tener's family and his writings, he had passed away. He died in the same state in which I live, and I learned that his son attended college not far from my home! It is a small world. Please enjoy more of his writings!

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"Let us be thankful that the future is a surprise. The Lord knows it is bad enough to know the past." I do not know the author of that remark, nor do I agree with that last thought. Science by many names devotes itself to the discovery of the history of the world, its creation, and the living things upon it including man. I have always been interested in the subject and took such courses in college as chemistry, mineralogy, astronomy, and paleontology (the development of man). My interest here is to set down my knowledge and thoughts of our family backgrounds of where we came from, and who we are in this great world of more than four billion people. In our past are clues of our future.
Quickly for time's sake, there have always been people because people did not suddenly pop out of stones. Genghis Kahn conquered the then-known world and his Mongols ruled it for 1000 years. Jewish history goes back more than 10,000 years. China's history - more than that. In Africa, the fossilized footprints of a man, woman, and child in volcanic ash prove that man existed more than a quarter of a million years ago.
When Columbus discovered America in 1492, there were people all over it, from coast to coast, from the south to the Arctic, and they spoke 25,000 different dialects.
At the time of the Caesar’s and Jesus Christ, 1983 years ago, Rome had conquered the then-known world and had built its bridges and roads in such far away places as France and the British Isles. But, there were also unconquered people such as the Huns, Goths, Gauls, Vikings, and others. After the breakup of the Holy Roman Empire, society sank into the Dark Ages when the written word almost disappeared and records were not kept. Out of all this from where and from whom, did our branch of the Tener’s come? Where did this branch of the Hampden Teners spring, and what do we know about the backgrounds worth telling to those who follow?
When Columbus discovered America in 1492, the Teners were in Bavai , Cambrai, Aix La Chapelle, in Picardy, France. For instance, Henri Tennere (5th generation) purchased the land and manor of Montherne from Francios La Tour, father of his wife Marie La Tour, Henri and Marie married in 1456--36 years prior to Columbus' discovery of America.
The Tener book covers the vagueness of the Tener history back to 1139 and then it documents the next 12 generations as residents around Picardy, France. Johanna Sommers became important to us Teners for several reasons. Although born in Frankenthal, Germany, she married and lived with Thomas Tener, the innkeeper of Mons, France. She traced her family back to Johanna Sommers who died in 1249, according to the Anjou report. It was their son, Hugh Tener, the twelfth direct descendent from Jean Tenneur of Tartas (1409) who was brought to Ireland by Johanna's brother, Henri Sommers, in 1699.
This move transplanted the Tener family tree from Picardy, France, to Ireland, Co. Tyrone, where they remained for 175 years until Hampden Evans Tener I was brought to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by his sons Hampden Evans Jr. and John in 1884.
While the Teners were in Ireland, Mary Frances Evans married John Kinley Tener I. She had a brother named Hampden Evans and gave this name to her fourth son who became Hampden Evans Tener I. Mary Frances also brought with her to the Teners, the Evans geneology, the best documented in England, as well as that of John Hampden. The Evans’ trace their history through the kings of Wales and back into the time of the Roman Caesars.
In 1884, Hampden Evans Tener I brought to Pittsburgh, his large family of 10 children and among them was my father, Robert William, then age nine. Hampden Evans I married Eliza Frost of England.
When I was born in 1907, both Hampden Evans I and Hampden Evans Jr. were living and the family gave me the name Hampden Frost so that Uncle Hampden could pass on his own name if he married. But he did not. Since he did not, Virginia and I named our first son Hampden Evans III and he has since named his own son, Hampden Evans IV.
Therefore, Hampden Evans Tener IV, while being the fourth Hampden Evans, is also the fifth Hampden Tener and is the twentieth generation of Teners since Jean Tenneur of Tartas, France 1409 A.D., some 505 years before me and 574 years ago, in this year --1983.
You will notice on the Tener chart that Robert William Tener married Gertrude Bailey about 1903. She traces her line through her mother's family to Samuel Davis who arrived in Tinicun, near Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in 1699 from County Tyrone, Ireland. That same year that Hugh Tener arrived in County Tyrone from Mons, France.
A son, James, sued his brother William Davis for a part of their heritage and this action is on record in the courthouse at Doylestown, Pa. This suit is the basis for members of our family to qualify for Colonial Dames of America, Daughters of the American Revolution, etc., [See pages 8-9 of the Davis Book]
The Davis book also shows the direct line of William Davis moving to the French Creek Valley near Meadville, Pa. where Mary McGonegle married into the Davis Family (October 14, 1797). It was her daughter Eliza who took John McFadden of Pittsburgh as her second husband. Their daughter Catherine Graydon McFadden became the wife of Henry John Bailey and their daughter, Gertrude Lillian Bailey, married my father, Robert William Tener: son of Hampden Evans Tener I.
Their five children, Graydon Bailey, Robert William Jr., Gertrude Catherine, Hampden Frost, and Frederick Stanley, are the next to the last generation shown in the Tener chart.
H. F. TENER, 1983

What have we done by all of this ?
We have documented the Hampden Tener family through 20 generations to Hampden Evans Tener IV. We have followed the Teners from Jeanne Teanneure of Tartas, Picardy, France, who died 1409 A.D., through France, Ireland, and to Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.A., through more than 574 years by October I, 1983.
What does all this tell us about the Teners?
Fact one. The Teners were property owners.
Fact two. In their large families the males exceeded the females until this last generation.
Fact three. Some members lived well into their eighties and even into their high nineties.
Fact four. But none lived forever.
From all this, I predict for the Tener male of the future:
You will be over 5 feet, 10 inches tall. You will be nice looking.
You will be a good athlete. You will have a good mind.
You will have a healthy body.
You will not like criticism.
You will be ambitious.
You will eventually own property.
You will marry good-looking women.
You will have nice looking, white children.
You will be creative and inventive.
You will dream great dreams.
You will love your families.
You will make a living with your mind.
You will enjoy working with your hands.
You will be reliable and trustworthy.
Some of you will have judgment, some not.
Some of you will have early strokes and heart attacks, others not.
Some of you will live more than 80 years, some not.
The most outstanding and successful members have been mathematicians.
To excel, be reliable.
To excel, study.
To excel, control yourself.
If indeed you wish you could excel, then spend your time where you do well. For the Tener female, the same, except you will not be quite as tall. .
H. F. TENER, 1983

He was a wise and interesting man: I wish I would have started this effort earlier and our paths may have crossed!