Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Surprise in My Inbox: Ternes Family Photograph

I've written about Edith Mary Madeline Ternes before (herehere and here). Edith communicated via voice tapes to a relative named Sofee, who is also interested in researching the Ternes family. They traded information about themselves and photos.

After reading the following section of the transcript last November, I scoured the Internet, looking for the photograph of the Anthony Ternes family Edith described in the transcript.  No luck.  Yesterday morning, I woke up and read a new email in my inbox from one of my Ternes family connections.(1)  Attached was the very photograph for which I had been looking for months. It made my day!

I have also included some photographs of other family members mentioned in Edith Mary Madeline Ternes' transcript that are not in the subject photograph.

Here's what Edith Mary Madeline Ternes had to say about the Anthony and Mary Ann (Horger) Ternes family, which were her adopted grandparents:

The Ternes family was German. Mother Ternes was part French. She lived in a French community, Newport, Michigan, and spoke French. During the first war this led to some rather lively discussions at the dinner table. I have often wondered what Mother would have said had she found out, as I have since I have been researching family trees, that her family could well have been more Spanish than French. Dr. Valade, mother's grandfather traveled from Spain to Canada to Newport, Michigan. That Dr. Valade was your great, great, great grandfather.

Mother's father was August Loranger and her mother was Mary Valade. Mary died and August Loranger married again. His second wife had children of her own and was not too happy to have little Madeline Laura at all. She reportedly treated her so badly that her Grandmother Valade took your Great grandmother to live with her. Thus she was raised with aunts and uncles. This was the reason Mother always felt so close to Clara Valade Beckham. They are aunt and niece but raised as sisters.

Now, if you take the large family picture I will tell you about the people in it. There are three men and a woman in the back row. They are George Ternes, William Ternes, Theresa Ternes and Albert Peter Ternes.

Anthony Ternes Family
In the middle row are Maggie, Anthony, the father of the group, Mary Horger Ternes, the mother of the group and Francis "Frank" Anthony Ternes, my foster father and your great grandfather. Seated on the floor are Della and Frederick.

Let's start with Anthony, the father of the family. He is the son of Christian Ternes and Anna M (Schiller) Ternes. (Note: The patriarch of the family, Christian Ternes, was brutally murdered in the streets of Detroit.) Anthony was born on Feb. 22, 1843 and died on Feb. 28, 1904. Mary Ann (Horger) Ternes was the daughter of John Horger and Margaret Meisel Horger. Mary Ann was born in 1847 and died Jan 21, 1904. The church records show that Anthony Ternes and Mary Ann Horger were married June 1868. Anthony's father Christian Ternes was born in 1807 and died in 1881. His mother Anna Marie Schiller was born in 1808 and died on Dec. 25 1884.

The first boy in the last row is George Ternes. George married May Connolly. They had four children, Edna who became a nun, George Junior was in the war and I believe was at Pearl Harbor. The experience left him sort of at loose ends but he finally married a beautiful young lady (I am still trying to find out her name) They were married just 30 days and she died with spinal meningitis. George was devastated by this tragedy and it was quite a while before he married again but he never could come to terms with the disasters in his life and he finally decided it wasn't worth trying to cope with it any longer so he chose his own time to die. Claire married James Martin and lives here in Dearborn. I do not have her children's names. And then there was Lloyd the youngest. I see him at church sometimes. He is a fine young man with a family and he runs the Ternes Paint Store right here in town.

Hannah May (Connelly) Ternes and her children, George Anthony, Claire and Edna
After May died Lucille Carlen kept home for George and his four children until George married again. He had four children and he married a widow, Marguerite Emback Schroeder, who also had four children. They evened things up but made for quite a household.

Marguerite (Embach) Schroeder/Ternes

The second young man in the family picture is William Peter Ternes who married Elsie Gerstner and they had six children as near as I can find out. (Note: You may remember from an earlier blog post, they eloped.) They were Evelyn who married a Monaghan boy, William who married Madeline Maillue whose father was a lawyer and her mother was an opera singer, Ruth, Joy Marion,(2) Jack and Donald.(3) Ruth was drowned out at the cottage on Hickory Island. She was about three years old. After William died Elsie married a Mr. Deacon and they had one more child called John P. Deacon.

Donald Joseph Ternes

The lady is the back row is my favorite Aunt, Theresa, whom we called Aunt Trace. She married Albert Bernard Carlen a musician and piano and organ tuner and repairer. They had four children, Lucille, Eugene, Dorothy and Bernard. Lucille married William McCleer, Eugene became a priest, Dorothy became a Monroe nun with the name of Sr. Claudia. Bernard married Frances Shulte, a nurse. They had four children, Marie Therese, Dorothy, Kathleen known as Kitty and James. Then they called the whole thing off and were divorced and Bernard married Rose somebody or other. I'm still working on that name too. Marie Therese married William D. Hopkinson and they had six children, Elizabeth Ann, Donald, Ann, Kathy, Amy and Patty. Dorothy married William Beers and moved to California. They have three children, William, Mark and Shawn. Kitty works for the social services in Detroit and has never married. James lives in California and his aunt doesn't know if he is married or not.

The other man in the last row is Albert. Albert was a handsome confident man who was a very successful business man. He and his three younger brothers, Frank, your great grandfather, William and George were in the coal and lumber business for a number of years. The company was called The Ternes Coal and Lumber Company which was quite normal. Albert married Maude Burke and had three sons. Arthur, Howard and Paul. Arthur married Laree but I do not know her last name yet. They were divorced and I believe he married again a girl by the name of Esper, another good old Dearborn name. I believe he had two children Dale and Donald but I do not know by which wife. Howard married a lovely girl with an odd first name. She was Steve Rooney. They had a daughter Burke. I think there were other children but I have not been able to track them down yet. Paul married Patricia O'Reille and they had three children, Paul, Patricia and Michael. About 1918 Aunt Maude died. I remember that very well because the boys stayed with us for a few days. Al later married Helen Reber and had one more daughter Alberta Ternes who married Bill Bent.

The young woman sitting in the middle row is Margaret or Maggie as she was called. Maggie married Peter Neckel and this seems to have been a mis-mating if ever there was one. Margaret and Peter had three children, only one of whom Alice lived to grow up. The other two, Madeline and Alfred, died as children. Alice married Joseph Hammel and had six children Joseph, Robert, Margaret Kohlmeier La Salle Renelda Bonefant and Mary Alice Best.

Neckel brothers, Peter is on the far right

Next in line is Grandpa Ternes, your great great grandfather Anthony who, I understand was especially posed with his knees covered by hands to cover a hole in his pants. When he went into the photographer's studio he tripped and fell, tearing both his pant legs. Next to him sits Grandma Ternes who, by the looks of her must have been the authority figure in the family. I never knew her but Mother spoke highly of her and grandpa too, so there must have been some good to her. Then there is Frank, your great grandfather. He was a handsome man, good, kind, and with a terrific sense of humor. We loved the stunts and tricks he used to pull on us.

I hope you've enjoyed how so many pieces of the Ternes family history are coming together. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to learn about this history and meeting Ternes family members.

(1) My connection is the granddaughter of Christian Ternes, who moved to Panama and changed his name to Charles Ternes De Reuter. His very interesting story may be found here.

(2) William Peter Ternes' daughter, Marion, married Harold Muir, my first cousin, twice removed. They moved to California and had four children.

(3) I have also been in contact with Donald Ternes' daughter on Facebook.


  1. Good afternoon Schalene ... just happened upon your postings researching my Grandfather Albert Peter Ternes & Grandmother Maude Burke Ternes ... do not have a lot of time at this time however can suggest a few corrections. My father Paul was born in 1908 & married Patricia Josephine O'Reilly. She was the daughter of Dr. Patrick J. O'Reilly ... an M.D. & DDS. Mom was born in 1912. I am the youngest of 5 children starting with Patty Lou, Paul, Valerie, Carole then me ... My father was a successful businessman, Hotelier & Sportsman (Thoroughbred Race Horses) ... extremely intelligent & hard working ... Mom was beautiful (French/Irish) & a terrific homemaker & mother. Both Mom & Dad have passed on ... Dad way too early ... Mom never re-married because she loved her "Bub" and no one could fill his shoes. Regards, MT

    1. MT, thank you so much for the corrections. I will fix my tree immediately! I received this photo and the information from a granddaughter of Christian Ignatius Ternes (1870-1917), son of Peter Terns and Theresia Reuter. He moved to Panama and started going by the name of Charles Ternes De Reuter and married Felicidad Melendez. If you would like her email address, please message me on my genealogy Facebook page:

      I would love to stay in touch!

  2. Hello Schalene
    John Peter was a Ternes not a Deacon he was born 2/22/1927 just after his father William Peter Ternes died.
    Elsie remarried a John Deacon and had one child, Frances who is living in Washington State.
    John Peter Ternes died 7/5/2014 I just returned from his funeral.

    1. Paul, thank you for the correction. I am very sorry to hear about his death. Thank you for the correction.

    2. Hello Paul,
      I am Dale Marie Ternes, daughter of Arthur Ternes and Delia Reckinger.
      We spent Holidays together many years ago. Valerie will remember me and so will Patti, 'maybe'. It was mainly when your family lived around the corner from St. Al's and I remember visiting you and family when you lived by DGC.
      I am so happy to have this Link. My son put me in touch with it tonight when we were in touch with the Reckinger Family Information.
      It is so nice to be back in touch with 'Family'. I still am in touch with Alberta. She is unbelievable.....turned 100 a year or so ago.
      Would to love to hear from you and your family.....Dale Marie

  3. There seems to be a connection with the name Ternes and Ireland. My family name in Gailge/Irish is MacThighearnain and anglisized as MacTernan, Ternan, Tiernan, McKernan. The name derives from a branch of the last High King of Ireland Turlough Mor O'Connor. After a family dispute, his grandson Tiernan left with those relatives who went with him to Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan area. Mac, Mc, means 'son of', in this case'son of Tiernan meaning McTernan and all the abbreviations. Ternes falls into the family tree it seems.

    1. Interesting! I have traced the Ternes family who settled near Detroit from Germany. I've found no Irish origins except spouses. How did you determine the linkage? DNA.

  4. This is a little extract I found that I think you may find interesting. I'll post you some more when I have more free time.

    'Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. The
    HOUSE OF NAMES has researched the surname Ternes? and has determined
    that the name originated (believe it or not) in medieval Ireland.
    Apparently the name has undergone a variety of changes over the
    centuries and those who still bear the name (or variations of it) are
    now scattered across the globe. This Irish connection had been
    indisputably established by DNA and the surname could very well have
    spread to parts of Europe like France and Germany (rather than ?from?
    them) and even more likely, to Australia through it?s long-standing
    British and Irish relationships:

    1. While visiting Paris, there is a 'Ternes' street.

  5. Spelling variations include: Tiernan, Tierman, Ternan, Kiernan and others.

    First found in county Cavan at Tullyhunco where the "Annals of the
    Four Master" show 33 Tiernans almost all as Chiefs of Teallach

    Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were:
    John Tierman settled in Philadelphia in 1802; John Tiernan settled in
    Philadelphia in 1845; also 1850; 1867; and 1880; Patrick Tiernan
    settled in Philadelphia in 1846.

  6. Ternes? has some
    direct relationship to Irish ?Royalty?. The Chiefs of Teallach
    Donnchadha were very important figures throughout three medieval
    centuries from 1250-1550 in Ireland. The name is still found primarily
    in the Cavan-Leitrim and can be connected to the northeastern part of
    Roscommon in mediaeval times as descendents of ?Tiernan? (Tighearnan
    O'Rourke who ruled the land called Teallach Donnchadha anglicized to
    Tullyhunco, a barony in the present Co Cavan, Ulster). ?Tiernan? was
    the grandson of Turlough Mor O'Connor, King of Ireland. The name is
    also spelt in Irish MacThighearnain, which is anglicized MacKiernan.
    Today the names have long since dropped the prefix ?Mac? and are
    variously known as ?Ternes?, ?Tiernan?, ?Tierman?, ?Ternan?, ?Kiernan?
    and others.

    So, it is this period after the rule of Turlough Mor O'Connor, King of
    Ireland and some time following the time of Tighearnan O'Rourke, who
    ruled the land called Teallach Donnchadha anglicized to Tullyhunco a
    barony in the present Co Cavan, Ulster, that these variations of the
    names began to arise and presumably establish their own lineages.

    The modern day ?Tiernans?, one of the many variations of the name
    ?Tighearnan?, the same name from whence the surname ?Ternes? is
    derived, have actually established their relationship to ?Tighearnan
    O'Rourke? beyond a reasonable doubt through DNA testing.


  7. I am a direct descendant of Tiernan, grandson of Turlough Mor. My name is McKernan or in gailge MacThighearnain which is pronounced McTiernan. Others of the McKernan family/families did go to Europe some did not return and many went to the new land/USA, there is a connection to Abraham Lincoln and also the Dutch Royal Family. I believe most of the connections to be originally in New Jersey, New York State, Pennsylvania, Philadelpia..

    1. Thank you for all of the information. If there is a connection between your Irish families and the Ternes family who immigrated from the Rhineland to the Detroit area, it must have been way back in history during some of the great European population migrations. Currently, I have a couple of families in my tree, namely Riggin and Carroll, that have published genealogies showing their descent from Irish kings. I cannot make heads or tails out of those charts.

  8. This is all so interesting to read. Thank you for doing this.
    I would like to make a small correction in what is written about the Arthur Ternes Family.
    His second marriage was to Delia Marie Reckinger (another long time Dearborn name with the Kortes, Espers, etc.) and together they had Dale Marie and Donald Ternes.
    A 'hello' to MT as we are 'first cousins' and we spent time together in the early years during the holidays. Unfortunately we lost touch as we grew up.

    1. Hello Schalene...Michael T here...was Christian Ternes the first Ternes to move from Europe to Michigan (Detroit area) and what year was that? Alsace–Lorraine was my perception of my paternal side geographical locales during 17th century. My grandfather A.P. was in coal & lumber business in Dearborn. At our home we used cannel coal in fireplace together with hardwoods...I often wonder what business they would choose today since the left has blamed coal for the globe's demise...I wonder which 1st cousin was in previous post...I still speak with first cousins on maternal side cousins but in actuality never had much socializing with paternal cousins (sons & daughters of Art and Howard)...I'm on LinkedIn should you, or any others, choose to connect. I appreciate you keeping tabs...our sister Carole (Bonnie) passed away in summer of 2016...Bonnie has 2 children Reilly & Bonnie...she was pre-deceased by her husband Jerry Brennan. Regards, Michael T.

    2. Michael your comments are so meaningful.
      My husband, Larry Nolta, and I knew both Jerry Brennan and Bonnie. We were dating during those same years. In fact we were friends with all the Brennans.
      Being in touch and connecting after all these years is unbelievable. I have to thank my son, Dan, for giving me this 'Connection'.
      Please let Patti and Valerie know I have been in touch. Dale
      Yes, my last and only memory of AP was shortly before he died on LaSalle.
      Visited there as a little girl and was the Flower Girl in Alberta's and Bill Bent's wedding.
      Helen was 'Grandma' and we spent time with her up until she died.

  9. Schalene...forgot to mention, I think some of the Ternes ancestors are buried in small cemetery next to St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Dearborn...I spoke with a secretary at the church office and she was worried the church would be closed if participation didn't pick up. There is a different makeup in Dearborn now.

    1. Yes, Michael
      I graduated from St. Al's. My maternal grandparents and my mother are buried in the Cemetery next to the Church. There are some Ternes' buried there also.
      Yes, as I understand it, the schools are all being leveled but as I understand it the Church will be standing. They combined St. Clement's and St. Al's as a Parish.
      Dearborn is a 'memory'.....very sad Dale

  10. You're right: when George married Marguerite Embach Schroder it did even it up with 8 kids, but in 1932 along came a ninth, my mom Ann Marie Ternes. George passed away in 1947, leaving Marguerite a widow for the second time.

  11. My grandmother, Anna Ternes, left many pictures and the Ternes family tree dating back to the early 1800's including pics of the Panama canal being built and the family down there. I'd live to compare notes. I'll be back home in a week. Please get in touch by email
    I'm excited to find out more.