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Early Ennis History

Chapter I



    One tells of an Ennis family who left Ireland and came to Bracebridge, Canada, across Lake Huron, east of Alpena, Michigan. Because of differences in religious belief, people in Ireland were feuding. To avoid the turmoil this family sold their belongings and with their five children and one that was unborn sailed for America.

        On the way the mother and the unborn child died. Then the father died. Before he died, the father gave his money and a ticket for their baggage to his eldest son who was fifteen. The son was afraid to sleep because of being robbed. At last weariness overcame him. He fell asleep, When he awoke the money and ticket were gone—five children alone on a crowded ship, destitute. Kind people aided them. After two years and much hardship the children arrived in Bracebridge. Many Ennis families in Michigan today are descendants of that family. One operates an insurance agency; another is a merchant (1967).

        Another Ennis legend (there are many versions of it) tells of three brothers who left the Erne River Valley near Enniskillen, Ireland, and went to Holland. From there they sailed to America with the early Dutch who settled along the Hudson iiver. Here they intermarried. From the Hudson Valley some of the families moved to the Minisink Region of the Delaware River where New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania join. Later some of these Ennis’ along with their kinfolks, the Van Ettens, DeWitts and other families migrated to the Susquehanna Valley and formed settlements. About the same time other Ennis and their kin settled in Mohawk Valley.


Dutch In New York


        Dutch farmers came to New York about the same time as the Pilgrims came to Massachusetts. They purchased their property from the Indians, usually for a small sum. They were friendly and dealt fairly with the Indians, The Dutch built towns on the Hudson River. Soon after they came, copper and other minerals were discovered in the mountains east of the Delaware River. To mine these minerals the Dutch made a road of an old Indian trail from Esopus southwestward to what is now Port Jervis and the ancient Minisink Village were some of the places along the way.


The Minisink Region


        South of what is now Port Jervis, New York was a region that was a paradise to the Indiana. The soil in the valleys which they tilled was rich, It produced excellent crops. The forest was filled with game. The Minisink Indians were friendly with the Dutch living in this region for nearly one hundred

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