Ennis Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology

island in Ireland
island in Ireland

This Celtic/Gaelic last name is locational one given to a person who lived on or near an island or peninsula. The Welsh version is Ynys. Another source claims this surname is a contraction of the Irish surname MacGennis, McGinnis, McEnnis, or McGuinness, a family founded by Irial, son of Conal Kearnach, a renowned warrior. The head chieftain was the McEnnis, or McGinnis, Prince of Dal Aradie and Iveagh. The ancient name Innis signifies “Distress”. The MacGinnis family held wide possessions in the present Counties of Donegal and Londonderry. The family tribe name was MacAongusa, or Clan Hugh. One source claims the name was first found in Cornwall at the village of Ennis, and in Ireland it was first county in Kildate, Meath, and Offaly, and derives from the Gaelic name personal (first) Angus or aAonghuis (a given name that means “unique choice”). Spelling variations include Enys, Ennys, Eynes, Enos, Ennos, Ennes, and O’Hennis. It is also a variant of the Scottish and Manx (Isle of Man) last name Innes. Ennes.com provides the following interesting historical fact: “Ennis, a town in County Clare, Republic of Eire, is the result of an Englishman trying to pronounce Gaelic–this time the word “inis” meaning island”. Is it possible this name is related to the French surname Dennis?

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name ranks Ennis ranks 2,061st in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following five states:  Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Alabama. The name is more common in England where it ranks 2,520th. It ranks highest in the three following counties: Lancashire, Cumberland, and Worcestershire. The name is common throughout the English speaking world:  Scotland (), Wales), Ireland (275th), Canada (2,605th), New Zealand (3,939th), Australia (3,064th), and South Africa (19,321st).

History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
Alexander Ennes or Innes was born in Morayshire, Scotland in 1632. He married a woman named Catherine and had two children with her: William Sr. and William Ennist. Alexander died in 1679 in Rhode Island. His son William was born in 1670 in Rhode Island and married Cornelia Arenta Viervant Brink in New York and had the following issue with her: Alexander, Cormelis, Cornelius, Catherine, Janetje, Alexander, Wilhem, and John. His son Cornelius was born in 1698 in Marbleton, NY. He married Marytje Van Etten Bosch and had four children with her: Wiljeim, Jenettjin, Jan, and Cornelius.

Old William Ennes House
Old William Ennes House, New Jersey

A one William Ennis was born in 1613 and married Percis Johnson. Prior to his death in Old Somerset in Maryland, he had several issue: Cornelius, Mary Percy, Nathaniel, Prothenia, Samuel, William, and Frances Bethany. His son Samuel married a woman named Mary Smith and had a son with her name Cornelius. This Cornelius was born in 1655 and he married Elizabeth Smith, with whom he had the following issue: Elizabeth, John, Cornelius II, Samuel, and Ann. Cornelius II was born in 1720 and he married Sarah Wright in 1740. They had a son together named Cornelius Ennis III. He was born in 1740 and in 1776 he married Esther Outten. They had three issue together: Esther, Peter, and Outten. His son Outten was born in 1776 and he later married Margaret Gladden. They had the children named Isaac, James, Richard, Mlathias, Outten, and Covington. His son Isaac was born in 1799 in Berlin, MD. He married Margaret Atkinson in 1824 and had the following issue with her: Joshua, Elizabeth (Richardson), Isaac, Mathis, James, Covington, William Handy, and Sarah (Hornbeck). His son Joshua Ennis was born in the same town in 1825. He married Sarah Elizabeth Kelly and had the following children with her: Anna Jeanette, William James, Charles Orin, John B., Mathew, Martha J., Isaac Samuel, George Joshua, Dora Ann, Emery, and Seba Arthur. His son George was born in 1865 in Menard, Illinois. He married Mary Maud Erwin and had a daughter with her named Beulah.

A one Thomas Annis (formerly Ennis) was born in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1664. He married Jannetje Francois le Sueur and had three issue with her: Rachel, Helena, and Jannetjen Thomas.

Early American and New World Settlers
A one William Ennis came to Virginia from the port of London in August of 1635 aboard the Globe. Other early bearers in colonial America include James Ennis (Virginia 1650), William Ennis (Maryland 1650), Alexander Ennis (Boston 1651, a Scotch prisoner deported by Oliver Cromwell), John Ennis (Boston 1716), Richard Ennis (Maryland 1723), and Michael Lewis Ennis (Pennsylvania 1812).

The Ennis family motto is Virtute et valore, meaning “By virtue and valour”.

Delmar Ennis
Delmar Ennis

We have two coats of arms for the Ennis surname depicted here. These two blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that had armorial bearings include:


Famous people with this last name include: 1) Delmer Ennis (1925-1996) who was an American baseball player who spent most of his career with the Philadelhpia Phillies in Major League Baseball, 2) Seamus Ennis (1919-1982) who was an Irish musician and singer, 3) Garth Ennis (1970) who is an American comic book writer of Northern Irish descent, and 4) Bruce C. Ennis (1939) who is an American politician who was a member of the Delaware Senate and House of Representatives.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Ballinahown Court, co. Westmeath, bart.). Motto—Virtute et valore. Per pale ar. and or, a lion’s head erased betw. three estoiles az. a bordure of the last, charged with eight roses of the first. Crest—A boar’s head erased pierced by an arrow all ppr. charged with an estoile az.
2) Gu. on a chief ar. a saltire az. Crest—An anchor az. surmounted by a fleur-de-lis.

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