Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

The Enty Family in the Civil War (Part 1 of 4)

Posted By on February 20, 2013

The earliest member of the Enty family to settle in the area near the Lykens Valley appears to be Tobias Enty, who according to some researchers on Ancestry.com, was born around 1762 in Haiti and emigrated to the United States some time before 1800.  However, no sources have been found that confirm any of this information.

The first located appearance of Tobias Enty in a U.S. census is in 1800 when he was living in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania – a community near Philadelphia.  The 1800 census only required free whites to be grouped by age, and Tobias, and his family members were grouped together as 10 “other free persons.”  Therefore, from the 1800 census, we cannot determine the ages or the gender of those living in the household of which he was the head.


Census of 1800 for Whitemarsh Township. Click on document to enlarge.

By 1810, Tobias Enty and his family moved to Upper Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County.  The family probably followed the Tulpehocken Path to get there, and were part of the pioneer settlers of the area.

The census information (below), shows that there were 7 members in the household with “Tobias Andy” named as the head of the family.  The 1810 census did not ask for the ages and gender of those in other than free white households, and therefore there is no way of knowing from this census the relationships between Tobias, who was named as “Black” and the others.  Tobias was a laborer – and just below entry for Tobias, there was the entry for a William Simmy, also Black, and also a laborer, with a household of 11 persons.


Census of 1810 for Upper Mahanoy Township. Click on document to enlarge.

Without any confirming sources, Ancestry.com users have identified seven individuals who they believe are the children of Tobias Enty.  They are:  Charles Enty (no dates); Samuel Enty (no dates); Joshua Enty Sr. (c. 1775-1842); Abraham Enty (c. 1791-c.1842); Matthew Enty (c. 1793- ?); Peter Enty (c. 1802-1875); Elizabeth Enty (c. 1809-c. 1894); and Edward Enty (c. 1827-?).  Given that the birth years of these children have a span of more than 50 years from c. 1775 to c. 1827, it must be assumed that if these were the children of Tobias Enty, then he fathered the children with at least two different mothers.  Two names appear in the Ancestry.com records as possible mothers of the children:  Annie and Elsa (no maiden names known for either).

Moving ahead into the Civil War military records, eight persons were located with the Enty surname who served in “colored” regiments.  Military records for African American soldiers have been uploaded to Fold3.  A check of those records, showed that for most of those soldiers, the records gave some detailed information which helped connect them to Tobias Enty.  In a few cases, where the Enty men died during the war, a pension application file was available which gave even more detailed information about them.

In summary, it is believed that of the eight identified children of Tobias Enty, three of the sons connect to Civil War soldiers as follows:

Joshua Enty Sr. (c. 1775-1842), who married a member of the Simmy family, had a son and two grandsons who served in the U.S. Colored Troops.  In addition, one of his granddaughters married Benjamin Crabb, whose two brothers, John Peter Crabb and Edward Crabb also served in the military during the Civil War.  The family of Joshua Enty Sr. will be the subject of the blog post tomorrow.

Abraham Enty (c. 1791-c. 1842) had three grandsons who served in the U.S. Colored Troops.  This family will be the subject of the blog post on Friday.

Peter Enty (c. 1802-c.1875) had a son who served in the U.S. Colored Troops.  This family will be the subject of the blog post on Saturday.

In addition, on Saturday, the one Enty who served, but who has not yet been connected to Tobias Enty will be presented, with the known information about him.

This project is still in its initial stages of research, so any information that anyone can supply would be very welcome.  Comments can be added to this post or the information can be sent to the Civil War Research Project in an e-mail.


Some of the information in this post is based on research by Elaine Moran and Steve E. Troutman and reported in There is Something About Rough and Ready, a copy of which is available from Sunbury Press or Steve E. Troutman.



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