Don’t be confused by the
spelling of Ennis, Ennes, Hennesey and Angus and similar words. All are
derived from the Irish name Aonghus, meaning “unique choice”.
Gaelic pronunciation goes
very soft on what in other languages are hard vowels so that the Englishman
in trying to copy the delicate sound made by a Gaelic speaker saying “6
h Aonghus” (descendant of Aonghus) comes up with “Hennesey.” Ennes and
Ennis has come about by a similar process. Ennis, a town in County Clare,
Republic of Eire is the results of an Englishman trying to pronounce Gaelic—this
time the word “inis” meaning island.
It was said that the surname
Ennis sprang up and spread out from the borders of Meath and Lough north
of Dublin until it was common throughout Ireland and Scotland.
Irish history tells that
in Donnegal in the fifteenth century, more than half of the entire population
were Ennis or their kin.
experts say that the name Ennis is “armigerous”—ie: there is or was in
Ireland or Scotland a landed gentry family with a coat of arms.
Jane Ennes, who died in 1835 in Scotland, left to her heirs in America
the “ten million dollar estate.” She may have been a kin of that class.
It was said that William Ennes, her uncle who lived in Marblestown, N.Y.
was one of her heirs. The estate was seized by the Crown. It is not likely
that many other Ennis’s mentioned in this book are close relatives of hers.