A collection of papers and documents gathered by members of the William Enyeart Heirs Company has been shared by an anonymous contributor. They are presented here for your perusal and study. We are grateful that the contributor is sharing this collection with us via Linda Thompson. His/her time and trouble is greatly appreciated by those of us who are interested in the history of the ENJART/ENYARD/ENYART/ENYEART/INYARD/INYART/etc. and ENGARD/ENGART lines.
The genealogy, descendancy, and conclusions resulting from these papers and documents is NOT necessarily assumed to be correct. Assumptions may have been made based upon the research done at that time period. One should be cautious as these are not intended to be conclusive evidence as to correct lineage. More research needs to be done in order to distinguish the lines of Carel Enjard/Enjardt/Enyart/Enyeart and the Philip Engard presented in this collection. Different researchers indicate that Carel is William Enyeart's ancestor and this collection deems Philip to be William Enyeart's ancestor.
William Enyeart was said to have owned land in New York City that he had leased to the city for 100 years. When the lease time was about to expire, someone decided that the heirs had never been reimbursed for the land in all those years. The Enyeart Heirs Company was commenced to gather information and to attempt to identify the heirs, as this was supposed to involve a great deal of money, and to further any suits that might be initiated as a result of the findings. By the time the lawyers finished, there was no money left for any of the heirs. Thus the whole idea of a suit or challenge was discontinued. (LT)
So, as time passed the next generations heard the stories as stories go from one generation to the next. The main story that seems to be prominent among the different branches is that the family was trying to prove that a significant amount of Manhattan belonged to them, and in some way the ASTOR family was involved. (ASH)
As we reflect upon past history, Native Americans were the earliest inhabitants of Manhattan Island. In fact, the name Mahattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon). (Source: Full Text of Robert Juet's Journal, From the collections of the New York Historical Society, Second Series, 1841) The word "Manhattan" has been translated as "island of many hills" from the language of the Lenape, the Native American tribe which inhabited the island. (ASH)
We must recall that most of the early immigrant inhabitants of Manhattan were Dutch and many were fur traders, tradesmen, and artisans of the day. Manhattan began to be settled in 1624-1625 with the establishment of a settlement in what became known as New Netherland by the Dutch Fur Trading Co. They traded with the Native Americans, and eventually bought land from them in the currency of the day. Peter Minuit is credited with acquiring Manhattan in 1626. According to traditional thought the natives were said to have exchanged Manhattan for a mere $24 in trade goods. (ASH)
According to early records we know that CHARLES ENSARDT (aka Enjoert/Enyeart/Enyard) was in New Amsterdam as early as 1655. His son, Yellis/Giles INYART (aka Enyart/Enyard/Inyard, etc.), married Elsje (Alice) VanWOGGELUM, whose parents appear to have been in New Netherland before 1655. The VanWOGGELUMs were known to be Dutch fur traders and their work took them into the wiles of the wilderness and in contact with the Native Americans with whom they traded. Manhattan passed from Native American hands somehow via treaty or trading into the hands of Dutch settlers. However, when the English took possession of New Amsterdam (which became New York) from the Dutch in 1664, much was left to the British discretion and their control. (ASH)
How Manhattan was said to be owned by or passed to the ENYART/ENYEART, etc. family is unknown, as many early families lived in the area and bought and traded land, how did just one family feel that most of Manhattan was theirs. Just what evidence was presented to the HEIRS to conclude that their ancestors were once owners and unjustly deprived of their ownership without compensation is unknown. Just what persuasive individual(s) convinced them to want to seek to reclaim their right as HEIRS is unknown. (ASH)
William Enyeart wasn't born until 1748 in Middlesex County, New Jersey, about 100 years after the settlement of New Amsterdam in the area known as New Netherland. His father, David Enyart/Enyeart (1728-1815), is said to have also been born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, so we'd have to go back to William's grandfather, John Enyard/Enyart (1685-1763), s/o Yellis/Giles INYART/ENYART, etc., who is said to have been born on Staten Island, but upon marriage resided in Woodbridge County, New Jersey, where he died. Yellis/Giles INYART/ENYART, etc., s/o Carel/Charles ENSARDT/ENYART/ENYEART, etc., was born in 1651-1652 Holland; died 1707/1708 Staten Island. (Lineage information from Linda Thompson) It would have been Carel/Charles ENSARDT/ENYART/ENYEART, etc., who would have been the elder in the area of Manhattan at the time of the surrender of Dutch control to the British. (ASH)
In a proof copy of the book Charles McIntire of Colonial Viriginia by June McEntire Taylor and Lois M McEntire Salisbury, they have the following footnote:
41. Records of William Enyeart and His Children sent these compilers by William H. Carter, of Midland, Texas, Custodian of the records of the William Enyeart Heirs Company. This company was formed at the time the Enyart family was learning its ancestry to gain an inheritance of $100,000 believed to be possibly awaiting them from an estate of real estate of Staten Island.
Author: Taylor, June R. McIntire. Title: Charles McIntire of colonial Virginia : with related Bailey, Collyer, Dick, Dow, Enyart, Evans, Hite, Line, Mounts, Pfeiffer, Salisbury, Sheldon, Stewart, Turner, Wilson / compiled by June R. McIntire Taylor and Lois M. McIntire Salisbury.
Areas in RED signify the land patents of William Wilson, husband of Jane Enyeart in 1838 and 1848. Areas in GREEN indicate land patents or ownership of other family members.