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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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Isaac W. TENER - brother of JKT I

I think we are all thankful for Hampden Evans Tener Jr's interest and dedication to the Tener family history. In the forward to his book, Tener: a History of the Family in France, Ireland and America 1949, he references his resources for compiling the family history.

The Tener blue book was “prepared, printed, and distributed at” H. E. Tener’s request. We do not know how many books were printed, but in my three years of research into the Tener family, I have communicated with a lot of Tener descendants who have or have seen the book. I believe that this is a testament to the strength of the family, and in their continued interest in the history of the family.

In the introduction of Part I of the Tener book, there is reference to the research conducted by Gustave Anjou of New York. Anjou has been identified in several sources as a genealogical fraud! One such resource states, “Gustave Anjou was born Gustave Ludwig Ljungberg in Sweden in 1863 and died in 1942. Widely known today for his fraudulent genealogies of early American families in the late 1800's and early 1900's, Anjou was known to receive as much as $9,000 for a genealogy report from his wealthy clients. His report usually took three weeks to complete and included a coat of arms and surname history.[1]

One other respected source attacks the veracity of “research” by Anjou. In a 1991 issue of The Genealogical Journal there was written a story about Anjou, and his ‘forgeries.’ To wit:
“Professional genealogists and serious researchers alike, have been aware of the forgeries and frauds committed by GUSTAVE ANJOU (1863-1942) and we of this Society believe this material should be brought to the attention of all who may come in contact with any the publications listed below.
The sad fact is that Gustave Anjou was not a genealogist, but a forger of genealogical records that have been passed on for years to unwary clients and then through researchers who believed, or wanted to believe, they had a true lineage. They in turn republished the material in their own works and the cycle continues even today.
Gustave Anjou produced these "genealogies" for wealthy clients at a price of around $9,000 and the client, needless to say, always received what they wanted.
In the words of Mr. Anderson; "A typical Anjou pedigree displays four recognizable features:
1. A dazzling range of connections between dozens of immigrants to New England; for example, connections far beyond what may be seen in pedigrees produced by anyone else:
2. Many wild geographical leaps, outside the normal range of migration patterns;
3. An overwhelming number of citations to documents that actually exist, and actually include what Anjou says they include; and
4. Here and there an invented document, without citation, which appears to support the many connections noted under item 1 above".
The above mentioned publication is one that belongs in your genealogy library. I urge you all to read the detailed account of this article and the five other genealogy fraud articles that appear with it. Included is another detailed article about Gustave Anjou's life and forgery methods, entitled Gustave, We Hardly Knew Ye: by Gordon L. Remington, editor of the Genealogical Journal.”[2]

One last comment about Anjou comes also from the internet[3]: “About Anjou:Gustave Anjou was born in Sweden on 1 December 1863 as Gustaf Ludvig Jungberg, the illegitimate son of Carl Gustaf Jungberg and his housekeeper Maria Lovisa Hagberg. After serving a prison term in 1886 for forgery, the young man changed his name to Gustaf Ludvig Ljungberg and then to Gustave Anjou after the maiden name of his wife Anna Maria Anjou, whom he married in 1889. Anjou emigrated to the US in 1890, and soon returned to his forgery skills. Anjou began creating hundreds of genealogies for those that could afford his fees of up to $9,000.”

Suffice it to say, Anjou’s ‘works’ should be at least “suspect”. This was brought to my attention some time ago after communicating with a Tener descendant from Australia – a Galbraith descendant – See Tener Book Page 73.

In any regard, the Tener book has been a ‘basis’ from which a lot of the Tener family lore is derived! But, it was not the only source. In the forward to the Tener family book, there is also a reference to “Isaac Tener’s handwritten account of 1898”: and, we know Isaac died in 1898. Since I began my ‘research’ I have been trying to keep an eye open for two major resources: Vol. I and Vol. II of the Anjou report “several copies of which are in existence” the original was to have been in the possession of Hampden’s brother - Wilfred Tener of Montclair, NJ; and the history by Isaac W. Tener.

In the summer of 2003, I located Wilfred’s will in the Office of the Surrogate Court, in Newark New Jersey. There was no mention of the family history papers in the whole file: so for now, we are dealing with a dead end.

Even though Anjou is thought of as being largely a forger and fraudulent researcher, the data in the Tener book seem to be otherwise supported by a myriad of other sources: including family letters, monument markings, information developed in a number of visits to Ireland by various descendants, a privately printed family tree dated 1932 – “Tener’s of Tyrone”, and documents from the Tener family which pre-date the Anjou ‘research’.

I believe that I have four pages of the works of Isaac Tener[4] – Tener book page 30. Isaac was a brother of John Kinley Tener I. Let me share them with you:

“ The following letter was written to Wm Tener, when thinking of going to America, in reply to one asking for Mr. (Alexandewr) Campbell’s advice, etc.
Bethany, Brooke Co., Virginia Feby 16, 1832
Dear Brother:
Your favor rec’d, Have been in some respects attended to. I have delayed writing to send by James Stuart, American Agent, and European for us. By him I have sent two complete sets for you of all that has been written here for two years and two months. The 4 vols. Of the Harbinger sent you are to the care of my Uncle Archibald Campbell, Newry, to whom you will please pay to him for these four volumes 8 dollars and any other monies due me pay also to him. I could send many more books to Ireland were it not for the duty which amounts to a prohibition. Besides it is a matter of great favor to get Mr. Stuart to take charge of any such business. If any house in any convenient town in Ireland would undertake to pay the duty, and if the sale in Ireland, only allowing me first cost, would justify such transportation, I will fill any orders in the compass of my power and ship at my own risk from our shores to yours. But unless some such arrangement could be made it is impossible for me to send them. In such an arrangement it would be better to have the works unbound as the duty would then be much less than on bound books.
The books now sent are in Numbers as distributed here to subscribers. Write me directly per next opportunity, that is by mail of packet – address me as P.M. and my letters will come to me direct. I am postmaster and letters thus addressed come free of charge after their arrival in the U. States.
The numbers forwarded will give you the general history of the progress of the cause in this country. We have much reason of joy and thankfulness for the progress of the ancient gospel and order of things in these United States and territories. Thousands and thousands have cordially embraced the great principles of this reformation. It progresses beyond all our anticipation and the time has come when truth begins to triumph over long consecrated errors. The day of the complete triumph is not far distant. The nations are upon the tremendous vortex which is about to engulf them all who do not reform. The vials of wrath are pouring upon the Beast – and one universal doom awaits all who repent not of their deeds. O Lord preserve us from error, from departing from thee, and from thy righteous judgments coming upon the nations of the earth. It is our duty, our safety to watch and be faithful. The Lord will seal a remnant before the day of vengeance and suffer not the destroying angel to touch the sealed ones. O Lord keep us near to thee and cover us under the shadow of thy wings from the furies of thy indignation coming upon an apostate church and world.
This age is drunken with the spirit of enterprise and improvement in philosophy, but they seem to forget that they planted and builded and married wives until the day came in which Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. So shall the next coming of the Son of Man be to consume and destroy forever the majn of sin from the earth. When they who are founded upon the true foundation laid by the Father and the Son shall stand unscathed, shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of God.
I am my dear brother sensible that this is the last reformation which will be preached before the tremendous era coming upon the world. O may we be reformers indeed.
My time is wholly engrossed to the utmost stretch of my physical abilities. My correspondence still increases as the work of reformation increases – and to divide my attention, time and labor among so many gives to all a mere share. I can therefore only say to you in general terms how things are going on. The Harbinger will supply my lack of information. Concerning the slanders of friend Carson you will see some notice of them in the Harbinger. He is miserably mistaken and most wrongfully impeaches us with arianism or socinianism. We worship the Lord Jesus – most adorable be his name – as we worship the Father who sent him and regard him just as truly Divine as his Father – But we protest against the metaphysics of the schools – we subject not the person, nature or work of Jesus Christ to the spiritual anatomy of the speculative anatomists. In Bible language we conceive of him and speak concerning his person, Kingdom and glory.
The Lord Jesus be with thy spirit, write me soon and write me often and regard me as your fellow servant and brother in the faith and patience of Jesus the Saviour, in hope of Eternal Live.
A. Campbell”
(Isaac Tener continues) In May 1832 accompanied by my brother William, I sailed from Londonderry for New York, after being about 4 weeks at sea he died of consumption and we buried him in the mighty deep. I was thus left alone, and on reaching New York wrote to Brother Campbell and the following letter I received in reply:

Bethany, Va. July 24, 1832
Dear Bro. Tener:
Yours of the 12th inst. was read here yesterday and with mingled emotions of sympathy and joy I have perused its contents – sympathy for you, left as you are without the companion of your youth, your brother in the flesh and in the Lord – regret that I am denied the pleasure of having seen in the flesh one whom I much longed to see and expected every day to see, since I received his last letter, and joy too that he has fallen asleep in Jesus, waiting for the voice of him which they that are in their graves shall hear. We must not sorrow as those who have no hope, but rejoice that the Lord has deprived such afflictions of their anguish in the assurance which he has given that all who die in the Lord, the Lord will raise to life and glory of his Father. Be comforted then my dear Brother with these exceeding great and precious promises; and as long as the Lord spares you, seek to be found worthy to appear before him and acquit yourself like a man in his Kingdom.
When your brother Wm last wrote me and informed me of his coming to this country he spoke of the woolen business as that with which he was best acquainted and as preferring a situation of that sort. I did not know precisely what he meant by the woolen business – whether as a manufacturer, or as a merchant, and therefore could not ascertain with any certainty a situation for him, though I had one in my eye, a situation in a woolen manufactory about 13 miles from this…
(*** the above ended page 2. Page 3 starts below – it is obvious that something is missing, but I do not know what. I’ll continue with what I have.)
changes have already occurred in that establishment. I know not whether favorable or unfavorable to such an object. I have written today to a friend and brother (Samuel Church of Pittsburgh) who is one of two proprietors of the most extensive merchantile houses (in the wholesale grocery business in that City) for information on the subject of such a situation as you desire. I have many acquaintances in that City (38 miles distant) through whom I hope to find a situation for you – if I cannot find one nigher home which I will immediately set about. Meanwhile my advice is – Flee to the West. This is the region of health and peace and plenty, and is becoming the seat of empire for the Union. The Sceptre is departing from the seaboard – for enterprise and for everything connected with usefulness to ourselves and others this is the theater and this vast country is yet to give laws to whole continent. I say then come on immediately and come to my house as to the house of a brother and make it your home until we find a situation such as meets your wishes. The cholera has not as yet approached us nigher than the Lakes and indeed is not known at present to prevail nigher than Philadelphia. Your course is to Pittsburgh via Philadelphia and thence 38 miles to Bethany. You can find a stage (if the river is too low for steamboats) to Wellsburg, 8 miles from me. Write me immediately of your movements – and in hopes of seeing you here in a few2 days.
I am yours in the Lord, A. Campbell”
(Isaac Tener continues) I came to Bethany as invited and remained till the following spring and frequently accompanied Bro. A. Campbell when he went out to preach. The following Dec. 1833 I went to Ireland to be married and brought with me a large box of books, of testaments, C. B. Harbinger and Debates. These I sold and gave away, scattering them extensively in Ireland and England. I returned in Feb. 1834 and settled in Taylorstown, opening a store there with Isaac Hodgress as partner. Meantime my father and family had come out and settled in Washington, PA. My wife not liking the separation from her sister in Ireland we finally concluded to return and it was in view of our doing so he (Alexander Campbell) wrote me the following letter:
Bethany, VA. July 24, 1835

Dear Brother and Sister Tener:
Tomorrow the Lord willing I start on a tour of 2000 miles. I deferred writing you to this moment, still waiting to see if by some good fortune I might see you before my departure. But that hope has vanished. I therefore in the midst of a great bustle take my pen to say to you that I exceedingly regret to learn that you are almost determined to return to the Land of Egypt, to the house of bondage and to raise a family under the Monarchy and the swarms of little autocrats in a land crimsoned with the blood of martyrs in the cause of liberty and moistened with the tears of oppression. Can you for a mass of pottage sell your birthright in the New World and forsake the happiest land on the face of earth for the sake of a few years’ society with those who will finally leave you and your family to all the horrors of revolution, to all the tremendous agitation which are assigned and dynasties and monarchies of Europe.
I pray you to reflect on the ten thousand hazards you run not only for yourselves but for your family, be it large or small, in taking up your abode among 8 millions of Catholics and Protestants enraged against each other, mad by oppression and thirsting for an opportunity of sacrificing one another at the Shrine of their respective idols.
I never knew one person that returned to that land after a short residence in the U. States that was ever satisfied to live in Ireland long – why then spend your time and money making voyages over the Atlantic. If you cannot succeed in one part of this country, or in one vicinity you may in another. The land is wide enough and long enough. And how will it be for you to return to Ireland and leave your dear parents who on your account in their old days came to this, to them strange land for your society. Can you say your Irish friends they were more easily reconciled and naturalized or were more successful than you: and that you loved society in Ireland mor than theirs?
I will not push this matter. I fear to let my mind run upon it. But I would importune you not to act precipitately in the matter which I think you would do were you to return short of a seven year trial.
Religion may require a woman to leave her father and her mother and cleave to her husband, or a husband to leave father and mother to cleave to his wife, but I do not know that it authorizes them to leave them more than to leave one another, unless paramount obligations appear; and still less to leave them not for their own sake but for the sake of brothers and sisters!
Brother MeVay has written to me from Baltimore saying that he has some prospects through Samuel Church of finding a situation for you more acceptable in Pittsburgh than in Taylorstown. How this may be I cannot say. I only regret that my own thousand obligations prevent me from talking this matter over face to face. Pardon my haste and the incoherence of these remarks – and attribute my interference to that deep interest which I feel and take in your prospects and happiness. Meanwhile accept the assurance of my continued affection and esteem; and may favor, mercy and peace be multiplied to you through Jesus Christ our Lord to whom be Glory.
Ever yours in the Lord, A. Campbell”

(Isaac Tener continues…) I returned to Ireland in July 1835 bringing with me a large lot of Bro. Campbell’s writings, using them after my return as far as possible in spreading the principles of the reformation and laboring in public teaching in the Church constantly till my return in 1849. Bro. Campbell was at my house when in Ireland and preached in Cookstown where I then resided on 20 September 1847 – the day after which he and I had fixed to visit Shanes (?) Castle in the County Antrim (a distance of about 20 or 25 miles) that he might again look upon the scenes of his boyhood and birthplace, but the day turned out one of the wettest you can imagine. I proposed to take him in a close carriage, but being still suffering from his jail experience in Scotland he thought better to forego the gratification. We therefore gathered the whole Church at my brother John’s house, and had a very happy social day together, a day of great enjoyment to him and most refreshing to the brethren and sisters assembled. We had also with us same day Sister Gilmore of Belfast, Sister Dron of Scotland and several others who came to visit us. It was indeed a happy day, tho outside the clouds poured down rain incessantly.
I rec’d your letter of 13th instant today and will reply in a day or two. I think I can help to straighten some of the difficulties. Pittsburgh, Feb. 19, 1867. Yours in the Lord, Isaac Wm. Tener.

That ends the four typed pages that I possess that appear to be at least part of the Isaac Tener history. It seems to incorporate some 35 years: between the dates included in the text as Feb. 16, 1832 to Feb. 16, 1867!

I am sharing this with you in the interest of ‘family history’. The text seems to be consistent with the material in the Tener family book, so I suspect it was used in the writing of the book.

IF anyone has more of the Isaac Tener handwritten history, or perhaps knows where one could obtain copies, I would be interested in hearing.

Also, I am very interested in obtaining any of the materials attributed to Anjou – inasmuch as there appears to have been several copies made!

And comments or feedback greatly appreciated.

Before closing this ‘story’, I think it is more complete if I could take license to include the letters which were published in the Millennial Harbinger. Published in the September 1833 bound book of the M.H., page 477, runs the following letter from Isaac W. Tener. The letter is not dated, but is appears between correspondence dated September 7, 1833 and September 23, 1833. It is a letter written by Isaac to Alexander Campbell:

Dear Sir – ON the 8th instant, on our way to Philadelphia, and on the 15th on our return, we had the pleasure of meeting with the brethren in Baltimore; and seldom have our spirits been more refreshed than on these occasions. The perfect simplicity which their meetings present, and the unaffected piety which appeared to pervade every person in the assembly, and the solemn manner in which every thing was done, is so much in character with the New Testament, that even a superficial observer must be struck with it. The main design of all the remarks made were to lead the congregation more to the scriptures, and to the obedience of them – to hold in higher estimation correct action, than correct thinking – and the cultivation of love amongst themselves. When we add to this the particular attention paid to us during the other days of the week we remained there, and the desire manifested by them to know every thing about the progress of the Redeemer’s cause in the West, we cannot help saying that we think their example worthy of imitation, and that we feel grateful also to our heavenly Father for calling a few to bear testimony to the truth in that city.
The church now consists of about 50 members, having, during the past year nearly doubled its numbers. They meet every Lord’s day morning, at half past 10 o’clock, in a room over the Bazaar, in Harrison street, to break the loaf, & c. – at 3, for singing, prayer and exortations – and at candle lighting for preaching the word of life to their fellow-men. Some of the brethren are well gifted, and the church in amply edified by itself.
Yours in the hope of a glorious resurrection, ISAAC W. TENER J. T. M’VAY

And, in a December 6, 1834 letter from Taylorstown, PA, Isaac writes a lengthy letter asking clarification on a point to then puzzling himself: something to the effect of questioning the morality of joining, praying with or breaking bread with those who may be very pius but who have not completed the total immersion adult baptism! A. Campbell replied with a three page reply – which left me confused as to what it was that he said!
On October 22, 1857, Isaac W. Tener wrote a letter to Alexander Campbell as editor of the Millennial Harbinger with regards to the death of his father Robert Tener. This is also a lengthy letter and provides a good amount of background information on Robert. At a later date I can retype the letter and share it – of if you which to look into this yourself before I get to it, it may be located in the Millennial Harbinger -- in the 1857 book, page 706.
Then, in a letter dated December 4, 1860, and published in the January 1861 Millennial Harbinger, Isaac W. Tener wrote specifically for publication, as Elder in the Disciple’s Church of Allegheny City, a statement of not recognizing a faction which has separated for dissention and called themselves “The First Disciples Church” in the city of Pittsburgh, under the leadership of W. S. Gray.
In 1869 Isaac wrote a letter to a Bro. Pendleton the then editor of the Harbinger of the progress of the Church in California. He wrote from an address of 51 Natrona, San Francisco, of the Church, of the weather, and of the strengths of the Church in Napa and Santa Rosa Counties. He had just purchased a small farm near Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County. (Millennial Harbinger, the 1869 book, page 656)
In the 1880 US Census, according to the web site Isaac was living in, or was documented in Santa Cruz County, California. He was listed as 72 years of age, married, and was working as a clerk in a bank.
Isaac died on July 1, 1898 while living in Los Angeles, California. Interestingly enough, his wife died in 1897 while she was living with her daughter Frances in San Luis Obispo. We know that Isaac’s son Robert, a photographer, lived in Los Angeles – so one may surmise that he was living with his son Robert at the time of his beath.
These added letters contribute to the body of documentation available for Isaac W. Tener.

[1] Internet site, URL - copyright 2003
[2] Located on line: Volume 19, Numbers 1 & 2, 1991 of the Genealogical Journal of the Utah Genealogical Association, PO Box 1144, Salt Lake, Utah 84110. The title of the article is; We Wuz Robbed!
[4] These are photocopies of typewritten letters received from Barbara Berry, NEE Steele, Tener Book Page 78