Perhaps you are into genealogy so here is the
whole deal: We did visit England this past summer and saw Wescoe Hill, Otley, and
the four villages of Knapton in England
The following is based on two books. One is
titled “The Knaptons of Wescoe Hill 1638-1962 by Thomas Grady Barnes of
Marion Ohio published in 1962. The other is Old Settlers and Prominent
People of Wisconsin published in 1899 by Huffman and Hyer. With the text
about the Knapton’s written by Isaac Knapton (1A3C5F8)
The Knapton name here in the USA is an unusual
name. There is at least one other knapton family from near London that came
to America about the same time as our ancestors. No connection has been
found with this family that goes back to 1788.
Our branch of the family originated, as early as
is known, at the Village of Knapton, three miles west of York, England, in
the parish of Accomb. Some Gazettier’s place it in the East Riding. In
1865 the population was 98. There are at least two other villages of
Knapton in England, one in the parish of Wintringham, six miles northeast of
New Malton in the East Riding. The other village is located near the sea in
Early entries of the family name appear during
the time of William the Conqueror and are mentioned in the Domesday Books.
The earliest book is dated 1086. Domesday or Doomsday books were a record
of land ownership, state of cultivation, area of cultivation and population
at the time.
Later entries from the records of Book of Wills,
in Chancery Records, Chancery Lane, London, indicate the Yorkshire area as
well as some of the family names.
6 July 1400 Alica, wife of William Knapton of
28 November 1440 Richard Knapton of York
7 March 1447 Cecilia Knapton of York
11 Sept 1504 Richard Knapton of Rufforth York
28 November 1549 William Knapton Vicar of
10 October 1584 Robert Knapton of Rufforth, York
One of the Knaptons migrated to the Wharfedale
area near Otley and in particularly to Wesco Hill, in the parish of Harewood,
where they remained as farmers on the Earl of Harewood estate for a period
of over three hundred years. Although, there are no Knaptons living there
today, the Postmaster remembers the Knapton name there not many years ago.
Wesco Hill is located forty miles west of York,
twelve miles north of Leeds and five miles east of Otley. Near here are the
villages of Huby, Weeton, Harewood and Dunkeswick all places that Knaptons
have lived during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The first entry found to date in this area is
the marriage of John Knapton and Susanna Peele in the parish registry of
Harewood July 20 1636.
The Genealogy begins with (1) William Knapton
born 1638 and his parents could have been the above mentioned John and
Susanna but no records to proof this and many pages are missing. He married
Jane _______in 1658. He married Ann Walker in Nov 1677. He had William,
Richard, Frances, Jean, Richard and two infants and Catherine and Anne by
his second marriage.
The (1A) William his first son was born 1659 at
Wesco Hill and Married Mary Mawson in May 1681. He later married Alice
Athay if Feb 1710. They had Isbel, John, William, Thomas, Isbel, Joshua,
Mary and Samuel by second wife.
(1A3) William Knapton their third son was
baptized in Feb 1693. No records of his marriage or who he married. They
had children Mary William, John and Richard.
(1A3C) John Knapton married Hannah Collet in
Nov. 1750. Their third son was baptized in Jan 1728 as the son of William
Knapton of Wesco Hill near Otley England. He replaced a William Knapton as
the renter at Weeton and Wescoe Hill in 1789. This could have been his
father or brother. They had children Hannah,John, Mary, Sarah, and William.
(1A3C5) William Knapton was born July 1767 at
Huby near Otley. He married Grace Huddleston in Nov 1787. He inherited the
Weso hill farm from his father in 1795.He had children Isaac, Sarah, Hannah,
Elisabeth, Matty, William, Mary, Grace, John, Joshua, Priscilla, and Jane.
(1A3C5F) William Knapton the fifth child of
above was born Dec 1797 He married Jane Carmley in 1821. She was the
youngest daughter of John and Margaret (Joy) Carmley. He emigrated to the
USA in April 1848.Wife and nine children his sons wife and one grandson Two
children had died and one had married and remained in England. They had
children Marry Ann, John, Priscilla, Jane, William, Sarah, Charles Thomas,
Isaac Christopher, Jane, Joshua, Joshua Carmley, Francis. This is the one
buried in Deansville Wisconsin cemetary.
(1A3C5F8) Isaac Christopher Knapton was born
Dec 1828 in England. He emigrated with his father. He married Mary Agnew.
She was the daughter of Robert Agnew who emigrated from the Parish of
Donaghee in Ireland in 1853. They had children Priscilla Ann, Edward
Robert, John Harvey, Edith Perry, and Priscilla Ellen. Burried in Marshall
(1A3C5F8C) John Harvey was born January 1867.
He married Anna Louise Ortman on Sept 7th 1892. He died March 1941.
They had children Ruby Priscilla, Isaac William,
Frank Robert, Nellie Wilhelmina, Mary Alice, Robert Leonard, Dorothy Louise,
Alice Mary, Lenora Emielie, Lillian Helena, Lester William, Altha Joshua,
Alvin Thomas, John Julius, Grace Marie, Gordon Walter, and Edward Ernest
Buried in Marshall Wisconsin cementary
(1A3C5F8C17) Edward Earnest Knapton was born
July 8th 1919. He married June 1 1946 Wilhelmenia Alma Riege. She was my
mother and was always know as Gertrude. She was born Sept 9th 1919. They
had me Edward John Knapton and Isaac Knapton. My dad was killed in a
tractor accident on his fifth wedding anniversary June 1951. My mother then
had another child with my uncle Isaac William though she never remarried.
His name was Dale Robert Knapton.
I Edward Knapton have had only one daughter
Jennifer Ann born Dec 6th 1971. I was born June 28th 1949. I married Carol
Webber on May 30, 1970.
Letter I got
The Jews are the best
genealogists of ancient times. The Bible has extensive record in Genesis 5
and in Luke 3:23-38 and Matthew 1:1-17,
the latter consisting of 42 generations.
The word genealogy is a
Greek word which signifies a
history of descent of a person or family from an
ancestor, in order that family honors and
family property should descend properly.
For the Knaptons
most of the evidence as to who we are has been lost in the mad rush of life.
Only bits and pieces remain to be
found and pieced together to discover who we are and the journey we have
taken. We have
a history but we
have not kept
the record. A few golden nuggets are the best that we can do.
This compilation is the latest and perhaps
one of the most unworthy of all Knapton records. It contains a personal
collection of the past 50 years, most of
which have come in the last 2-4 years. The following comes from Donald
Knapton (of Naples,
NY) from a private printing and
copyrighted by Thomas Grady Barnes of Marion, Ohio entitled THE KNAPTONS OF
Wescoe Hill 1638 -1962-‑
“Early entries of this
family name appear during the time of William the Conqueror and is mentioned
in D Doomesday books. The
earliest-book is dated 1086. Doomesdaybooks…were a record of land
ownership, state of
cultivation, area of cultivation and
population at that time.
“Later entries from the records of BOOKS OF
WILLS, in Cancery Records, Chancery Lane, London, indicate the York-shire
area as well as some of the family names:
(the above 2 paragraphs copied without
There are 12 generations developed from
William Knapton and the family of York. My studies have found Knaptons from
Norwich, London and Bridgewater/Sussex as well as the York area. My line
personally is from the lattc r, but most families in this report are from
the York area.
The earliest record in
America comes from Jane Knapton of Virginia in 1632. Many of the New England
families seem to come in the middle
1800’s or later. One lady from Virginia of this date omits the
`K’ from the name.
This collection of data is the result
of a curiosity developed over some 60 years and just in recent times
reaching out to the Central and Eastern sections of the USA. I am certain
that there are others who have been collecting information much longer, and
probably are largely unknown to each other.
You will note that there are six
separate lines in this assembly two of which are about to come together.
Some of you can greatly assist in all of this coming together.
MY GOAL WOULD BE
TO HAVE ONE PERSON (family) SERVE AS THEIR LINE `CAPTAIN’,
who would personally pursue your line
and act as a `collector of data’ to which others could send their
Material. The present 6 lines are a bit more than Mary
and I are able to handle.
New ways of
discovering information (such as the internet) give promise toexpanding the
picture which one day will be brought together. Some work is now underway
in Utah, Wisconsin, California and Texas (and probably several other
places.) Canada is reported to have at least 70 families. Other Nations
(esp.) Australia report numbers of Knaptons. WHO WILL WRITE FOR US THE
WORLD BOOK KNAPTONS??. a major enrichment to all of our
Let me extend to
so many of you significant THANKS for contributions of the data enclosed.
Until we get a team leader for each line please feel free to mail any and
all your material to us. In some cases we have not been able to include the
present children’s generation; send all of this along, too.
June 25, 2000
Roger W. and Mary Knapton
Street Norwich, NY 13815
Letter I got.
Once upon a time… (told as a true story..)
The Knapton Name
My calling and
ministry has been as a Southern Baptist preacher for
55 years. My vision
of a lost world and its need of Jesus Christ has taken me to mission trips
around the world, including several to England since 19724T.
It was at Beauchamp
Baptist Church in south-central England that I was leading; a two-week rally
(early ,1980’s) when, upon arrival, I received a phone call (from the
advertising, no doubt) that I was not quite pepared for. “This is Admiral
Knapton, recently retired from the British Navy speaking.”
And for the next few minutes we
exchanged words of
introduction about ourselves.
Almost immediately he asked if I knew of the origin of the `Knapton’ name (
a thought that
had never occurred to me.) “Well” he contined with a voice of confidence
probably typical of hi rank, –it is an early English–word
identifying a special group of
who helped lay
foundations to buildings in England hundreds of years ago. These skilled
hard-working people in stone had developed into `knappers’ ie.. chiselers of
flint stone. Most of this stone was found on the tops of hills which were
known as ‘knaps’ or hill-tops.
It was their task to
special beds of rock and gather around it to develop their products. A
primary market was military, producing arrow heads and other equipment for
combat in English wars. (Probably spears, swords, etc.) These highly-skilled
products were the pride and success of early England in the defense of their
The name was the result of certain obvious skills of these people who
gathered on hill-tops
(knaps) to ply their trade and were known as `knappers’. (Since the English
have trouble pronouncing their `k’s) and as their communities gathered
around their places of business in England called `towns’ (We have located 3
such communities on modern English maps) Knapp-towns became a people of `knappers’
living on knolls and producers of special products.
(Special note: The
Admiral went ‘on to say that tho people who work with raw wool were also
called `knappers’ in England, that this trade (according to him)
did not produce the name of
they may have
borrowed. We know that England had many sheep and wollen products, and that
many early-arriving Knaptons in New England were skilled and
the textile mills.)
(Special note # 2) We know of some `Naptons’
in Virginia and Missouri who
were early (1600-) arrivers in
America. We located a town in Missouri
by the name of “Napton”
founded by a local citizen by the name of Judge Napton and talked by phone to one of
their people. They referred to
several `Napton’s in Virginia as part of the legal profession.
PS: The British
Admiral Knapton may still be living in England. I do not remember his name.
contacts when I lived in Kansas at that time. This may be the truth/
Rewritten from notes and memory in 2003
Roger W. Knapton
e-mail received Jan 22, 2008
I am Joann Knapton Johnson (my email address is
from Columbia, Tennessee; I was searching the internet for any Knapton in
Marshall, Wisconsin. The reason that an article has
been written on our great Grandparents that were from Marshall, Wisconsin.
When I opened up the web site, your site is the one that appeared I hope
you don’t mind me
emailing you; we don’t know anything about the Knapton side of our family.
We knew Granddaddy had a brother in Arkansas and a brother in Nashville,
our father died about 41 years ago and one sister that did some research
died in 1974. When I read the genealogy on the Knapton, I don’t know if
there any kin or not, I
know when I was a child a William Knapton and his wife, would come
Wisconsin on their way to Florida and stopped at our house the did this
for several years, but I never
knew why they did not come by anymore, they were an older couple, maybe to
old to travel or death. I was reading your web site and that you are a
Christian, well I am
too; my second son in a youth minister at Highland Park Baptist Church in
Columbia. I was looking at all the flowers, I am sorry I can’t make
flowers grow; my Mom could
almost make a dead flower come back to life, but not me. Joann Knapton
Johnson, Columbia, Tennessee
January 20, 1908
HUSBAND FOLLOWS WIFE TO THE GRAVE, SPRING HILL, TENNESSEE
January 16 – Mr. Thomas Knapton and wife followed each other even to the
end. At their home about three miles east of Spring Hill on Sunday at
11:25 a.m., Mrs. Jane
Knapton passed away first and was closely followed by her husband, who
died yesterday evening at 6:20 o’clock. Both were buried at the Spring
Hill cemetery, an attack of catarrhal bronchitis being the cause of death
of each. Neither was ill more than a very few days. They are survived by
Charles T., Carl W. (my grandfather),
Walter B., Alda, Frank B. and Fred W. Knapton. During their stay of
twenty years in the community they have been found most excellent citizens
and will be greatly missed. Mr. Knapton was born in Yorkshire, England on
March 6, 1835 and Mrs. Knapton was born in Pennsylvania on March 13, 1838.
Their home before moving to this section was Marshall, Wis.
Carl W. Knapton – Grandfather
William Henry Knapton – Daddy (1919 – 1967) — two children – Joann
Knapton Johnson (4 children) & Mary Charles Knapton Harris (3 children)
Annie Belle Knapton Spivey — Sister (1917 – 1995) three children (no
Mary Thomas Knapton Brinkley – Sister (1915 – 1974) no children
E-mail received March 24, 2010
I was emailing you because doing a google search from information on Isaac
Christopher Knapton born 1836 in Yorkshire, England and your website came
up. And I read your geneaology on the Knapton’s. I wasn’t sure if you were
interested in more info or not, so I thought I would briefly write this to
you. I am Damienne Marie Ehlenfeldt (Dani – nickname), my parents are
divorced and I was starting to do a family tree, since we never really had
any family gatherings etc growing up. But this is how I have traced things
back so far, Isaac Christopher Knapton is my great great great grandfather
on my father side.
I show Isaac’s son Edward R Knapton married Anna Krips and their daughter
Ellen Sarah Knapton married my great grandfather Anthon Frank Ehlenfeldt and
their son Albert Joseph Ehlenfeldt was my grandfather. I know that the
family is from WI, although my dad was born in OH, my grandparents lived in
Madison as long as I can remember until the late 80’s when they moved to El
Paso, TX. Both my grandparents have sadly passed, making tracing the family
line a challenge. My father was Rollin Gerard Ehlenfeldt, but I haven’t
been in touch with him for almost 20 years, I do know through the courts
that he lives in Irving, TX now and has changed his name to Rollin Sakeeta
Ehlenfeldt. My uncle Greg Ehlenfeldt was my granparents only other child
and he lives in Rialto, CA. My mothers name is Bette David. I have one
sister Kristina Lee Ehlenfeldt, and we live across the lake in Grand Rapids,
If there is anyone you know of who is looking for more info, just let me
Damienne Ehlenfeldt <email@example.com>