Sener Family History
from Biographical and Genealogical Sketches from Central Pennsylvania
by Frederic A. Godcharles
The Keller and Sener families connect to my 3rd g-grandmother, Mary POWELL, who married Jacob HARLEY in Pennsylvania, before emigrating to Sandusky County, Ohio. Johann Peter Keller was the father of Mary, who married Edward Powell, Mary Powell's grandfather.
FRANKLIN KELLER SENER belonged to the 5th generation of Seners of Pennsylvania...the first being his g-g-grandfather, Gottlieb SOHNER, a native of Germany, who sailed to the United States from Rotterdam on the "Fame", and landed here on 17 October 1749. He was married in Lancaster on 18 September 1750 to Maria Barbara KLEIN, by the Lutheran pastor, Rev. Handschuh, and practiced his trade of carpentry.
Gottlieb and Maria were parents of several children, the fifth being Johannes, born in Lancaster 7 October 1765. Before his death on 11 July 1814, he had continued the family line through his marriage to Catherine RUNG, born 20 May 1770, daughter of Heinrich and Anna Maria [NICHOLAI] Rung; she died 21 November 1851. She was the paternal granddaughter of Wilhelm and Angenosa Rung who came from Grimburg, at Darmstadt, in Germany; on maternal side, of Johann DIES and Elizabeth NICHOLAI, who came from Eiiburg, Nassau, in Germany, about 1755 at the same time that the other grandparents reached this counry.
Johannes and Catharine Sener were the parents of nine children:
- John, b. 1798; m. Anna Maria FLICK
- Gotlieb*, b. 1800; grandfather of Franklin Keller Sener
- Jacob, b. 1802; bachelor
- Catharine, b. 1804; m. Christopher HAGER
- Frederick, b. 1806; bachelor
- George, b. 1807; d. in infancy
- Henry, b. 1808; d. in infancy
- Sophia, b. 1809; d. in infancy
- Elizabeth, b. 1810; m. Samuel MILLER
Gotlieb* Sener was born on North Prince Street in Lancaster 23 April 1800. By this time his father had changed the family name from Sohner to Sener, for "orthographic convenience." Until 1848 he followed the trade of edged toolmaking, and had a shop on North Prince Street. At that time he purchased from his brothers, Jacob and Frederick, a lumber business which they had established in 1830, on the Conestoga Creek. Thus, the first five generations of Seners entered the lumber business. In 1855 he added a retail coal business and took some of his sons into the firm, at which time it received the title, "G. Sener and Sons." In 1863 he started a lumber, coal and slate yard at Ephrata, which his sons continued to run until April 1894. Gotlieb died 11 January 1877 in Lancaster. He married Rebecca ZAHM, daughter of Godfried Zahm, also a native of Lancaster, who was a brush manufacturer until his death at the age of eighty-six. Rebecca's paternal grandfather, Mathias Zahm, was born in Nazareth,Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and died in Lancaster in his eighty-sixth year.
Godlieb and Rebecca Sener were the parents of seven children:
- Henry M, who d. in 1884
- Edward A, who served in the Civil War; d. in 1880
- Cecilia; m. ___GOODELL
- Elizabeth; m. ___ STORMFELTZ
- J. Frederick, b. 1833; father of Franklin Keller Sener
- Mary, who m. ___ RUMPLE, of Brooklyn, New York, and
William Z, who was initially concerned with the Hamilton Watch Company and the Ephrata Water Works; served for many years as president of the Ephrata Bank; later became assosiated with his father in the lumber business and finally operated it in partnership with his brother, J. Frederick Sener.
J. Frederick married 1st, Kate J. HAMILTON, daughter of Peter Hamilton. There was one child, Charles M, who died in his twelfth year. J. Frederick married 2nd, in April 1868, Elizabeth KELLER, daughter of John Andrew Keller. J. Frederick and Elizabeth [aka Lizzie] were parents of two children:
- Franklin Keller Sener
- Rosa A. Sener
Franklin Keller Sener received his education through private tutors. He early joined the family business. When Franklin's son, John Frederick, II became twenty-one, he was also taken into the business and continued as a partner until his death in 1934. When HIS son, John Frederick, III, grandson of Franklin Keller Sener came into the business, he completed the entrance of the fifth generation into this ancestral occupation.
Franklin Keller Sener was a director of the Hamilton Watch Company, the Conestoga Cotton Mills, and the Lancaster County Trust Company. During WWI he served on several local boards and commissions. He m. Louise RATHFON of Buffalo, New York. They were the parents of one son, John Frederick, II, who served in WWII as a sergeant in the Train Supply Division of the American Expeditionary Forces, taking part in several offensives. He m. Katherine KELLY of Philadelphia, and were the parents of one son, John Frederick, III, formerly associated as clerk in business with his grandfather, later in the U.S. Army.