John Keener

John Keener (c. 1755- ) was probably born Maryland or Pennsylvania.  Little is known about his life.

His father was Melchoir Keener (1720-1798), a founder of Baltimore City.  John is not mentioned in his father’s will which suggests that he was either disinherited or deceased by the time of the writing of Melchoir Keener’s final will.

John Keener had two known daughters, Maria and Margaret.  His wife is unknown.

Child Born Married Departed
Maria Keener William Hopper Bordley        29 Nov 1803
Margaret Keener c. 1777 William Clayton Bordley, Sr.  11 Jul 1798 Old St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore

John Keener’s name is found on the Muster Roll of Capt. Geo. P. Keeport’s Company of the First German Battalion Continental Troops, commanded by Colonel Nicholas Husacker. Philadelphia, Sept. 19th, 1776.


July 15 Jacob Smith, 1st Serjt.

30 Henry Speck, 2nd

Aug. 19 John Keener, 3rd Serjt.

Christn. Kearns, 4th  

John Keener is somewhat of a mystery with no records citing details of his life.  What is known is that his daughter Maria presided over the old Bordley homestead “Bordlington” near Centerville.  The deed of the house is dated back to 1774.

John’s daughter Margaret Keener lost her husband and their lands of the Clayton homestead in 1803.  She moved to Baltimore and opened a fashionable boarding house where she enjoyed entertaining.   It seems that Margaret’s son John Keener Melchoir Bordley was named after her father and grandfather.  He died at age 19 in a duel.

It is possible that John Keener and his wife never survived to see their children marry and have children.  The burial place of John Keener and his wife remains unknown.



Emory, Mary Bourke, Colonial Families and Their Descendants, Press of the Sun Printing Office. Baltimore. 1900

Bordley Pedigree compiled by Bryden Bordley Hyde

Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland, Volume 18, page 262

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One Response to John Keener

  1. Brian Bookwalter says:

    First and foremost my thanks goes out to you for taking the time such a nice website! They take a lot of dedication and hard work so my hat goes off to you. I am researching the Keener family and have been doing so for just a couple months now. I descend from Catherine Keener born about 1775 who married Isaac Frantz. They settled down & resided in South Buffalo township in Armstrong County PA, just north of Pittsburgh. I’ve been working on finding out who her parents were and to this point have really had no luck as far as proof documents go. I found a clipping from a book on that says her father was John Rudolph Christian Keener who was born in Geneva Switzerland and came to the United States. This article talks as if Christian Keener fought in the War of 1812 was her brother along with Samuel and David Keener who ran a drugstore together in Baltimore. It’s clearly clipped from a book, but no reference is made as to what book it came from! Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you for your time and hope to hear back from you!


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