ENNIS, BINKLEY, CLINARD DESCENDANTS: This past fall I saw a cute little yard sale sign on the corner of Hwy 431 at Mt. Sharon Road and it drew me down Mt. Sharon Rd. A ways down was another hand drawn sign that pointed down the driveway.
The yard sale was set up on the carport and I immediately spotted an OLD handmade ladderback chair with an old bottom that was probably originally a rocker, but those were gone. So set that aside for $5 – sold!
Next up a box of English dishes with a pretty black floral pattern – mine! Some lovely little country paintings for very little – put in my pile. Then a box of old silver stuff. Loved the Sheffield salt shakers and some neat old pewter and silverplate silverware. Cheap, so into the pile.
In all my Clinard research, Ennis had been one of my stumped branches. My 4th great-grandfather, Joseph Clinard’s daughter, Elizabeth “Betsy” Clinard (born 1830 in Robertson County) had married a Captain John Ennis (Born 1809, died after 1880 based on census).
In the 1880 census, Joseph Clinard was living with his daughter and son-in-law, John, listed as a farmer, Betsy and two sons.
That had always made me think that any family keepsakes such as photos, Bibles, etc. had probably been left with Betsy, his daughter.
Pursuing that information years ago, I started calling the few Ennis families in the Robertson County phone book and happened up Mr. Ennis on Mt. Sharon Rd. We talked for quite a while, and luckily I took lots of notes. Mr. Ennis wasn’t in good health at that time and he told me his wife had done lots of research on his Ennis family, but had passed away. But she had ordered an Ennis family genealogy book and it had arrived and was there somewhere. He didn’t know much about his family history as there had been some kind of family disturbance. His daughter lived close by and took care of him. We rang off and I kept meaning to follow back up with him but never did.
…back to the yard sale…2014
So I turned over a round silver dish and see the name Ennis scratched in it. I looked at the friendly couple holding they yard sale that I had been chatting with as I browsed, and held up the dish. Are you the Ennis family?
“Yes, this was my father’s things and we have been cleaning out the house to get it ready to rent.”
A lightbulb instantly went off in my head – I had found Mr. Ennis that I had talked to so many years ago on the phone, but was saddened that I had never followed up to meet him.
So my next comment was – My Betsy Clinard married Captain John Ennis! Do you know anything about them?
Both of their faces lit up… We do! And we have his PICTURE!!!
Now, any of you that are into genealogy know that the photo is the holy grail, right along with the hand-written family tree going back many generations. Thankfully the yard sale was slow that day, so we got to talking and exchanging information, and the husband and daughter ran to house to find Captain John Ennis. They had moved all the family memorabilia to their house to sort through later but his portrait was large so had stood out.
After a bit they came back with Capt. John Ennis.. and here he is and Betsy and their children too!
I went home and immediately pulled up my information on the Ennis/Clinard line and started digging through my files for my notes from my interview with Mr. Ennis. As with most of us, we don’t really pay attention to those stories our elders are telling us until they are gone, and years later we wonder about their lives. Well, I had asked him a few key questions that cleared up some mysteries for Pam about her family.
Pam came to visit me a while later and brought that Ennis book her mother had ordered, along with a few other photos that were in their family files.
William Brown Ennis (born August 03, 1863) was married to Lucy K. Polk Binkley, daughter of Montgomery Binkley of Pleasant View and Frances Felts. William Brown Ennis died Aug 3, 1940 in Cheatham County at 77.