William Ennis Sr.
(Abt 1619-1681/1684)


Family Links

1. (?) (?)

2. Pervis (Percy, Percie) Scott

William Ennis Sr.

  • Born: Abt 1619, England
  • Marriage (1): (?) (?) about 1640 in Accomack Co., VA
  • Marriage (2): Pervis (Percy, Percie) Scott about 1648 in VA
  • Died: 07 Jul 1681-28 Oct 1684, Somerset Co., MD 1


On May 10 1644 William Ennis was named in a statement that was recorded in court records in Accomack Co., VA: "I, Nathaniel Littleton of Accomack in Virginia, Esquire, do acknowledge to have recieved one hogshead of tobacco in leaf, which I promise to deliver a true account either at my return out of England or otherwise to send an account of shipping into this country unto William Johnson or William Ennis, they being indebted unto Nathaniel for 9 for which sum they have shipped the said hogshead of tobacco, in in case the produce thereof shall not raise the full sum of monie, then William Johnson and William Ennis do promise the full satisfaction for the remainder. William Johnson and William Ennis are to stand to the danger and casualties of the sea." Signed Nathaniel Littleton. Witness: Richard Smyth.

Another statement by Ennis was recorded in the records on May 19 1644: "That we William Johnson and William Ennis of Accomack, planters, do acknowledge outselves indebted unto Nathaniel Littleton 50 shillings to be paid either by shipping home for England tobacco to satisfy the debt or marchantable beaver or corn to the value thereof before November 20 next at the house of Nathaniel Littleton in Accomack." Signed William Johnson, William Ennis.

On May 28 1644, he was a defendant in a court case in Accomack: "The petition of Anne Littleton sayth that William Johnson and William Ennis stand indebted to her for 10 due in the year 1641 for payment whereof they shipped one hogshead of tobacco to England, the produce thereof amounted to 25 shillings sterling. Now the said parties refuse to give a valuable consideration in tobacco according to the rate of the country and she has sustained further damage." The case was refered to a jury and they found Johnson and Ennis are indebted to Nathaniel Littleton 9 and for payment they are to ship tobacco or beaver or corn. They also found that Nathaniel Littleton is bound and has given under his hand to send a true and just account of the tobacco shipped, which we cannot find was sent to either of them so we do not know but the debt may be satisified by the tobacco that has been shipped. Therefore Nathaniel Littleton shall send a true account of the tobacco given under his hand before any further satisfication be made.

By Sep 20 1644, Ennis was a defendant in a case in Accomack Co.: "Whereas William Johnson and William Ennis owe Nathaniel Littleton 9 for which they were to ship tobacco for England and they shipped one hogshead of tobacco for which Littleton was to give them an account under his hand which was not done. It is therefore ordered by this court that Johnson and Ennis in full satisfication of the 9 pay 850 lbs good tobacco in leaf before the last of December next and Littleton shall allow for the hogshead of tobacco 5:40.6."

William Ennis testified in court as recorded in Jan 1644/5 at Accomack Co., VA: "We William Johnson of Accomack and William Ennis of the same place, planters, for us and either of us, owe and stand indebted unto Nathaniel Littleton, Esquire, 5:12 to be paid or otherwise to ship home so much tobacco as shall discharge the aforesaid sum of monie at or before the last day of January next. Signed William Johnson on 7 June 1641." Witnesses were John Sevearne & Richard Smyth. Recorded Jan 1644/5.

The appearance of William Ennis in the court records occurs on Sep 22 1645 when he is named in an order to have an attachment to issue out against the wages belonging unto John Stockley for a debt of 600 & odd lbs tobacco which the said Ennis is security with Stockley unto thestate of Luke Stubblinge merchant dec'd, until a legal trial shall further determine thereof.

On Aug 28 1646, he was named in a deposition in Northampton Co., VA where the deponent, William "Murrett" saith that his master, Mr. Obedience Robins, sent him unto the house of William Ennis to look for Samuel Scott his servant and when he came to the house he found the said Scott there. He asked Ennis why he would entertain Scott and, Ennis answered saying why I know no reason to the contrary, whereupon this deponent answered saying there is an order to the contrary. Ennis answered saying I did never hear of any such order. I will not put Scott out of my doors. I will harbor him. Take good notice what I say and further the said Ennis swore saying by the sun that shines if Mr. Robins do recover him again and if Scott do any otherwise then I will seek the utmost of the Law against Mr. Robins. Ennis would not believe the deponent that there was any order, but laughed and jeared the deponent and further saith that Scott was making peggs of tobacco and his breeches & shirt was furr'd with tobacco and Ennis asked the deponent saying do you think I am a knave and that I do not know what I do and this deponent answered saying I think you will prove yourself a fool in this case. By Aug 30 1647, Ennis was named in a court order indicating that "Wm. Ennis illegally entertayned & employed Sam'l Scott now servant to Obedience Robins, Gent. Therefore Wm. Ennis will provide Sam'll Scott one suite of cloathes and pay taxes & levees due for him last year and this present year."

His next appearance in the records comes on Oct 28 1647 in Northampton when it was ordered that Wm. Ennis (attorney of Francis Burrowe) shall have 57 shillings sterling money out of the estate of William Burdett dec'd.

In about 1648, Ennis married Pervis 'Percy' Scott, daughter of Walter Scott and Apphia 'Affrica' (?) in at Northampton Co., VA. The well-documented "Miles Files" at the Eastern Shore Public Library (VA) give proof of the union as "...this marriage is based on the facts that William Ennis, who removed to Somerset Co, MD by 1674, had a wife Percy and named a daughter Percy and a son Samuel. Earlier while in Northampton Co., VA, William Ennis entertained one of Obedience Robins' servants Samuel Scott illegally for the last two years of his servitude. Samuel's sister Percy Scott was a servant with William Burdett during this time and evidently married William Ennis when she became of age." This provides a high level of probability for being correct.

Ennis inventoried an estate and submitted on Aug 28 1650 in Northampton Co.: "We Wm. Johnson & Wm. Ennis do affirm this a true list of Tho: Burdittes cattle to the very best of our knowledge with the orphan's own mark, in his father's life time. Five years later, on Dec 12 1655, Ennis witnessed the will of Francis Stockley Other witnesses were William Geldinge and John Stockley, also in Northampton Co.

William Ennis (as Innis) was mentioned in John Forsyth's (as Forsith) will on Aug 28 1665 in Northampton Co. Forsith's will stated that if his wife and child should die, then his land to go to George Willis if he pays 500 lbs tobacco and the remainder of his estate to "my friends and countrymen" William Innis, George Frizell and Thomas Scott. About eight months later, Ennis witnessed Immanuel Halle's will on Apr 3 1666 in Northampton Co, VA. Other witnesses were Edward Innis and George Lillie. The next time Ennis shows in the records is on Oct 28 1668 when he was named as an appraiser of the estate of John Jewett along with John Allen, Stephen Costene and Edward Ennis. William was again a wtiness on May 25 1670 in Northampton Co. when he, Steven Costin, Thomas Betts and Daniel Neech witnessed the will of John Allen, wife Margaret.

By c1674, William Ennis moved to Somerset Co., MD in the area that would become Worcester Co. in 1742. He served has a Justice of the Peace in 1676 at Somerset Co, MD.

William Ennis wrote his will on Jul 7 1681 and it was proven in Somerset Co., MD on Oct 28 1684:
- To son William. To 3 sons and 2 daughters: Nathaniel, Cornelius, Samuel, Percis and Parthenia Smock. To sons Nathaniel and Cornelisu plantation. To daughter Frances Poynter. Mentions son-in-law Thomas Poynter Extr and Samuel Hopkins Extr. Witt: John Osborne, Matthew Scarborough and Edward Smith.

From "Feminine Power and Widowhood - Case Study of Parthenia Ennis Smock Read Morris - Colonial Women" by Katie Ross at the Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD: "William Ennis, Sr.'s will follows the pattern of most fathers' wills. Dying around November of 1684, Ennis was a very prosperous man. His inventory cited his worth at one-hundred twenty-five pounds, twenty-six shillings and six pence, quite a substantial amount for the times. His goods included leather chairs, pewter, feather beds, a looking glass, and various amounts of livestock. Judging from the items in the inventory, it would seem that his house had more than one room, possibly a kitchen and a bedroom in addition to rooms of more general use. Yet Ennis' most valuable property was his land and livestock which he bequeathed to his sons. Nathaniel and Cornelius received the six-hundred acres of land on which Ennis lived including use of the lumber and orchards found thereon. Furthermore, the brothers received some furniture and kitchen items such as pots, chests, and Russian leather chairs. Moreover, William Ennis, Sr. willed that his stock of horses, swine, and sheep be divided among his four sons. Obviously several clauses of the will were dedicated to the Ennis men. Yet there were only two clauses bequeathing specific items to his daughters, Percy and Parthenia. Both received personalty; Parthenia got a feather bed and Percy received a feather bed, some curtains, a chest, and leather chairs. Although they were entitled to a division of their siblings' shares if one of them died, there is no mention of either female receiving property or land. This was probably because both were already married. This is certainly the case with Parthenia for she is mentioned in the will by her married name of Smock. Thus, by the time of the writing of William Ennis' will, Parthenia was a married woman living in her husband's home."

William married (?) (?) about 1640 in Accomack Co., VA. ((?) (?) died before 1648 in VA.)

William next married Pervis (Percy, Percie) Scott, daughter of Walter Scott and Apphia (?), about 1648 in VA. (Pervis (Percy, Percie) Scott was born about 1624 in Northampton Co., VA and died before 07 Jul 1681 in Somerset Co., MD.)


1 Somerset Co., MD Wills, Hall of Records, Annapolis, MD.

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