Show ContentsEnis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Enis history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Enis history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Enis family originally lived in Cornwall, at the village of Ennis. The place-name is Gaelic in origin, and derives from an Anglicization of the personal name Angus.

Early Origins of the Enis family

The surname Enis was first found in Cornwall where "the manors of Pettigrew and Nampitty, [in the parish of Gerrans] were the property of Francis Enys, Esq. in whose family they have been for a considerable time." [1]

"It is generally understood that Enys, [in the parish of St. Gluvias] which is now the seat of Francis Enys, Esq. has been in this family ever since the days of Edward I. ; for so high this family can be traced. In the Cornish play, brought into Oxford in 1450, and of which the manuscript is still preserved in the Bodleian Library, Enys and some other lands are given as a reward to the builder of the universe. Its situation is about two miles from Penryn, on the right hand side of the road leading to Truro. In the Magna Britannia for 1720, notice is taken of its celebrated gardens. They still preserve their beauty, and the grounds are enlivened with the diversified prospects which they command." [1]

Early History of the Enis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Enis research. Another 186 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1312, 1620, 1651, 1611, 1697, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Enis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Enis Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Ennis, Ennys, Enys, Eynes and others.

Early Notables of the Enis family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Enis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Enis family to Ireland

Some of the Enis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Enis migration to the United States +

Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Enis or a variant listed above:

Enis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Sara Enis, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Spree" from Bremen, Germany [2]
  • Elisabeth Enis, aged 1, arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Spree" from Bremen, Germany [2]
Enis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Enis, aged 38, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Allianca" from Canal Zone & Haiti [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Enis (post 1700) +

  • George Hunter Enis (b. 1936), former American collegiate and professional football quarterback who played from 1960 to 1962
  • Shalonda Enis (b. 1974), American former professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics and Charlotte Sting of the WNBA
  • Cleon William "Bill" Enis (1934-1973), American sportscaster from Tarrant County, Texas
  • Curtis D. Enis (b. 1976), former American running back in the National Football League (NFL) for three seasons (1998-2001)

The Enis Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtute et valore
Motto Translation: By virtue and valour.

  1. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook