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Dedicated to the preservation of our proud Tenney legacy and committed to sustaining the Tenney family name and heritage through education



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Tenneys of Note: Woman of the Century

Harriet (Atwood) Newell was a pioneer missionary worker, born in Haverhill, MA., in 1793. Her maiden name was Harriet Atwood. Her mother was Mary Molly Tenney and her father was Moses Atwood (a merchant in Haverhill, MA). Her mother, Mary Molly, was the daughter of Deacon Thomas Tenney and Hannah (Stickney) Tenney.

Lineage: (Harriet Atwood b. October 10, 1793; Mary (Tenney) Atwood b. 1769; Deacon Thomas b. 1730; Daniel b. 1701; Deacon Samuel b. 1667; Deacon John b. 1640; Thomas Sr. b. 1615).

Harriet was educated at the Bradford Academy in Bradford, MA. While in school, she became deeply religious and decided to devote her life to the foreign missionary cause.

At an early age, she married Rev. Samuel J. Newell of Durham, ME, February 9, 1812, at the age of 18, in Haverhill, MA, just before sailing away from Salem, MA for the Newell’s mission work, along with now famous Adoniram & Ann Judson. They sailed to preach in India and Burma under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (ABCFM).

When they arrived in Bombay, India, they were all expelled by the British East India Company (think War of 1812). Harriet and Samuel decided to try to establish a mission on the Isle of France. The Newell’s then sailed to Mauritius on the Isle of France, while the Judson’s sailed to Burma (now Myanmar). At sea, Harriet gave birth to a child (Harriet), who died after five days. Their long trip to India, and then to the Isle of France, kept them nearly a year on shipboard, and her health was failing when they landed in October 1812.

Harriet took ill on the voyage to Mauritius and died within a month of arriving at Port Louis, Isle of France (Mauritius). She died on November 30, 1812 at 19 years of age, of consumption. She was buried at Le Cimetiere-de-l’Cuest, “The Western Cemetery” in Cassis, Port Louis.

She was the first American missionary to die on foreign soil (1812). Her memoirs were published posthumously by her husband, going into a number of editions.

Harriet is an inspiring example in her devotion, and a credit to her gender.


OBBG Headstone Restoration Project

Fall 2018

As mentioned, the OBBG Headstone restoration project will continue as our FY 2018-2019 Special Project. We are close to full funding for Phase I, but still need generous donations to get us across the finish line!

Examples of the on-going damage to stones! This is 1st generation John Tenney’s footstone in OBBG.


Photo taken 2013 – courtesy J. Tenney


Photo taken of stone pieces 2018 – courtesy B. Tenney


Photo taken of remaining stone 2018 – courtesy of B. Tenney.

This is one among the many stones in OBBG that have seriously deteriorated in recent years – some no longer have legible transcriptions, some are buried, some are leaning. Time is of essence in saving stones! As previously mentioned, once our funding goals are reached, the OBBG Team anticipates scheduling work late Spring or early summer 2019. This means we would repair/restore 11 stones, reset 10 – 15 stones to prevent further damage and clean 20 stones. A total of 41- 46 stones, just in our 1st Phase!!