PNG genealogy origin

                      Pic of city of Enns crest

The most common theory for the origin of the Enns family involves the city of Enns, Austria (see legend above). This was the best (and only) theory until recently.

JPG enns crest by

When I was in Junior High school, grade 7 or 8, around 1975, I tried to reproduce the Enns city crest in wood, and it is shown above.

Enns (ens) (KEY) , town (1991 pop. 8,111), Upper Austria prov., N central Austria, on the Enns River near its confluence with the Danube. Enns manufactures glassware, jewelry, and roofing. It is also home to several major breweries. One of Austria's oldest towns, it was established as a fortress in the 10th cent. and was chartered in 1212. The picturesque town retains part of its medieval walls, a 16th-century fortress, and a Gothic parish church (13th-15th cent.). The former town hall (16th cent.) now houses a museum that includes Roman relics. Lorch, incorporated into Enns in 1938, is on the site of a Roman camp established (c.A.D. 170) by Marcus Aurelius. Near Enns is the Augustinian monastery of St. Florian. Columbia Encyclopedia

PNG Pic of city of Enns

Here are some other sites (some in German) which talk about the city of Enns:


                      Pic of village of Ens crest

The newest theory for the origin of the Enns family involves the ancient (now non-existant) village of Ens, Netherlands. This village was on the Island of Schokland until the island itself was abandoned in 1859, by order of King William III. This is a new theory that was suggested by the research of Gary Strahl.

There is a town called 'Ens' in Flevoland (but this is a new town only created in 1942). The 'Museum Schokland' kindly provided the following info:

  • The area was an island until the Zoy Der Zee was reclaimed.
  • The name 'Ens' originated over 1000 years ago from the word for 'Duck Lake', changing over the centuries. It was common for families to take the name of their town or village as their surname, and because of the Mennonite history/Low German langurage connection, it is very possible that the 'Enns' family originally comes from this area.
    • Year 793 = Anudseae (Anud = DUCK, Seae = LAKE)
    • Year 800/900 = Anudse
    • Year 1000 = Anusse
    • Year 1400 = Enusse
    • Year 1500 = Ennse
    • Year 1600 = Ens
Research Notes by Gary W. Strahl

This page confirms the research dates from Gary Strahl:

  • 793 = Enedseae
  • 1150 = Endesle
  • 1302 = Enesce (Jacobus van Enesce named from this place -- may have been the 1st 'Ens'!)
  • 1324 = Enze

Some information of Ens: The name comes from Ednessee -- eendenzee (sea for ducks). Ens was a part of the island Schokland. Before 1750 there was no name Schokland, only Ens and Emmeloord. Ens was Protestant (religion) and Emmeloord was Catholic. Ens had three places where the inhabitants could live. The Middelbuurt, Zuidert and the Zuidpunt. In total there were 350 people in Ens and 350 people in Emmeloord. Now we used the name Ens for a modern place in the Noordoostpolder. [thanks to William Vercraeye for providing this information!]

I used the InterTran translation engine to convert the words mentioned above:

  • Middelbuurt = Middle vicinity
  • Zuidert = South
  • Zuidpunt = South Tip InterTran (tm)
Here is another reference confirming the origin of Ens in the Netherlands: The name "Ens" was first mentioned in 793, as "Enedsae; in that year a mission was sent by the monastery of Werten in the Bishopric of Köln, to spread Christianity. [Flags of the World]

Outcome spent a ramble through the ethymologisch dictionary, called "Enedseae" showed in the description of the word 'duck'. The water bird who like the boat, instead of on the water goes. Enedseae sounded mystical, historical, cheerful and unknown. Enedseae means eendenzee, derived from the Germanic Anud-Saiwa (duck-sea), and is the earliest known name of the former island Ens. The later Schokland now dried located in the Northeast. A document of 793 makes it the first mention. A dating from 1150 registry calls it "Endesle". Finally, coming in 1302 "Enesce" and in 1324 "Enze" for. [Google translate of Maritime Identity]

Here are some old maps that show the village of Ens before it was submerged forever:

                      of map of Schokland (1733 by Jan Christiaan Sepp)
                      [CLICK FOR LARGER]

(Thanks to Bruno Klappe for this most-detailed map of Schokland produced in 1733 by Jan Christiaan Sepp)

JPG schokland 1700-1750 map

(another map of Schokland from 1700-1750)

Here are some other sites (some in Dutch) which talk about Ens and Schokland Island:

Pen drawing of the church on the south end of the island Schokland in Ens (located here):

JPG schokland church in Ens

Some interesting comments regarding Christianity on Schokland comes from this page:

The Reformation in the sixteenth century had little initial effect on Schokland. However, by the late sixteenth century, the pastor of Ens turned to Calvinism and from that moment onward protestant ministers were appointed in Ens. Nevertheless, most people in Ens initially stuck to their Catholic faith.

In 1622, the northern part of Schokland, Emmeloord, also appointed a protestant pastor. The altar in the church was torn down and the pastor had to leave. This top-down Reformation proved unsuccessful. Pastors continued to (illegally) visit the island to celebrate the Roman-Catholic mass. Eight years later, the church had another altar. While the south of Schokland became partially Protestant, Emmeloord in the north stayed Catholic. 'Spotted marriages' (marriages between protestants and Catholics) occurred on the small island of Schokland.

One radical offshoot of the idea of the Enns family originating from the village of Ens is that it may also be the origin of the English non-Mennonite Ensign family!

In modern-day Netherlands, here is from the Database of Surnames in The Netherlands
showing where those with the 'Ens' surname reside:

PNG ens map netherlands

There are also Hutterites with the surname of 'Entz' and 'Ens', as mentioned in this article:

Mennonite -- These include the Hutterite families of Decker, Entz, Fast, Gross, Jansen and Knels. Decker, Gross and Knels were introduced into the Hutterites by conversion of Mennonite families which originated from West Prussia. The surnames Jansen, Fast and Ens were introduced later through intermarriage with Mennonite members of the Molotschna Colony in Southern Ukraine.

JPG Ens Crest
JPG Ens Crest #2

Thanks to Emma Ens Walton for providing these Ens  crest images from her family member's trip to the Netherlands :)