Updated: Feb 4, 2019
My Ensign family was of Saxon origin and first appeared in England in Chilham, near the cathedral town of Canterbury, England, where there was an Ensign manor. The family arms were formerly placed in the church of Chilham. The name appears as far back as 1563 in the counties of Essex, Norfolk and Kent, says Stiles' 'History of Ancient Windsor'." [*A]
Chilham is described as a typical little English village, perched on a hill about six miles from Canterbury. It featured a fine old castle, a Gothic style church, and a cluster of cottages. The castle gates open directly on the square and at left is the church yard. [*B]
Today we can view this scene on Google Maps, one of my favorite genealogy tools. Here you are at the castle gate. Drag around the scene to look at the village square. (Alternate link)
Virtual castle tours are presently not available, however, this aerial view shows the magnificence of the grand structure. (Alternate link). The castle is presently occupied as the home of the Wheeler family. Tours are available. Visit chilham-castle.co.uk for more information.
[*A] Commemorative biographical record of Hartford County, Connecticut:containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, and of many of the early settled families, Part 2 - (Read)
[*B] Record of the descendants of James Ensign and his wife Sarah Elson, 1634-1939, by Nelson, Martha Eunice Ensign, 1888- (Read)