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Enns, Gerhard G. (1896–1957) and Agatha Hoeppner Enns (1901–1979)

Proper Title

Gerhard G. Enns and Agatha Hoeppner Enns fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

14 cm of textual materials and 40 photos (approx.)

Biographical Sketch

Gerhard G. Enns (GRANDMA ID: 460911) was born on June 15, 1896, to Gerhard A. Ens and Helena Hiebert Ens in the village of Leonidowka (Ignateyevo) in South Russia. He grew up in the village and married Agatha Hoeppner (born on February 21, 1901, GRANDMA ID: 460912) in 1919.

In 1924, the couple immigrated to Manitoba with their two young sons. After short stays helping on farms in Schanzenfeld and Meadows, they established themselves on a farm at Burwalde near Steinbach. They farmed there for 31 years and raised 13 children, one of whom (Dietrich) died shortly after arriving in Canada.

In 1933, both Gerhard and Agatha were baptized upon confession of faith in Christ and joined the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church.

Gerhard was known as a sincere and kind man, he carried on working the farm, serving his faith community (including the Steinbach Bible School committee), and supporting his family right up to his death in 1957 at 61.

Agatha was known to encourage her family to develop their gifts, and she is remember for her deep convictions, warm love, and appreciation of beauty. She died in 1979 at 78.

Custodial History

The materials in this fonds were donated to CMBS by granddaughter Caroline Enns Bergman Unger (Acc. no.: 2016-06) and grandson Stanley G. Enns (Acc. no.: 2020-01).

Scope and Content

The Gerhard G. Enns and Agatha Hoeppner Enns fonds consists of documents (letters, newspaper articles, obituaries, genealogies, and photos) produced by their offspring, their relatives, and their descendants, specifically Gerhard H. Enns, Abram Enns, Helen Enns Bergman, Frieda Ens Merkel, Caroline Enns Bergman Unger, and others, including a photo journal of a 2015 family reunion in Germany. The fonds documents the assumptions, motivation, vision, experiences, and everyday life of one extended Mennonite family, the Enns-Hoeppner family, spread over several countries, Russia, Canada, and Germany.


  • Title based on contents of fonds.
  • Accession numbers: 2016-06 and 2020-01.
  • Volume No: 1521.
  • Finding aid consists of a description and a file/folder list.
  • See also Hoeppner / Heppner genealogy produced by Pauline Heppner in 1977 located in the large format photo section of CMBS archives (Acc. no.: 2020-01). This is the clan that descends from Jakob Hoeppner of western Poland, who travelled with Johann Bartsch in 1787 to inspect land in south Russia (Ukraine) for a possible Mennonite migration. In 1789, a group of 288 Mennonite families left Prussia and did immigrate, forming the Chortitza Colony on the left bank of the Dnieper River, the first Mennonite settlement in Russia (see The Carillon, 17 August 1977).
  • Description created by Jon Isaak, January 2022.
  • No restrictions to access.
  • Language: English and German.

File List

Volume 1521

  1. Obituary of Gerhard G. Enns (1896–1957), written by his wife, Agatha Hoeppner Enns, annotated with more dates and names by son George H. Enns in 1998. Obituary of Agatha Enns (1901–1979) from MB Herald (31 Aug 1979, p. 30). -- 1957?, 1979, 1998.
  2. Newspaper clipping, "Family Unites" by Ian Froese in The Carillon (Vol 70, No 18), 30 April 2015, page 3A, telling the story of the week-long visit in Germany (April 2015) of two related matriarchs, Helen Enns Bergman (86) from Steinbach and cousin Frieda Ens Merkel (85) now of Wetzler, Germany. Helen's family immigrated from Ukraine to Canada in 1924, while Frieda's family was not able to leave Russia until the 1990s, when they relocated to Germany. -- 2015.
  3. Photo journal of April 2015 trip to Wetzler, Germany, produced by Caroline Enns Bergman Unger, who accompanied her mother, Helen Enns Bergman, to Germany to see cousin Frieda and other relatives. The journal includes several letters (dated 1926, 1937, and 1957), which have been translated into English, and 34 photos mostly from the week-long visit with captions, annotations, and identifications. -- 1926–2015.
  4. Annotated genealogy of Gerhard A. Ens and Helena Hiebert and their descendants prepared by Caroline Enns Bergman Unger. -- 2016.
  5. Photo of Helena Hiebert Ens (1870–1926). -- 1926.
  6. Handwritten letters (in German) from Enns / Hoeppner relatives in Ukraine to family members in Canada. There are about 20 such letters along with photo postcards. -- 1926–1980.
  7. Handwritten letters (in German) from Enns / Hoeppner relatives in Ukraine to family members in Canada. There are about 20 such letters along with some photographs. -- 1945–1980.
  8. Handwritten letters (in German) from Enns / Hoeppner relatives in Ukraine to family members in Canada. There are about 20 such letters. -- 1964–1976.
  9. Funeral notice of Anna Buhr Hoeppner Bergen (1875–1958, GRANDMA ID: 226566) and her obituary from Mennonitische Rundschau, 25 June 1958, p. 9. Anna is the mother of Agatha Hoeppner Enns and grandmother to Stanley G. Enns, the donor (Acc. no.: 2020-01). There is also a photocopy of genealogical material inscribed in her Bible. See item below. -- 1958.
  10. Family Bible belonging to Anna Buhr Hoeppner Bergen donated by Stanley G. Enns (Acc. no.: 2020-01). Note the genealogical material inscribed in the first pages of the Bible, which has been repaired and rebound. -- 1926.
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