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

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Letters by Sarah Dunn Tener

Now that the Mary Tener Letters are available, and many have been circulated, I wanted to ‘share’ some other letters written within the family – in the mid 1800’s. These letters were from the personal papers of Sarah Tener Feuchtinger – Tener Blue Book page 77. As you know, she was a daughter of John Kinley Tener II, and his wife Sarah – Nee DUNN.

Most of the following are undated – and arranged as best possible chronologically:

-- -- -1- -- --

"Derry, 23 May 1850

My Dear Sarah:

I had expected to have heard from you before this time and have now to request that you write me as soon as convenient to do so. I surely feel much indebted to “Mr. and Mrs. Tener” for their very great kindness in prolonging your visit and trust that you will reap much improvement from being in contact and daily intercourse with the elevated and highly cultivated mind of “Mrs. Tener”, of whom Jane and Mary speak in terms of unbounded admiration and praise. I trust you will make good use of your time and endeavor to store up in your memory many of the sayings and precepts of that distinguished lady. I hope also that you will endeavor to make yourself very useful and agreeable.

We are all well here and business much better than it was when you left. The weather is much improved and everything effected thereby is looking better. Your little flower garden is beginning to assume a rich appearance.

Sisters and brothers are quite well and also expect when you return that you will have Mrs. Tener and as many of the young folks with you as we can lodge at Dunnfield. You know there is room for a good many.

Grandmamma is quite better and is pleased that you are enjoying an opportunity of intellectual improvement.

Write me soon. God Bless you my child.

I am, my dear Sarah, your affectionate father,
Robert Dunn"

[This letter was written to Sarah Tener Feuchtinger’s mother – Sarah Dunn, by her father– Robert Dunn. This letter, being dated, precedes Sarah’s marriage to JKT II by just under six years.]

-- -- -2- -- --

I believe that this following letter was written by Sarah Dunn Tener, to her younger sister Margaret Dunn of Dunnfield, Londonderry. (*This letter was shared by Sarah F. with Hampden Evans Tener Jr., who was behind publishing the Tener Blue Book.)

"Dear Maggie:
We arrived here all safe and I had of course the pleasure of finding a very dirty house, and then came a letter from Edward this morning saying that Dr. Evans had been there and said that Robert was not likely to live another week and might die at any hour. He asked Johnny to come immediately and stay until the end – so Johnny and Lizzie have just left and I am all alone. Teney will be good company for me. Poor Mrs. Tener must be in a dreadful state. I can’t think how she will bear when it comes to the end. Edward says Robert asked Dr. Evans and he told him the whole truth about himself. He says that Robert is also quite resigned, though perfectly aware of the great change awaiting him. From Ed’s letter one cannot know much of his real state. Poor fellow, he little thought when complaining, as he used, of the misery of his life, that he was so soon to have done with it. Lizzie would much rather have stayed but was afraid Susan would not be pleased. I think she expected Willy would come up as she told me he told her he was coming soon but that he would not tell me till he was quite sure. However, I think her heart is not quite broken yet. How is Charlie getting on? You can tell Miss Dunn I find the currants, though black, not at all fit to make jam of. I am afraid she won’t get any fruit in time for him. We did not see Willy or Bob at Strabane. It is well Bob did not come as Johnny is gone, but how is Van getting on with Miss Dunn? Many a time and oft I think of them. We have great peace here without him. I doubt she wishes him – far enough already. Poor Miss G. is keeping up the excitement well. She is only better and worse all the time and has Dr, Scraggs in constant attendance. Her side, etc. is worse now. The old lady as usual popped in today just when Johnny and Lizzie were starting. I have not seen Miss G. yet. Ask Miss D. if she could send to the men to get the black --- dress and if he could get me black muslim like the Moore’s, with the least possible white in it. I would send what would be equal to it, the Orleans say from 25 to 30 shilling, the other 8 to 10. If I would not have enough, maybe you could make up the difference and I could give you the money, but I would like them as soon as possible. I think I will send them to Tinton the first opportunity, as papa can’t come till Johnny comes back. I will write the day I send them and John Hogg can look out for them. Write, is there is any news for Charlie, and how --- is getting on. Love to all, not forgetting Robert Boyle, as he would say himself.
Yours ever affectionately,

[**I suspect that this letter was written about July 1860. We know that that is the time when JKT I’s son Robert passed away at the family home Moree.
“Teney” is the oldest, first born, child of Sara and John Kinley Tener II.
“Edward” I am pretty sure is JKT’s son.]

-- -- -3- -- --

This Might be a partial, it begins just as I have it starting.

"Mrs. Galbraith of Derry is, I believe, at Cloughbane by this time. She has been staying in Donoughmore for some time. Hardly know whether to tell you a piece of news about “Moree”. At first it was to be kept a great secret, but I thnk Mrs. T. is sure to hear it from Susan and I might as well tell you, as her. To begin at the beginning, Ed was in London a month or two since, seeing the bride Decima Campbell, that was not Mrs. Parker, and there heard that Mr. Earle was paying marked intentions to Lizzie (attentions I mean), which on Hampden’s hearing so inflamed his smouldering love that he set off immediately to Dublin, and having gained his mother’s consent, goes on toBirmingham, proposes and is accepted. So far so good. On his return to Dublin he to fear the old gentleman’s not being pleased atr not being consulted, so poor Ham has to write and explain the hurry, etc. etc. However, the old gent is quite in a rage and sends Ham’s letter back with these pithy words written across it. “Mrs. Frost and Susan have schemed well and succeeded with the poor dupe.” So in the face of that Hampden comes home, but so filled with joy of love returned, that he is quite high and mighty and does not mind his father at all. Ham has written again, but the old gent wont speak on the subject to anyone, and now where the bread and butter is to be raised is the difficulty, as none of the arrangements about settling Hampden have ever been carried out. Poor Mrs. Tener as usual has the worst of it. I’m sure she never liked to hear Ham talk of Lizzie and said frequently she was no wife for him, and at any rate she did not want Ham married, as she does Ed. It ios a grand thing in Lizzie’s favor that she says she repulsed Mr. E. (of course it is to be inferred on Ham’s account.) Not bad work for a young lady living by painting photographs. Of course the old gent’s objection is the want of money, but it serves him right for being such an old sham. I heard all this from Johnnie. I had a note from Mrs. T. since. She only refers to it, saying that I would hardly believe Ham kept it a secret from her all alonh, that is his love for Lizzie. I thjink you have enough of it. Nurn this and if you meet Mrts. T. you can hear it from her for the first time. The poor Earl was to have been at Moree yesterday. The old G. sent me a pressing invite to come and bring all the family, but except Mrs. T. mentions it I wont go. She is now at Bray with Roberta, who continues better. Write me by John and give me Miss D’s address. I suppose it is fully time to write to Charlie. Children are all well. Baby growing quite lively and troublesome. No more at present, but remain,
Yours affectionately,

Very nice indeed, Miss Bess, I think tho I may be wrong, its all a make up, because its him there should be something or other. I put the cover Miss D gave me on my parasol and now cannot find the loose half of the handle. Do you see anything of the lost among Miss D’s things. I had it at W. Hill last summer. If there is any old Breeches of W. I would be glad of them. The children have got no clothes this summer. G.D. sent them straw hats each but Teny destroyed his at Moree before he brought it home. Money is not heard tell of here. I would have sent you my hats to get cleaned but cant afford it. Miss D. offered me her white one for one of the children. Would it do me better than my own. I’m tired of the peacock feathers. I have no use for velvet at all."

[The above written by Sarah Dunn Tener to her younger sister Margaret Dunn of Dunnfield, Londonderry.]

-- -- -4- -- --

The following was received and described as: “the (following) were written by Sarah Dunn Tener to her younger sister Margaret Dunn of Dunnfield, Londonderry.”
“Extracts from letters about Uncle Hampden and his marriage to Eliza Frost.

1st reference. Susan is expected home this week, her niece Lizzie Frost is to cfome with her. She is 14 or 15 years old.

She visits Augher.

“We had a great day taking in the fair on Saturday.

Lizzie seemed to enjoy it very much. After walking up and down thro’ the fair, she got a ladder to the top of the garden wall, to see the dancing.

She was quite sorry to go with Johnny Sunday, but Susan had written saying to come the first opportunity.

She is a very pleasant girl, so perfectly good tempered. I wondered she took Roberta’s whims so good-naturedly.”

“She did not tell Aunt Susan much of her amusements in Derry. Willy Dunn had an exciting flirtation with her. As for Ed he is the same old C. only getting older looking every time I see him. Susan says if he does not mind, he may yet lose his heart to Lizzie. He carried of a fierce flirtation with her in London. Set all the Aunts speculating on the subject.

Poor Susan seems to think it quite certain either he or Hampden will make Lizzie Mrs. Tener. I doubt it won’t be Edward.”

“Edward wrote from Dungannon he was coming up and bringing Lizzie to bid me good bye, and as many others as he could persuade to come. They did come, George and Hampden and little George, as well as he and Lizzie. She leaves on Tuesday with old Mr. Tener, who is going to the Annual Meeting. She seems quite sorry to leave Ireland.” “Seemed in the utmost grief leaving here.”

[This letter was from Sarah Tener Feuchtinger to Hampden E. Tener Jr. August 1, 1946.]

-- -- -5- -- --

Another letter from Sarah Dunn Tener to her younger sister Magaret Dunn of Dunnfield, Londonderry.

“My Dear Maggie: Augher, Saturday

I dare say you wonder what I am about that I do not write you. I can hardly say I am too busy, but certainly since Teny there is less opportunity than ever to either read or write.

Well I have been to Moree and of course am quite disappointed in the “World’s Wonder”. After your letter there came two others from Mrs. Tener urging me in every way to come, so we left here on Friday before Christmas taking (name omitted) with us and leaving the other twowith Eliza. We returned on Monday in spite of Mrs. T’s entreaties expecting Papa on Tuesday. Johnny was almost sure he would come so we had the turkey cock killed and all things ready, but as you know, in vain. I might have written but thought it foolish, Johnny having just returned. But for expecting him, I would have stayed, Mrs. T. being very poorly and the old gentleman asking people from all quarters to hear the preachings. Mr. E. preached on Friday evg. I do not think it at all came up to the report I had had of his talents. Sunday morning at Ballymagully he gave only a short exhortation, but his sermon on Sunday Evng at Bankhouse at Moree was certainly very fine. You see with the preachings and B--. B--. Talking in evenings I had not much opportunity of making his acquaintance. He inquired of Johnny for you all and Ed says enjoyed the music very much. He is not much of an American, tho I think very like in feature. He was eighteen when his parents left England, his father bought him a farm out west, but he felt such a desire to do good by preaching he sold his farm and with the proceeds went to Bethany College and went through the usual course. He does not mean to become a paid Minister but to settle in America or California and of course preach as he has opportunity. Mrs. T. told me to ask Bob to come if he cared to stay over Christmas. He came on Saturday and left on Monday. He did not ask leave to stay. They asked him to come for Xmas day but I don’t know whether he did or not. He brought Teny a pair of leather leggings of which he is very proud. I did think Teny looked


Did not wish an inquest and he had Captain Wilson and upwards forty armed policemen to aid him in doing his duty. It was at the Lough shore. They stayed at the Man’s house where we were that day with Robert and all. I had no talk with him this time at all. He is to be up next week. Perhaps he would have come for Xmas but for Mr. Earl. He is at Moree still but leaves for certain next Monday. We had a dull enough day here. The boys in the town amused themselves fighting and as they all had firearms of some sort and were mostly half drunk, Packett and John tried to settle them in vain so he went to Clogher for the police. I hear that John Dale is taken up today for breaking some boys head. --- if this is not a budget of dull news it’s a wonder. I intended to have written to Miss Dunn but will have nothing to say now. I am looking out for news for her but have not yet received any. Have you heard anything more of Charlie. I hope he will get into the Channel before the storms come again. No more at present from yours ever affectionately.
-- -- -6- -- --

The following is another letter that was shared by Sarah Tener Fuchtinger to Hampden E. Tener Jr. in August 1946. “This partial letter was evidently written by her mother Sarah Dunn Tener to her sister Maggie. It is undated except for the day of the week, but the year must have been 1864, as that was the year our grandmother, Mary Frances Tener, died. Written from Moree.”

“My dear Maggie

I intended writing you yesterday but was too late for post and today is almost as bad. Mrs. T. had a dress in her wardrobe for me. Did you ever know anything like her kindness to me. It is the same as --- Susan. She wants me to let Marian Watson make it and I suppose she will do it better than --- Kirkpatrick. Now I want you to tell me by return of post how to make, whether plain or full body, skirt pleated or gathered and what sort of wide sleeves. I would rather have them wide as I have plenty of white sleeves. I send you a bit of the material.

Poor Mrs. T. has been in bed ever since I came and has got a relapse of bronchitis. I don’t know what will become of her. She suffers dreadfully.

The Presentation is all over, a great fuss it was. We had forty-nine to lunch and no end of wine and ale. Some of the old fellows were considerable jolly before the end. I think the gallant Major who is a very plain looking yet nice sort of man was pretty tired of it. Susan and I were in the drawing room at the reading of the Address. The lunch was in the nursery parlor, all the furniture --- and wooden tables and forms made for the occasion, one at the head for the quality and two long ones coming from it.

The Carriage or Broughan as they say it must be called is certainly very handsom the plain outside. It cost 100 Guineas. The only difference from regular carriage is that it has no seat for footman behind. It is painted chocolate relieved with the crème colour on the outside and the inside is bright blue corded silk very beautiful. Ed and Ham went to Dublin with one of the men to chose it.

I hope your difficulties will be solved and you ready to come by the time I get home. I don’t know at present when that will be. I hope Teny is well."

--- - Illegible
Mrs. T. - Mrs. Mary Frances Evans Tener
Susan - Susan Wallis Tener
Ed - Edward Shaw Tener
Ham. - Hampden Evans Tener
Address- Presentation of Brougham
Home - Augher
Teny - John F. Tener, eldest son of John Kinley Tener II

-- -- -7- -- --

The following letter was evidently written by Sarah Dunn Tener to her wsister Maggie. It was undated except day of week, but the year must have been 1864, as that was the year Mary Frances Evans Tener died!

"Moree, Saturday

My dear Maggie

This is indeed a house of mourning today. Our poor Charlie left us yesterday morning at four o’clock and Mrs. Tener died today about 8. I cant settle to write particulars now. The wee darling suffered greatly for a week past but died very quietly and indeed so did poor “Nan”. Charlie took the measles about a fortnight since and bronchitis set in almost with them. He was very ill but he’s happy now poor darling and I would not bring him back if he could. He looks very beautiful. Johnny has got such a nice wee oak coffin made for him. He will be buried this evening, Mrs. Tener not until Friday. The old gentleman is to give Susan and I mourning so you will be saved a great deal of trouble,

Yours, Sarah”

Charlie - Infant son of John Kinley Tener II and Sarah Dunn Tener
Nan - Mary Frances Evans Tener
Johnny - John Kinley Tener II
Susan - Susan Wallis Tener

(*** I think that these provide a little more insight into the Tener family household, in the mid-1800’s from an inside perspective: from Sarah Dunn Tener, wife of John Kinley Tener II.)