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OUR KNOWLES FAMILY

NOTE
This single page was compiled for a  family reunion in November 1994. While it highlights my line of descent, it also contains some facts on the earlier Knowles generations.
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OUR KNOWLES FAMILY
(First four American Generations)  

1) Edmund "Old Silverhead" Knowles(1685-1762):Though there are still unanswered questions, this man is generally accepted as our immigrant ancestor. (Most of the data on Edmund, and his son Richard, was compiled by Steven L. Knowles of Tyler TX.    Steven is a descendant of James Joseph Knowles, whose letter from Tyler is noted-May 13 1853, in the James B. Knowles diary,  shortly after "notorious" Uncle Joe Knowles came to Henry Co!).    Edmund was born in Lancashire Co. England and was bonded to a Jonathan Livesey, of Prince George Co. VA., who paid his fare to America, in return for labor, generally a period of about seven years.  Edmund left Liverpool on Nov. 19 1700 aboard the ship "Elizabeth and Judith".   Nothing is known of his early years in Virginia.   Livesey's plantation was along or near the James River roughly 30 miles S.E. of Richmond.  When Edmund's servitude ended, he likely sought passage along the river and across Chesapeake Bay to the relatively unsettled lands of the DelMarVa peninsula, settling ultimately in Somerset Co. MD.(1724 tax roll).    He left no will, but his estate was distributed in 1765, thusly: 1/3 to widow-then, seven equal shares to; Ruth, John, Thomas, Edmond, and Richard Knowles; George Oaks, and Thomas Wilson.   Richard Knowles administered the estate. Edmund's wife is unknown, but is believed to have been Swedish. Traditionally, his nickname was attributed to an encounter with an Indian, where his skull was broken by a tomahawk!    To protect his brain, a silver coin(the "silverhead")was shaped, and fitted, to replace the missing bone.  Others, less fanciful, believed it simply referred to his luxurious mane of silvery hair!

2) Richard Knowles(c.1715-1791): In 1775 the border between Maryland and Delaware finally settled into its current alignment, evidently leaving members of the Knowles family in both states. Most of the Knowles land was in the southwestern corner of Delaware, in Little Creek Hundred, a Sussex County subdivision.   Richard inherited or obtained land along Cod Creek and prospered, operating one of at least five water-powered sawmills along that waterway. His timberlands comprised about 800 acres & included these parcels; Knowles' Venture, Chance, Hill Lot, Good Luck, Friendship, and Green Woods.  Richard is said to have married twice, Finnish sisters, neither is mentioned in his detailed 1791 will. Among its fifteen named children are: Zachariah, Edmond, and Abigale-wife of Joshua Ellis, who each received one shilling sterling, indicating that their status might likely be different from the others, who received land, furnishings, etc.  It appears that these individuals had left Delaware!   Edmond Knowles and Joshua Ellis are listed on the reconstructed 1782 Delaware state census, with Richard and other sons. In 1789, in Greene Co. GA, they are listed adjacently on the tax roll.  A year earlier, Edmond filed a deed for land along Shoulderbone Creek.   Zachariah Knowles is first noted in the Land Court records of Greene in 1791.  In 1793, he and Robert Knowles jointly purchased land in adjoining Hancock Co.  In 1794, Joseph Knowles* first appeared on the Hancock Co. tax digest[see final note-Joseph Knowles, #4 below].

3) Zachariah Knowles(died c.1818-in Hancock Co. GA?): This man seems to be our missing link!  There is nothing to conclusively tie him to "brother" Edmond or "son" Joseph, except for time and place.   It appears that he moved about a lot, and might be the Burke Co. man who won land in the 1807 GA Land Lottery. "Son" Joseph(of Hancock)also won. Both, in original Wilkinson Co.

4) Joseph Knowles(born c.1773): The only Knowles(consistently)in early Hancock Co.   He may have married again(?)in 1812, and moved to NC for "son" Joseph E.'s birth in Dec. 1817.  Then back for the 1820 Greene Co. GA Land Lottery, winning in the 9th dist. Early Co.(lot into Baker Co. 1825). In 1834 & 1835, he(of Hancock-then Greene)sold this parcel. Our James Knowles Sr. had land in the ninth district of Early Co. in 1837. Our Hancock Co. connection was made through his sister Elizabeth's 1850 Baker Co. census, where she indicated her 1797 Hancock birth. She married James Gray in Hancock in 1820. Was A. Judia Johnson(noted in the JBK diary, right after Uncle Joe's arrival)her sister?    And, JBK's aunt?    Could she have been the Judith Knowles, who married a Timothy Johnson in Hancock Co. in 1817?  Still, many more questions than answers!  [Based on the assumption, that the 1794 Hancock Co. man(* above)was the same man in Greene Co. in 1820, Joseph Knowles' birth date is an "educated guess".   To make the Hancock Co. tax roll, he would have to be at least-21, he  was probably older!   The Greene Co. man was "over 45" on the 1820 census-and, also, could have been older].
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 Next four           5) James Knowles Sr.(1801-1857)                7)Oscar Bryans Knowles(1861-1942)
 generations:
                                    6)James Bellah Knowles(1833-1865)              8)Olin A. Knowles Sr.(1883-1962)
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