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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.



December 2012

About this newsletter

This family history newsletter is published three or four times a year usually when some interesting family items have been added to the website.  An email including a link to it is sent to all my family history contacts.  Please feel free to forward the email or a link to this page on to family members who may not have seen the website.

1 Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green, London

2 The Institute of Personology

3 A bad time for the Enevers

4 Now the Enefers join in

5 Doug Powell (author and woman-hating schoolmaster!)

6 Stela ENEVA


Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green
OS map 1873
Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green

1. Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green, London

Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green
Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green

This photograph was taken by John Galt, a missionary with the London City Mission and shows the cramped housing conditions of the labouring classes in the East End. These homes in Little Collingwood Street, Bethnal Green, stood only 2.74 metres (9 feet) apart. The photograph also suggests the sense of community amongst the residents. By the 1880s, London's shortage of decent housing was understood to be a principal cause of the degradation of the poor. Crammed into filthy, foul-aired slums, the physical and moral decay of the labouring classes was viewed as inevitable. The degenerating conditions of city life became the primary subject of social debate.

In 1903, Galt's contemporary Charles Booth published his completed social survey on wealth and poverty across London. According to Booth, the people who lived in Little Collingwood Street included costers, fish curers, and some thieves, many of whom were children. This photograph was one of many that Galt produced to show conditions in the East End and the work of the London City Mission. His intention was often to show that, contrary to popular middle-class belief, the people of the East End were worthy of salvation. Source: Museum of London prints.

Little Collingwood Street ran parallel to Collingwood Street, which still exists today, and can be found on the Ordnance Survey map of 1873 and while I haven't found any family members in Little Collingwood Street itself we have several examples of families living in Collingwood Street, just a stone's throw away. I have referred before to the dreadful living conditions in many London districts and in particular Bethnal Green where life expectancy was as low as 16 years as recently as 1839. A previous newsletter has some information and links to family members who endured these conditions. Source: British History online


2. The Institute of Personology

Material continues to come to light on arguably one of the best known Ennevers, William Joseph, the founder of Pelmanism and The Pelman Institute who is featured on our home page.

We know that William Joseph was declared bankrupt in 1940 and it appears that, in 1938 and possibly earlier, he was attempting to stave off this outcome by launching 'The Institute of Personology' and was using his knowledge and past reputation to rebuild his wealth.  The new Institute used his undoubted success with Pelmanism to sell his new 7 week course 'Personology' but was careful to avoid using the words Pelman or Pelmanism.  The Picture Post advertisement refers to his 'mind, memory and personality training' and that he 'pioneered the first comprehensive system that swept the world and put a new word into the English Dictionary'.  It also continued the extensive use of testimonials, the Picture Post advertisement including quotations from seven well-known publications including the Daily Sketch and the Sunday Times.

'Personology' looked and felt like 'Pelmanism' in all respects and offered a free copy of a book entitled 'Plus Minds' and a course that 'can make YOU a dictator - of Yourself'.  The Sunday Graphic's glowing testimonial saying:

'...Rich in backbone and stimulation.  Delivers a deadly blow at the inferiority complex.  Its contents are so shrewd, and its approach so sympathetic that it may be called not one but all mankind's epitome.'

Despite the hype and high profile advertising it is likely that this revamped offering had limited success as no examples of the 'Plus Minds' booklet have yet been found.


Doddinghurst Parish Register of Burials 1741-3
Doddinghurst Parish Register of Burials 1741-3

3. A bad time for the Innovers/Enevers

One page of the burials register of Doddinghurst, Essex covering the period June 1741 to September 1743 records no less than five Enever deaths. This may not be surprising to those of you who have researched the 18th century but behind these numbers lies a personal tragedy that would be impossible to comprehend in modern times.

Robert Enever, or Robert Innover, as his name was also recorded in the 18th century, and his wife Margaret nee Moor, had one of the most tragic family experiences that I have seen. Life expectancy was, as we know, very low in the East End of London and while Robert's first marriage took place in London he spent most of his life in rural Essex almost certainly as a farm labourer. Life in these rural communities was still extremely challenging as Robert's timeline shows. Born in 1701 in Doddinghurst, Essex he married on 13th February 1728/9 (see Q16 here for more information about double-dating) and by 1747, a period of less than twenty years later, he and Margaret had had thirteen children. Robert buried nine, possibly ten, of them before 1753 including six between 1739 and 1746. Seven of the children died before reaching their first birthday and two others also died in infancy. During his lifetime Robert also lost at least two siblings, his parents and his first wife.

4. Now the Enefers join in

I have concentrated my research on the Ennever and Enever variants of the family name although we have always known that 'F' variants have existed in significant numbers being a softer pronunciation of the 'V' surnames.

In following the Enever line I have now found a direct link to the Enefer branch from Suffolk, who in turn may be descendants of the Essex En(n)evers. Peggy Pamment, who is the granddaughter of Laura May Enever, married Philip Victor Deeks in 1943, Phillip being a descendant of the Enefers from Ipswich. I now need to update the diagram in Q2 of the FAQs to show we know of four intersecting Ennever family lines (now done)!


If You Don' Have A Dream' by Doug Powell
If You Don' Have A Dream' by Doug Powell

5. Doug Powell (author and woman-hating schoolmaster!)

Doug Powell married Mary Ann Hobbs in 1960 and they live in Southend-on-Sea. He enjoys writing but regards music as his favourite hobby - he is pianist, organist and singer. His lifelong interest in amateur dramatics has brought such diverse roles as woman-hating schoolmaster, retarded cripple, Judas Iscariot and pantomine dame. Source: 'If You Don' Have A Dream' published in 2006.

Doug's wife, Mary, is descended from Esther Enever and is a cousin of John Berry Hobbs, better known as Jack and widely regarded as cricket's greatest-ever opening batsman. Esther, coincidentally, is a third great grand-niece to Robert Innover (above) and despite being born more than a century and a half after Robert, was born and brought up in the same village of Doddinghurst.




Stela Eneva
Stela Eneva

6. Stela ENEVA

The 2012 London Olympics are little more than an an uplifting memory for many of us now but a search of the competitors who appeared in London reveals a Stela Eneva who took part in the Shot Put and Discus Throw for her native Bulgaria winning silver medals in both events. Her hobbies are listed as swimming, cycling, hiking, music cinema and volunteer work. If my previous thoughts in last year's December newsletter on the origin of the surname En(n)ever are correct is it possible that Stela is descended from the medieval traders?

Source: The official London Olympics website



In addition to these items I have added many hundreds of new people, events and documents to our families so it is always worth a regular look at the 'What's new' page.

I hope there’s been something of interest for you and as always if you have any family information or old family photos you are happy to share please do let me know.  If you prefer not to receive future notifications of newsletters please click here and ask to be removed.

Barry Ennever

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