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Ennever & Enever family history & ancestry. Click here to return to the home page WJ Ennever (1869-1947). From the portrait by J Seymour R.A., exhibited in the Royal Academy.

Strange things occur in families...

The never-ending staircase

Most family history researchers come across events or facts that may just be strange coincidences or are unusual for other reasons and many of these are never properly understood.  There are certainly some unusual occurrences within the Ennever and our related families and most of these appear in the "Questions" or the "Marriages" pages while a few remain outside these categories so I have decided to include them here. If you have any information that may help me in further research I'd be delighted to hear from you via the link at the bottom of the page.

 

Name/s Details
William Brookin & unknown
William Brookin (or Brooking) married Sarah in 1859 having previously been married, while Sarah had lost two previous husbands.  The couple are recorded as the parents of Henry Brookin when he was christened in 1860 at the age of five. Henry was born in 1854 while Sarah was still married to George Pugh so it seems likely that Henry's parents were actually William and his first wife, who I have been unable to trace.  In most cases where a parent is deceased at the time of a child's baptism this fact is recorded so it is unusual to see the step-parents being named as Henry's parents.
Emma Brown
Emma was christened in the Parish Church, St John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex in 1825, an event which was recorded by the priest as having taken place on the 30th February, a date which has never existed in the UK.
Churchill & Enever
The March 2011 newsletter highlighted some family connections to both Sir Winston Churchill and Edward 'Ned' Kelly and with the help of another researcher we have spotted some other Churchill items which are interesting little historical coincidences. These were featured in a subsequent newsletter.
  • we already knew that Augustus Joseph Enever & Cleopatra Cecilia Burgoyne were married by the father of Lily Langtry, the celebrated society lady who became the mistress of Albert Edward, prince of Wales, later King Edward VII but...
  • we now discover that Cleopatra's second son from her marriage to William Taylor Power bought his Hampshire house from the son of Mary 'Patsy' Cornwallis-West, wife of William Cornwallis Cornwallis-West.  According to Antony Camp's research,  William & Mary's daughter, who became Daisy, Princess of Pless, was one of the mistresses of the future King George V although other researchers claim that she too was a mistress of his father, Edward VII and...
  • William & Patsy's son, George Cornwallis-West, was the second husband of ┬áLady Randolph Churchill (Jennie Jerome), mother of Winston Churchill and that Augustus's great niece, Barbara Yvonne Enever, married Lionel Leslie, nephew of Lady Randolph Churchill in 1942.
Mabel Agnes Cope  (1856/7-?)
The children of Frederick Charles Cope and Eliza Jane Slark were born in England, Prussia, Austria & Australia so in most cases I have not seen their birth records but in the 1871 census in Islington Mabel was listed as Mabel A B E L Cope.  It wasn't known if this was correct until her marriage to Richard Gowlland was found, co-incidentally in the same quarter as her brother Carl Edourd Hubert Maria Cope, when she was recorded as Mabel Agnes B E L Cope.  In the 1911 census she signs with her full name Mabel Agnes Blanche Ella Louisa.

Mable has the unusual distinction therefore, whether a deliberate choice of her parents or not, of having initials that spell her first given name!
Amelia Enever nee Barns
Amelia Barns married John Enever at Kelvedon Hatch, Essex in 1820 and died at the young age of 31 in 1834.  Her burial is recorded in the Parish register as being on the 29th February 1834.  But 1834 wasn't a leap year and so as this date didn't exist it is unclear on what date she was in fact buried!
Henry Enever
Henry was the son of John Enever and Elizabeth Smith and was known as Henry Smith Enever. Henry also married a Smith, Jane Smith, whose father was also Henry and Henry Smith Enever's occupation was a Smith.
Martha Enever
The chances of having either a boy or a girl child is almost exactly 50/50 so families of large numbers of all boys or girls are very unusual. Martha Enever had eight children, all of them boys, a 1 in 250 chance approximately. Martha had one illegitimate child, Herry Ernest Cornish Enever a name that makes clear reference to the father who she later married. So although in the 1911 census she omits Harry as not being born within the marriage and records her family as numbering six, the inclusion of Harry and Alfred, who was born in 1912, meant a family of 8 boys.
Sarah Enever & Seneca Larke
Sarah was christened on the 27th September 1835, on the same day as Seneca Larke whose daughter was to marry Hezekiah Ennever, after both the Larke and Ennever families emigrated to the USA. These two branches of the family are not closely related, however, so it appears to be a complete coincidence that the two were christened together. Sarah's father was deported to Australia in 1838 for stealing a horse (see the Criminals page).
William Enever
Adult christenings are not unusual as there are several religious denominations, including the Baptists, who reject infant baptism and baptise only individuals who can personally confess their faith in Jesus, therefore excluding underage children. William's christening was particularly unusual in that took place so late in his life, when he was nearly 60 years of age, having been born in 1823/4. He was christened in 1882, twenty one years after his marriage while his son, also William, had been christened 15 years earlier than him, in 1867.
Frederick Ennever & Thomas White
There is an interesting link between two of the Ennever family branches in that Frederick Ennever and Thomas White were both living at 11B Grove Street, Islington at the time of the 1891 survey.  Frederick is descended from the "Somerset" branch of the Ennevers while Thomas was the son of Eliza Mary Ann Ennever's second marriage, to Charles Henry White, Eliza being descended from the "Essex" Ennevers.  The census suggests that they were living separately, albeit in the same house, although it is hard to imagine that they did not discuss the fact that Thomas's mother had the same surname as Frederick, who was sharing the house.  You can find more information about the various family branches in the FAQs.
John Ennever or Enniver
John Ennever (also spelt Enniver) was divorced by Act of Parliament in 1753.

John was born in about 1712 in Dunton, Essex, the eldest child of John Ennever and Mary Cooper.  Three later children did not survive to marry or have children.  John married Mary, the daughter of Robert Cornwell, of Great Coggleshall at Mercers Hall Chapel in London in 1736.  They lived at South Ockenden, Essex with John following in the family occupation of farming.   Mary produced nine children in eleven years but six of them died in infancy.

Before 1858 divorce was only possible through a private Act of Parliament but of course most people could not afford this and in fact, by 1857, only 318 divorces had been granted in this way and only about five were to women.

John, unusually for the time, petitioned for divorce in 1753, a very expensive process.  The Act of Parliament makes various allegations about Mary's behaviour including "unlawful ffamiliarity and Adulterous Conversation" (sic) with a servant.  By this Act (see here for details), which received the Royal Assent on the 15th May 1753, John was granted a divorce from Mary and was free to re-marry from this date.  His Will indicates that he married another Mary and this is thought to be Mary Osborn.
Augusta Minnie Frederica Jamieson nee Ennever
Family history researchers with working families in London in the 19th century will know how frequently many families moved house but there are also examples of those who lived in the same home for decades, Augusta and her husband William George Jamieson being one such family. William and Augusta married in 1903 and can be found living at 24 Ailsa Street, Poplar, London in the 1911 census and although William died in 1949 still living at the same address Augusta can be found living there until at least 1964, 53 years later.
Robert Long & family
Robert Long had an interesting (well, very unusual) family in that his 4 daughters, Mary Ann Long, Elizabeth Long, Ellen Long and Margaret Long, seem to have had no fewer than 13 or 14 illegitimate children between them.  And this when living in a small country village, Bale in Norfolk, of less than 300 people (230ish in 1851) where there were probably only about 20-30 main families in the village and just about everybody would have known everybody else. Mary Ann Long married John Page in 1858, Ellen Long married William Southgate in 1866 and I think Margaret Long married William James Powle Smith in 1865 and as far as I know Elizabeth did not marry.  Were any fathers identified when these children married by any chance?

It is an unpalatable conclusion but the number of illegitimate children by all four of Robert Long's daughters does suggest that incest or some form of prostitution will have been involved.  Fortunately, all Robert's children and grandchildren are no longer with us so the truth behind this unusual family will almost certainly never be known for certain.
Selwyn John Pembroke
Selwyn killed himself in 1891 at the young age of 39.  The inquest returned the verdict of suicide by shooting, the sad irony being that Selwyn's death and the inquest both took place in Gunning, New South Wales.
Emma, George John and James Pugh

Emma was christened on the 29th May 1856 in St John's Church, Limehouse then in Middlesex and that day 16 christenings were held with all of the families living in Eastfield Street. A sort of christening street party?

Those christened were Charles Waters (No. 13), Elizabeth Hannah and Isabella Beland (8), Thomas Charles Weekes (14), Emma, George John and James Pugh (14), Elizabeth Simpson (14), Joshua Goody (12), Thomas davison, James, William Dagget and John Frederick, Edwardd Alexander and Clara Powell (55). Walter Henry Pugh, son of James Pugh and Margaret Sarah nee Wincott, married Grace Lydia Ennever in Plaistow in 1903.

William Slark & Anna Maria Hancock
William Slark was descended from a family of Ironmongers who appear to have owned and leased a considerable amount of property in the Cheapside (City of London) area.  For three generations they had a thriving business and were members of the United Company of Merchants of England, trading to the East Indies.  There are advertisements around the 1800s for their patent hot closet, family oven, patent steam kitchen and patent retiring stove, including recipes.  William Slark (b1752), William's grandfather, left a considerable sum for the time in his will when he died in 1821.  Source: Cilla Bangay

There are records of William and Anna having married three times in less than a year in three different parishes, certainly a very unusual occurrence.  A further co-incidence is that William and Anna are the grandparents of Mabel Cope, above.
Clarissa Dickson Wright
Although I have not seen her birth certificate it is widely reported that Clarissa, of the BBC's 'Two Fat Ladies' cookery series, was given 11 forenames, Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda.  While probably not a record, certainly unusual!

It is also reported that Alexander Armstrong, the comedian, is Clarissa's cousin although I have been unable to find the link.  Alexander (also known as Xander) Armstrong was born in Rothbury, Northumberland and was educated at Durham School and Trinity College, Cambridge where he met Ben Miller, both being members of the Cambridge Footlights.  Among other roles they co-starred in four series of Armstrong and Miller from 1997 to 2001 and The Armstrong and Miller Show in 2007.   Source: wikipedia & others.

Author:  Barry Ennever

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