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Genealogy - ENEFER

  This is an abridged version of an email received earlier last month (July 2001) from Jerry Vernon, who now lives in Canada

 I hadn't been aware of the Hockwold-cum-Wilton web site until advised of it a couple of days ago by fellow Enefer family researcher Dale Halliday, of Toronto.  I spent much of last evening wading through the site, and still have to work on the most interesting part...the History pages.  I had a quick look, and found the maps of great interest.

My late grandfather, Jesse Enefer, came out to Canada and the U. S. in 1907, but returned to Norfolk in about 1909/10 to farm and marry.  His brother Sidney remained in Vancouver, and a brother, sister, and cousin came out to Vancouver via the SS Megantic (had booked on the SS Titantic, but couldn't tolerate a delay in sailing) in Mar/Apr 1912.  My grandfather returned to Vancouver in October 1912(SS Empress of Ireland), along with his father Luke, his stepmother and her sister, most of his brothers and sisters, their wives, plus several Enefer and Flack cousins, and all six members of the Mayes family (who had operated the Ferryboat Inn on the river South of the village).  This party consisted 33 in all, including my mother's infant brother, who either died en-route across Canada or almost immediately after their arrival here.  The only survivor, unless some of the Mayes girls are still alive, is my Aunt Mary Ann King (age 95). 

My grandfather never did go back to England again, although several of his brothers and cousins went overseas in the First World War.  I have visited Hockwold-cum-Wilton four times now (1979, 1987, 1990 and 1998), and had hoped to go again this Spring.  Maybe next year!!  When I am in the village, I stay with cousin Rosina Plumpton (nee Enefer), and do a lot of running around to cemeterys, County Record Offices, the church records at Little Downham (birthplace of great-grandmother Mary Ann Harrison), as well as obligitory visits to the museums at Duxford and Old Warden, and the Mildenhall Air Show. 

The Enefer family is a complicated one, and the confusion didn't stop when they came to Canada.  My stepfather, Alan Flack, was the son of Beattie Flack (nee Beatrice Maude Enefer), daughter of Jesse Enefer the elder, aunt to the current Hockwold Enefers, and a publican hersel (The Anchor), so my half-sister has 3 out of 4 grandparents who were Enefers (Jesse Enefer, Beatrice Maude Enefer and Enefer Frederick Flack)!! 

Although I haven't examined the entire site yet, I have a couple of items to suggest (if not already on site) that I'm sure you could borrow from Rosina Plumpton (15 Kemps Lane, 01842-828326) and put on line.  Rosina has two 5 x 7 prints of photos that I got from the son of the late Joseph Lawrence Enefer ("Little Joe") who was well-known in the village from his many trips back home in connection with soccer.  One is a very nice "antique" shot of the New Inn, which was operated by my grandfather's uncle and namesake, Jesse Enefer, and the other is of the Mayes family standing in front of the Ferry Boat Inn.  I would say that these photos date from the early 1900's, and the Ferry Boat Inn photo must have been taken very close to the time they left Norfolk (Oct 12), judging from the ages of the 5 daughters.  Rosina and I visited the old Ferry Boat Inn on my last visit.  It is now a farmhouse, set back from the river bank (unlike in the photo, when the river was higher and wider, but the wrought iron hanger for the inn sign is still on the corner of the farmhouse!!! 

These two photos had a nice antique sepia colour to them, and I copied them onto 35 mm slides, so the sepia colour comes through when prints are made.  I also copied a large collection of vintage photos and postcards from Joe Enefer's son, and was able, in almost all cases, to stand in the same spot and take a modern photo of the same house or building on one of my visits...the churches, pubs, village green, Main St. views, general store, etc.  The main difference is the sidewalks and TV aerials now!!

I will be visiting my U. S. cousins, the Lovgreens, this coming Saturday, so I am anxious to examine the rest of the History pages later today, so I can fill them in. 

I did notice there is an Enefer family tree page.  Although I am not familiar with this gentleman, I see that he credits cousin Rosina as a contributor.  It appears that Rosina has shared with him my research sheets and charts, which is a welcome thing she has done.  I must contact him soon, as I see I have more information to fill in, that I haven't transmitted over to Rosina by way of updated charts.

  I have been very involved since the late 1970's with both the Enefer family tree and history and with aviation history...Canadian military and civil aviation, World War Two, warbirds and detailed research into certain individual aircraft types, particularly some of those that I worked on the RCAF(Auxiliary) in the 1950s and 1960s.  For many years now, I have been the President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.

Over the past few years, thanks to the Internet, I have had contact with a number of other researchers working on the Enefers and related families, in the UK, Canada and the U. S.  Two of the UK researchers are John Esgate (Eastgate, Estgate, Esgate, etc.) and John Pendall (another family that married in and out of the Enefers).  When I was over in the UK three years ago, Rosina and I went over to church at Little Downham, and met Ethel Taylor of the Waddelow Family Society (Waddelows married Harrisons, Harrisons married Enefers).  I also met with a Harrison family researcher up in Edinburgh, who I had exchanged e-mails with. 

A couple of years ago, John Esgate e-mailed me a copy of a 3-part article by Bruce Morrell Pointon, titled "Old Norfolk - Tough Times: Life in Norfolk England in the 18th and 19th Centuries".  I think it originally came from ROOTSWEB.  I sent John a lot of supporting comments relating to this article, as recalled from things my grandfather told me about his life in Hockwold in the late 1800s and early on the fens.  I'd be glad to dig that out from the archives and forward it to you, Bill Gates et al willing!!

There has been a real mystery going on for several years, since we discovered Enefer families in Brandon, and that Joseph Inifer/Enefer was born there too, as well as two Brandon born Inifer/Enipher/Enefer women of the same age bracket who married Hockwold men (not included in the chart on the of those things I'll have to pass on to him).  The mystery is that Brandon was (is???) in Norfolk for census purposes, but in Suffolk County for other purposes, including church records, etc.  I will therefore have to go to Bury again to see what there is on the early Brandon Enefers.  I also worked out on the large scale Ordnance Survey map that a defined area of farms on the Suffolk side, South and West of Brandon and North of RAF Lakenheath, had the same treatment.  The fellows I was working with at the time couldn't come up with an explanation...perhaps I will rework that item into a Question to post on the website.   Somebody must have the answer!!

Did you know there were about 40 different variations of the spelling of the name "ENEFER", not included the possibly related Welsh or Cornish "Jenifer", "Jennifer", "Gwenever", " Guinevere", etc.  I have often wondered if the pauper family "Heifer", in some of the early Hockwold church records, is also a mis-spelling??

On my 1990 visit, I hit it lucky, and was in the village for Sally Enefer's wedding, where I was able to meet more of the Enefer and Harrison kin.  That time, I had taken the Rhine River cruise, and found it was very handy to fly into Norwich from Amsterdam and back out the same way, including a couple of days at the old Norwich Records Office.  On the last trip, I stayed with cousin Malcolm Cole-Wilkin, near Aylsham, while hitting the new Records Office.

Enough, enough...I want to look at some more of the website!!

Jerry Vernon


  Last Update: Friday 4 October, 2019 20:11
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