Benjamin Ennis and Magdalena Van Etten

   Benjamin Ennis was born 25 April 1743 and was baptized 3 May 1743 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, the son of William Ennes and Elizabeth Quick. He had one older sister, Cornelia, who had died just prior to his birth. He also had six younger brothers, Daniel, Joseph, John (who died young), Cornelius (who died young), Alexander (who died young), and Cornelius and two younger sisters, Margaret and Catherine. Benjamin married Magdalena Van Etten in August 1769 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York. Magdalena was baptized 6 October 1751 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, the daughter of Johannes Van Etten and Maria Gonzales. She had one older brother, Johannis, three younger brothers, Manuel, Jacobus, and Semijon (Simeon), three younger sisters, Rymerich, Elisabeth, and Catharina, and two younger half-brothers, Daniel and Solomon Van Etten. Benjamin served as a lieutenant for Pennsylvania in the Revolutionary War and was killed in battle 20 Apr 1780 at Raymondskill Creek near Conashaugh, Pike, Pennsylvania (south of his home near the Delaware River in what is now known as the Delaware Water Gap). Magdalena would have been about two months pregnant with their youngest child, Benjamin. It has been suggested that Magdalena supported her family by teaching school (under the name of Madam Benjamin) and later moved with her family to the area of Spencer, Tioga, New York (later known as Van Etten, Chemung County).
Benjamin and Magdalena had:

1. Alexander Ennis, born 6 Oct 1771, baptized 29 April 1772 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, married 1) Jane - and 2) Jerusha -- after 1819, died 13 Dec 1853, buried in the Ennis Cemetery, Van Etten, Chemung, New York.
2. Elisabeth Ennis, born 17 Nov 1769, baptized 14 Jan 1770 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York.
3. Johannes (John) Ennis, baptized 23 May 1774 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, settled in the Spencer, Tioga, New York area.
4. Marie Ennis, born 23 Nov 1776, baptized 25 Nov 1776 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, married Wilhelmus Ennes (her first and second cousin) in Dec 1796 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, settled in Spencer, Tioga, New York and possibly Reed, Seneca, Ohio.
5. Emanuel Ennis, no baptismal records but was listed in several Van Etten town histories as the son of Benjamin, died 26 Jan 1828, buried in the Ennis Cemetery, Van Etten, Chemung, New York.
6. Benjamin Ennis, born 21 Nov 1780, baptized 19 Aug 1781 in Machackemeck, Orange, New York, died 5 Apr 1865, buried in the Ennis Cemetery, Van Etten, Chemung, New York.

Sources:
1. Ennes, Calvin, A Bit About the Ennes, Au Gres, Michigan, 1969.
2. Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records, 1716-1830, facsimile reprint by Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1992.
3. DeCoursey, Bill, It's About Time, Vol. IV, New Brighton, Minnesota, 2000, citing pension papers for Albert Dingman, Nat'l Archives pension file #S22731.
4. DAR Patriot Index.
5. History of Seven Counties, presented by the Elmira Weekly Gazette, Elmira, NY: Gazette Company, 1885, p. 149.
6. Gravestone inscriptions, Ennis Cemetery, Van Etten, Chemung, New York.
7. Towner, Ausburn, Our County and its People: A History of the Valley and County of Chemung, Elmira, NY, 1892.
8. History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler Counties, New York, Elmira, NY, 1878.


Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Church at Machackemeck (Deerpark)

Page Number Baptism Date Parents Child Witnesses
105 1743 William Ennes Benjamin Benjamin Quik,
May 3 Elisabeth Quik Heilje Wessebroek
123 1751 Johannes van Etten Magdalena J. C. Fryenmoet,
Oct. 6 Maria Consales Magdalena Van Etten, his wife
157 1770 Benjamin Ennes Elisabeth William Ennes,
Jan. 14 Lena Van Etten b. Nov. 17, 1769 Elisabeth Ennes
160 1772 Benjamin Ennes Alexander Johannes Van Etten,
April 29 Magdalena Van Etten Maria Gonsalis
164 1774 Benjamin Ennes Johannes Johannes Van Netten,
May 23 Magdalena Van Netten Mare Counsoles
167 1776 Benjaman Ennes Maria Manel Van Netten,
Nov. 25 Magdalen Van Netten Maria Helm
180 1781 Benjamin Ennes Benjamin
Aug. 19 Helena Van Etten

Marriage Record-1737-97 (Machackemeck)


Page Date Married
274 1769-August. Benjamin Ennis to Lena Van Etten.
278 1796-Dec. Wilhelmus Ennes, Maria Ennis.

Source: Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records, 1716-1830, facsimile reprint by Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1992.


Excerpts from A Bit About the Ennes,
by Calvin Ennes, Au Gres, Michigan, 1969.

    "BENJAMIN ENNES, born 1743, farmer, lieutenant in the American Revolution, killed in battle in 1780, married to MAGDALENA VAN ETTEN. They bore: Elizabeth, b. 1-16-1769; Alexander, b. 4-29-1772; Johannis, b. 5-23-1774; Marie, b. 11-23-1776; Emanuel, IV, b. ?; Benjamin, b. 8-19-1780, after his father's death.

Events Leading to Benjamin's Death

    Brant the renegade, was hired by the British to lead the Indians in attacks on the Colonists. The British paid Indians for scalps. In 1780, Jeremiah Van Auken, was dragged out of his school while in session and killed. While the boys were being tomahawked, outside,-some escaped-Brant took some ink and made a mark in the apron of a girl, saying it would save her life. Brant then went outside to help catch the boys. The other girls quickly marked all their aprons with similar ink marks and saved their lives.

Battle of Conneshaugh-1780

    Because of the atrocity, troops and scouts were rushed in. Brant and his Indians were located on Raymondskill Creek over the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. During the night reinforcements were called. Captain Van Etten, Captain Westbrook and Lieutenant Ennes came, all rushing troops toward Raymondskill Creek. On the way the troops were ambushed by the Indians. Many fled, but Captain Westbrook and Lieutenant Ennes stood their ground, on that rainy day in April, 1780. Lieut. Ennes and twelve other men were killed. Their bodies were buried in the Old Minisink Cemetery near the Old Ennis Home. Benjamin, the youngest son of Lieutenant Ennes was born in August after that
battle. [1]
    The children's mother, Madam Benjamin then taught school to help keep the family together. It was Alexander Ennes, her son, to whom William Ennes gave the birthright when he made his will in 1799.
    In 1798, all the members of Benjamin's family, along with kinfolks, the Van Ettens and others moved from the Minisink Region to Cayuta Township, Tioga County, New York in the Susquehanna Valley-more later."


Excerpt from It's About Time, Vol. IV,
by Bill DeCoursey, New Brighton, Minnesota, 2000.

    "...Afterwards (1779/80) he (Albert Dingman) enlisted under Samuel WESTBROOK and Capt. Peter WESTBROOK, two brothers from New Jersey and Capt. Johannes VanETTEN and Lieut. Benjamin ENNES of the State of Penna. They were engaged in a skirmish on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River near a house occupied by Philip McCARTY. The Indians retreated and laid in ambush and again gave battle, in which Capt. Peter WESTBROOK, Lieut. Benjamin ENNES, and a young man by the name of Richard ROSENCRANTZ were killed. Samuel HELMS and James Van NETTEN were wounded.
Nat'l Archives pension file #S22731; also PENNSYLVANIA ARCHIVES, Ser.5, v.8, pp431-432."
(Italics added by Michelle Boyd.)


From the DAR Patriot Index,
Daughters of the American Revolution,
Washington D.C., 1966.

"Ennis, (includes Ennes)
Benjamin: b 4-23-1743 d 4-20-1780 m Magdalena Van Etten Lt PA" [2]


From The History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey,
by James P. Snell, 1881.

About Montague, Sussex County, New Jersey’s first school, it says on page 366, that the fourth teacher there was "William Ennes, after which a Madam Benjamin became the directress of the educational interests of the neighborhood."
 


Some Information about Benjamin and Magdalena's Sons

General Information
    "Early settlers: ...William Ennis, Alexander Ennis, John Ennis, Emanuel Ennis, Benjamin Ennis, James Van Etten, Emanuel Van Etten, Joshua Van Etten, James Van Etten, Jr..."
Source: History of Seven Counties[3], presented by the Elmira Weekly Gazette, Elmira, NY: Gazette Company, 1885, p. 149 (Van Etten Township).

    "Alexander, John, Emanuel, and Benjamin Ennis settled near Cayuta Creek above the Swartwood families in 1798. They were the sons of' Benjamin Ennis, a Revolutionary patriot who was killed in 1778. His father, William Ennis, emigrated from Scotland and settled near Port Jervis. The Ennis families inherited those traits of character which made them and their descendants worthy citizens of the town and the county."
Source: Towner, Ausburn, Our County and its People: A History of the Valley and County of Chemung, Elmira, NY, 1892, ch. 7 (Van Etten).

    "Nearly all of the first settlers came from the valley of the Delaware River. They were generally of Holland Dutch descent, and represented families living on both sides of the river from the mouth of the Lackawaxen to the Delaware Water-Gap. They were men accustomed to scenes of danger and hardship, as rugged and enduring almost as the mountains bordering the valley from which they emanated. Loyal to their country, their homes, and themselves, many had passed through the stirring scenes of the war for our independence, while all had been sufferers or witnesses of the savage warfare waged alike against men, women, and little children by the Indians, and their more brutal allies, the Tories, during the campaign of 1778, which culminated in that hand-to-hand conflict at their very doors-the battle of Minisink...William Ennis, the grandfather of the brothers who settled here, came from Scotland, and settled in the valley of the Delaware River, near Port Jervis. His son, Benjamin, raised up a family of four sons and two daughters, and was killed in an encounter with the Tories and Indians in 1778. The four sons, viz., Alexander, John, Emanuel, and Benjamin, came here in 1798, and settled just above the Swartwoods, near the junction of the Cayuta and McDuffie Creeks. They were very worthy people, and their descendants are to be found here in large numbers, occupying the lands opened by the pioneer brothers."
Source: History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler Counties, New York, Elmira, NY, 1878, ch. LVII (Van Etten).

"The Hedding Methodist Episcopal Church at Swartwood

    A class was formed here as early as 1805. Among the number were Benjamin Ennis and his wife, John Shoemaker and his wife, Emanuel Ennis and his wife, and John Ennis and his wife. They worshiped in private houses and school-houses until 1826, when their present house of worship was erected, by the brothers Alexander and Benjamin Ennis, as a union church. The society bought the house in 1836. It will seat 200 persons, and is valued at about $1200. The society is part of the Van Ettenville charge. Has a membership of 58, and 50 scholars in the Sunday-schools. Charles Brockway, Superintendent. Rev. J.W. Jenner, of Van Ettenville, present pastor."
Source: History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins, and Schuyler Counties, New York, Elmira, NY, 1878, ch. LVII (Van Etten).

Alexander Ennis
    "At a town-meeting held at the inn of Jacobus Schenichs, Tuesday, April 1, 1806, the following named officers were elected: ...John I. Speed, John English, Joseph L. Horton, Jacob Herinton, Alexander Ennes, and Lewis Beardslee, fence-viewers."
Source: Gay, W. B. (ed.), Historical Gazetteer of Tioga county, New York, 1785-1888, Syracuse, NY: W. B. Gay & Co., 1888, p. 453 (information on Spencer Township).

Information from Gravestones in the Ennis Cemetery,
Van Etten, Chemung, New York

Allexander Ennis, died 13 February 1853, 82y 2m 7d
Jane Ennis, born 7 November 1777, died 7 June 1819, 41y 7m, wife of Alexander Ennis
Jerusha Ennis, born 1 December 1766, died 24 Mar 1844, wife of A. Ennis

Emanuel Ennis

Information from Gravestones in the Ennis Cemetery,
Van Etten, Chemung, New York
In memory of Emanuel Ennis who died January 26, 1828.
(There are two Emanuel Ennis, Jr.'s buried here, one died in 1870 at 58 and the other died in 1857 at age 49.)

Benjamin Ennis

Information from Gravestones in the Ennis Cemetery,
Van Etten, Chemung, New York
Benjamin Ennis, died 5 Apr 1865, 84y 4m 14d
Benjamin Ennis, Jr., died 16 Sep 1886
Phebe Ennis, died 15 February 1878, 57y 9m 23d, wife of Benjamin Ennis, Jr.
Eliza S. Ennis, died 21 November 1844, 29y 9m 29d, wife of Benjamin Ennis, Jr.
Ira B. Ennis, died 27 February 1867, 22y 3m 14d, son of Benjamin, Jr. and Eliza S. Ennis


Footnotes

[1] This story is not quite correct. The attack on the Minisink valley by Brant took place a year too early. The ensuing battle was called the Battle of Minisink and took place in Sullivan County, New York. In a report on the battle, which listed casualties, there is no mention of a Benjamin Ennis. Following this battle, there were many smaller skirmishes taking place in the regions between the Americans and Mohawks that fought for the British under Brant. It was during one such battle, probably near Conashaugh, PA, about a year later that Benjamin would have lost his life. See the excerpt from It's About Time included in this chapter.
[2] Lt PA = Lieutenant, Pennsylvania.
[3] Tioga and Bradford Counties, PA and Chemung, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Schuyler Counties, NY.


(c) 2002 by Michelle Boyd, All rights reserved.
 

Return to Ennis Page
Return to Home Page

To contact me:  michelle@boydhouse.com
Last updated Jan. 29,2002.