Piecing the puzzle: further examination of the Enloes family

img_5517After proving (with primary sources) the correct parents for the immigrants Hendrick and Peter Enloes, it was time to  investigate who they were and from where they came.

Very few people with the surname Enloos (and variations) can be found in the Amsterdam Stadsarchief and I felt certain that these folks were family members.

A sister, Geertruijd, was determined by her 1667 marriage record.[1] An older bride at age 44, her parents were noted as being already deceased. However, Willem Enloos’ second wife, Ijtje Sijmens stood in as sponsor, a role always filled by family. Geertruijd married Samuel Vercolje and I suspect there to be a stronger connection between the Enloos and Vercolje families than just their marriage alone. Her place of origin was noted as being Mulm, an old Dutch spelling of the German city Mülheim, which neighbors Duisburg.

Pieter, Jan and Willem were all silversmiths. Their father was a goldsmith. Back in their time those were guild professions that were closed to outsiders.  Meaning, it was kept in the family for generations and it’s very likely that their wives were daughters of goldsmiths/silversmiths.

In order for Antonij Enloos to be part of the goldsmith guild in Amsterdam, he had to become a Poorter – that is, he had to pay for his citizenship rights to live inside the gates of the city.

I found record of Antonij Enloos’ purchase of poorterschap and his taking oath in Amsterdam in 1643.[2] This helped establish when the family arrived.

Antonij’s place of origin was listed as Felbat on the poorterschaap record. It is most likely a old spelling/Dutch variation of the German city Velbert, which is also only a few kilometers away from Duisburg. 

This settled the Duisburg question. It was now apparent that the Enloos family originated in the Ruhr valley of northwestern Germany (now part of Nordrhein-Westfalen).

Piecing together the puzzle

A fellow Enloes researcher, Karen Abel, contacted me this summer after finding my WikiTree profiles for Hendrick Enloos (Enloes). She was pleased to see my research relied on Dutch sources.

We discussed how next to proceed. I had exhausted the Amsterdam archive records (or so I thought). Looking into Duisburg church records was the logical step, one I had longed to take but, in recent years, had no opportunity to do so.

As a LDS Family History Center volunteer, Karen generously offered to pick up the mantle and order microfilm church records for Duisburg.

Since Jan Enloos was baptized into the Evangelical Lutheran religion as an adult, it was a given that those church records could be excluded. Reformed Lutheran was the more prevalent denomination in the region and in Duisburg those records went back the furthest, covering the years the Enloos children would have been born.

Jan Enloos’s adult baptism weighed heavy on my mind. I was puzzled by why a person who was likely Protestant would have a second baptism.  In my two decades of genealogical research, I’d only ever come across such a thing when a Catholic had converted to a Protestant faith (and vice versa).

Was it a common practice to be baptized a second time if changing from one Protestant faith to another?

Or was it more likely that the Enloos family was Catholic?

It kept nagging at me… particularly when Karen’s search of Duisburg’s Reformed church records yielded not a trace of the Enloos family.

Jan Enloos’ children were baptized in the Evangelical Lutheran church and easily located in the Stadsarchief.  But what of his siblings’ children? There appeared to be no record of them in Amsterdam.

There was a period of 11 years between Pieter Enloos’ marriage and his immigration to Nieuw-Amstel in 1657. Many, if not all, of his children, including Abraham and Anthony, were likely born in this time span. So where were they baptized?

Something inside me felt I needed to hear out other possibilities. I turned to the WikiTree community … and it was suggested that perhaps the family was Anabaptist.

And sure enough, they were.

Anabaptist denominations do not believe in infant baptisms. Members are baptized into the faith as adults. In the case of Jan Enloos, by the time he reached adulthood he had decided to embrace a different religion.  This was not uncommon, particularly during the time period when he converted to Lutheranism.

Doopgezinde

As luck would have it, FamilySearch has Doopgezinde (Mennonite) records covering the years the Enloos family was residing in Amsterdam. Even better, there is an index deep within the scanned images.

I quickly found baptisms for Geertruijd and Pieter Enloos.[3] One of the sponsors for Geertruijd was Mattijs Verkolje – giving more evidence of a multi-generational connection to the Vercolje/Vercogne family.

But the best find was an Attestatie certificate (required when arriving from an outside city/congragation) for Antonij Enloos, dated 28 April 1643.[3]

Doopgezinde (Mennonite) Attestatie voor Anthonij Enloos

Antonij Enloos came to Amsterdam in 1643 from Wesel. [image via FamilySearch.org]

It further confirms the family’s arrival in Amsterdam as having occurred in 1643. It also noted that Antonij Enloos came from Wesel, yet another city in the Ruhr Valley and one with a significant Mennonite population.

I believe that Antonij Enloos was likely a journeyman goldsmith before coming to Amsterdam and perhaps that is why the family was in Velbert, Mülheim, Duisburg and Wesel.  They may have also been fleeing religious persecution.

He and wife, Gritie Livens, were deceased before son, Jan Enloos’ marriage in 1656, but burial records have yet to be found.  This may be because they likely died during one of the “plague years” when the Black Death ravaged the population in Amsterdam during the mid-17th century.

Three of their children Jan, Willem and Geertruijd remained in Amsterdam, but sons Pieter and Hendrick left for the Nieuw-Amstel colony in 1657.

End of the line?

Unfortunately, the trail has again run cold. It turns out that German Mennonites did not keep records in the Enloos’ day.

If silversmith guild records still exist and can be located, they likely could provide a wealth of information.

One interesting record that I am currently pursuing is a nearly indecipherable 1610 marriage record for Cecelia van Endloos and Samuel Vercogne in Amsterdam. Samuel, as it happens, was a silversmith.  And Cecelia was old enough to be Antonij’s sister and was from Essen – a city neighboring Duisburg.

Transcribing the record for potential clues and finding a connection may prove difficult, but I am, once again, determined.


Footnotes

1.”Banns Registers 1565-1811“, jpeg image, Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Online: Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 2008-2016)

2.”Poorters 1531-1652“, jpeg image, Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Online: Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 2008-2016)

3.”Netherlands, Noord-Holland Province, Church Records, 1523-1948, Doopsgezinde, Amsterdam, Lidmaten 1612-1673 Dopen, Trouwen 1625-1670 Index 1622-1668 Lidmaten 1668-1755“, jpeg image, FamilySearch (Online: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2010)

Copyright © 2016 Jana Shea.

Shea, Jana , “Piecing the Puzzle: Further Investigation of the Enloes Family”, [blog post], Axehandles, 16 November 2016,

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