There are stories that declare that the ENYART family was related to or descended from the Black Prince of England or the Black Prince of Holland, but to date no proof has been forthcoming.
It was fabricated information that the ENYART family was related to the Black Prince. Gustov Anjou fabricated about 200 false genealogies & estate frauds.
While in search of their ENYART/ENYEART and variants roots many novice & seasoned researchers discover or unearth the story that they are descended from royalty. At this time in January of 2000 there has been no proof found by dedicated and scholastic researchers to verify this information when tracing the ENYART, etc. lineage. Others believe there may be a "seed of truth" in the story or possibly that there may be a connection through a maternal line. In tracing our roots back to those early times it becomes increasingly difficult just to trace the male lines, and to find connections to the female line is almost impossible unless one was connected to royalty or a famed or infamous person.
At an early time in my research this information came my way, and it appears that others also have this similar information within their reach. I present this in an effort to gather together what we know has surfaced, and welcome all additional information that may help in clarifying where or when the royalty story possibly surfaced. I will also present the article that appeared in the "ENYART FAMILY NEWSLETTER" by James Raywalt.
It is said that at one time there was a $1 to $2 million dollar settlement being made over land the original ENYARTs owned on Staten Island. An official corporation, Wm. Enyeart Heirs' Company of Huntingdon Co., PA, with H. HEIFNER as president, was formed to which approximately 400 ENYARTs/ENYEARTs/etc. belonged with a lot of bickering between the members resulting in the whole issue dying due to many years of fighting. One, Ruth (ENYEART) CLARK, stated that there was no estate to fight over based upon her research.
According to letters, HEIFNER made a final plea for $3,000 from the 900 or so heirs that he needed for final disposition of the case. He also stated that Dormant Fund of $20,000,000 lay in Washington, D.C. for Wm. ENYEART. He further stated that this was the last plea for funds and if the heirs did not respond quickly, the "limitation" will cut them out and that the matter should try to be settled by 30 Dec 1917.
Did the story of the royalty connection commence with the above mentioned suit in an effort to legitimize what was taking place and to get others to believe in the process, or did it have its beginnings elsewhere? It appears in those days (ca 1900) when many county histories with personal biographies were being written, many wanted to show a connection to a famous person, royalty, or one who had served his country, and thus the biographies would contain mention of such a connection. This is also the period in time that many false genealogies and scams also surfaced. In some cases, the connection was correctly stated, while in other cases the information was incorrect. So, we do need to take caution as we research. To completely eliminate the possibility of a royalty connection would be wrong, because of other unknown lines, but we do need to proceed with caution.
James Raywalt states below that there is no documented proof to such a connection for Carel ENYART/etc., while others believe the connection or answer may lie in the maternal line.
I have as my source Andrea YEAR. I don't know how I came about it, as I started this many years ago when I didn't realize that I needed to keep more details. I don't known who Andrea YEAR is or how she is connected to the ENYART family. Can anyone identify the lineage of Andrea? ASH
Cecy RICE indicates in a note to the ENYART Discussion List, Jan 2000, the following, "In the library of the St. Louis Genealogical Society (St. Louis, MO) there is lots of Enyart (etc.) information on microfilm. I believe some of it is related to the legal battle for Enyart (etc.) funds available to heirs. ... Maybe someone with access to the St. Louis Genealogical Society library could check it. I think the research for heirs was still going on in the 1940s, but I may not remember correctly."
Even the field of genealogy is unsafe from gimmicks and fraudulent practices, and the unsuspecting family historian can be easily taken in by such designs if he or she does not do the homework necessary to determine the facts. In the earliest decades of the 20th Century, there were hundreds of falsified genealogies in circulation, many of which were contrived by the notorious New York genealogist, Gustav Anjou, who also concocted parts of his own pedigree.
Unfortunately, the damage done by Anjou continues to rear its ugly head in the form of citations to his works in contemporary writings. That's not to say, of course, that all of what Anjou constructed was unsupported by factual documentation. Still, absent the opportunity to view the actual record citations in his and other nefarious works, the genealogist should tread carefully.
Regrettably, it seems the Enyart family was not immune to this calamity. In 1911 Mr. H.S. Enyart of New York City, purportedly a member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, was assisting in the completion of a genealogical work (of sorts) on the Enyart family. He and a band of other individuals represented in written communications that they had applied for a $70,000 charter, establishing what would be known as the Empire Research Association. Their objective, from all accounts, appears to have been to locate as many Enyart descendants as possible in an effort to bring a class claim in the matter of an Enyart estate not previously resolved in the state of New York.
The few letters that have come to the attention of the Editor are confusing, and without benefit of both sides of the correspondence, it is difficult to understand what connections were ultimately made and thus separate fact from fiction. However, a number of assertions were made by Mr. Enyart, including lineal connections to five signers of the Declaration of Independence and numerous Presidents of the United States. While it is possible that many Enyarts may find relationships in the Enyart line to some of these men, such direct lineal connections must be made through families who intermarried with the Enyarts. Today there exists a plethora of scholarly writings concerning the ancestries of the U.S. Presidents and many of the signers of the Declaration, none of which appears to include direct Enyart ancestry.
Among the papers sent to the Editor by Roberta Pierson (an Enyart family researcher) is a report of the address of one Mr. Bunnell of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, on May 29, 1912. The report rambles considerably, and offers very little concrete evidence that any properties in question legally belonged to the Enyart family by the time of his writing. Rather, the document in question appears on its face to be typical of the money-making scams that plagued genealogists and family historians in the early decades of this century.
One method typically used in scams concerning most families was the placement of advertisements in personal or legal columns of many newspapers seeking the "missing" heirs in a given family. Letters would be written by one or more alleged family historians in an effort to generate interest in bringing action in a class case. As word filtered through the extended family, one or more associations, incorporated under the laws of various states, would be formed, usually requiring the payment of membership dues coupled with a periodic levy on the membership for legal fees and disbursements incurred in connection with the family's estate claim. This method is similar to that specifically found in the Enyart scam.
The Enyart family was subjected to another commonly found scam as well: the assertion, unfortunately found in many writings, that our probable ancestor was descended of royalty. As stated in Vol. 1, No. 1 of this Newsletter (p. 6), it has been asserted that Carel1 Injard was allegedly of noble birth, being a grandson or great-grandson of William the Silent of Orange, the noble Staatholder (Governor) of Holland, and, as a consequence of that connection, finds lineal descent from King Louis XIV of France. This assertion also holds that Carel was shunned by family members when he married a "commoner."
However, as the Newsletter article states, if this theory were based in fact, Carel's ancestor (grandfather or great-grandfather) almost certainly would have been an illegitimate child of William of Orange, for all of his legitimate children appear to have been identified. Furthermore, the assertion that Carel was shunned for marrying a "commoner" is absurd, for Carel himself would have been considered none other than a commoner. Were he shunned by family members, the reason almost certainly would have been due to some other factor.
With these two very important considerations in mind, and absent any sound documentary evidence to support this claim, the theory of Carel's royal descent is almost certainly erroneous. Present Enyart family historians, therefore, hopefully will abandon this assertion, and avoid proliferating it further. Likewise, it is important that we realize that family historians who accept undocumented information as being factual, contribute unnecessary confusion to the legitimate science of genealogical research. It is the Editor's hope that this brief article, coupled with that found in the first issue of the Newsletter, will serve to put to rest the declarations made previously so that we may focus our efforts on the provable facts. That having been said, however, the Editor will endeavor to bear in mind the possibility that such a connection could exist, and in the event substantial proof comes to light, report any findings in this Newsletter.
The Editor has often provided the following thought for consideration when speaking to his students of genealogy: We are the trustees of our past. In our quest for information, we should endeavor to be as accurate as humanly possible, lest we otherwise find ourselves writers of fiction. Without question, we will learn that not all men and women did great and wondrous things. When we discover an illustrious ancestry, it is easy to understand why we then become excited about our heritage; but should we feel any less prideful about our descent from common men and women as well? We delight in the accomplishments of some ancestors; but is it not just as important to become humbled by the foibles of another? Perhaps the most important gift we can give to our descendants is the knowledge that we gain of our ancestors -- accomplishments, as well as shortcomings. By passing on that knowledge -- accomplishment and shortcoming alike -- we accord our forebears a degree of respect, while also demonstrating an element of human sympathy and understanding. We add to the value of their existence, now diminished by time's passage, a tone of color, a hint of humor, and a whisper of immortality. They are our heritage, our foundation; and we may always be prideful in our knowledge of them. Hopefully, in our collective quest for knowledge of our Enyart forebears, we will succeed in conferring upon them these very things. If we do, surely we will have accomplished our objectives.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids