The "Widow Ennes," Magdalena Van Etten, of Delaware Township, 1798

The advantages of sketching out the family trees of an 18th century neighborhood in the Minisink, in this case Delaware Township, Pike Co. Pennsylvania, came to the fore last evening when I happened upon the tax record for the Widow Ennes while researching the Custard, Decker and Swartwood families. Records for Magdalena Van Etten after Benjamin Ennes' death are scarce; claims based on speculation or secondary sources from traditional histories with egregious errors abound on the web.  Gathering together what is known and rooting out the rumors in this era of booming genealogy has been fascinating.

A question had come up in discussion with another interested party from the Sandyston Township Historical Society in NJ (the township where Benjamin Ennes was born) who asked if I had found any residency records for Magdalena in my wanderings.  Some months later I am pleased to report the following record on (subscription), Pennsylvania, U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798   

General List of Lands, Lots, Buildings and Wharves, owned, possessed or occupied on the first Day of October 1798, within Delaware Township, Wayne County ... in the State of Pennsylvania ..

One house on one acre is occupied by the Widow Ennes, on property owned by John Van Etten, and who is Magdalena Van Etten Ennes, daughter of Johannes Van Etten and the widow of Benjamin Ennes, killed in the so-called Battle of the Conashaugh in 1780. This establishes a residency in Pennsylvania 18 years after the death of her husband. 

32 years after Lt. Benjamin Ennes' death, on February 3, 1812, the Journal of the 22nd House of Representatives of the Commonwealth reported:  Mr. Dingman [Rep. Daniel W Dingman ] presented the petition of Magdalena Ennes, accompanied with a document, stating that she is the widow of Lieutenant Benjamin Ennes, who was killed during the revolution in the service of his country and praying relief; and said petition and document were read, and referred to the committee on claims.

Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Vol 5, p 334.

 The Act passed in 1812 for the relief of Magdalena Ennes 

The Centinel of Gettysburg, Adams Co PA, Vol VII,  Issue No 48,  on April 22, 1812.

The following Pennsylvania Records of the Auditor General may contain more information:
ENNIS, BENJAMIN (W. MAGDELENA) 1812 , RG002 , P 0013 , V0014
ENNIS, MAGDALENA 1813 , RG002 , P 0132 , V0006
ENNIS, MAGDALENA 1816-1819 , RG002 , P 0080 , V0007

In 1796, Alexander Ennes, son of Benjamin & Magdalena, was a resident of Delaware Township, PA, his marriage to Jane DeWit [Dewitt], daughter of Cornelius, would take place in Sussex Co NJ.

Sussex County NJ Marriages, Vol. A, p.7.

By the 1800 federal census Alexander (variant Annis), along with the families of his brothers John (Johannis), Emanuel and his brother- in-law Abraham Decker, had moved to Tioga Co NY.  By at least 1819 Magdalena had followed their children and in February of that year, as a resident of Spencer, Tioga County NY, she dictated her Last Will and Testament specially charging her Executor, eldest son Alexander, to collect all monies due from the State of Pennsylvania.  In November of that year her Will was probated.  A number of the children of  Magdalena and Benjamin Ennes (variant Ennis) settlers would be buried in the so called Ennis burying ground.    


Variants of the surname Ennes in various records include  Ennes, Ennis, Ennist, Annis, Annist .  Benjamin's father William, Town Clark(sic) of Minisink would sign his name Ennes in the 18th century. 
Town Clark} William Ennes.

The Van Ettens of Pike County

The Daniel Ennis Van Etten Farm in Pike Co PA, presently known as the Maria Zimmermann Farm, in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is located on Dry Brook.  Drag down  on the map to see the former location of the Johannes Van Etten Farm/Fort on the Conashaugh Creek. Johannes and 2nd wife Rachel Williams Van Etten were buried on the family farm, then re-interred to the Van Etten plot at Milford Cemetery.

View Minisink Valley Genealogy in a larger map

Additional details on the death of Benjamin Ennes:  The 1780 Account of the Battle of Conashaugh and The Battle of Conashaugh Affidavits.  

Additional names listed on the tax record include:  Andrew Dingman, Elias Decker, Thomas Decker, Hendricus Decker, Daniel Dingman, Isaac Dunn, Isaac Decker, Samuel Danforth, Benjamin Emson, John Frazer, Jeremiah Fleming, John Emmins, Jeremiah Witzell, John Fritz, John Graham, John Craig, Elisabeth Green, John Henry, Lodowick Hoover, John Hoover, John Decker.