Once a Knight is Enough

Knight Genealogy Introduction

by Laura Knight

Update Note: I will add Y-DNA info for those who send it to me along with their highest upline ancestor to the list and will put an asterisk beside it to denote that it has been added. Send only ancestor you know for sure from your family knowledge, not what you have picked up via internet genealogy!

2nd Update Note: I've received communication from an individual with documented descent from Capt. Peter Knight which confirms that lineage XII on the FamilyTreeDNA project is indeed that of Capt. Peter. Anyone who claims Capt. Peter as male-line Knight ancestor must come from one of Capt. Peter's two sons, James Knight or Leonard Knight. Since the Y-DNA lineage of my brother is extremely close to the Y-DNA of this documented descendant of Capt. Peter Knight via his son James, we can conclude that the GA/FL Knights descended from John Knight and Rachel Anderson, and Thomas Knight and Frances Newnan, are descended from Capt. Peter Knight. (There is close DNA linkage between descendants of the two latter lines proving that John and Thomas were brothers.)

3rd Update Note: I've been in communication with a documented descendant of John Knight of Lunenberg who married Elizabeth Woodson. This line belongs to Lineage VII on the Knight Y-DNA database. This means that there is no possibility of connection between the Woodson Knights and Captain Peter Knight of Northumberland.


DNA and Genealogy

DNA testing is supposed to help a person find close relatives.  It works, more or less; you can find close relatives and, if you have similar family trees, can find where the connection is.  It works really well the closer the connection and the nearer in time to the present. For higher level connections (speaking of autosomal DNA here), it’s a bit more difficult to figure out.

The most useful for figuring out lineage AKA pedigree, is Y-DNA carried only by males.  For example, I know my Knight line Y-DNA because my brother did the Y-DNA tests and on our autosomal results, we are full siblings. Okay, fine, what’s the problem? 

The problem is that a whole lot of people have constructed Family Trees in the Air and right now, we do not really know what is the top of the line for the Southern Knights because, as far as I know, no one who is documented as a descendant of the favored Peter Knight has taken the test.  People don’t seem to understand that in order to claim it is true, it has to be documented.  Ten thousand people can create a family tree with Peter Knight at the top (or whoever), and get their DNA tested, and because they all have the same Y-DNA can then say “see? I have the same Y-DNA as those people and THEY say (without documentation) they descend from Peter Knight so my claim to descend from Peter Knight must be true!”  They never stop to think that since there is no documentation of a proven descendant of Peter Knight, they could all be “barking up the wrong family tree”, so to say; they could all descend from the same person, indeed, but it could be someone entirely different (named Knight, of course).

Knight Family Tree DNA Project

Just to make my point, let’s look at the DNA results on the Knight Family Tree DNA Project. This project is only open to people with the surname Knight, and only to males or females who have a proven male parent or sibling who has been tested. So, things should be pretty cut and dried, yes?  Some of the participants have family trees attached and the furthest back paternal ancestor they know about (or think they do) is displayed along with their Haplogroup and an identifying code.  I’ve stripped the code and all the SNP parts out because that isn’t relevant to my purpose here and I’ve sorted the list alphabetically so the different haplogroups would be together.  Pay attention to the items in bold.

Haplogroup         Paternal Ancestor Name
E-L117        John Knight, b. 1809 NY
E-M2           Arthur Knight, b. 1910 Crenshaw Cty, Ala
E-M35         John Knight b. 1809 Upperstate NY
F-M89         Ira Knight
G-M201      Knecht
I-M223        Robert McKnight b. ca. 1793 d. 1847
I-M223        Alexander McNaught b. 1755
I-M223        Thomas Knight b. ca 1740-d. 1824
I-M223        Alexander McKnight, b.1680 and d.1735
I-M223        Thomas McKnight B 1798
I-M253        Knechtlin, 1100, Rouffach, Alsace, France
I-M253        Joseph Knight b. before 1748 Parkston Dorset England
I-M253        Isaac Knight, b. 1665/6, England
I-M253        Chancey Marion Knight dob aprox 1859
I-M253        Chauncy M Knight, b 1858 IL
I-M253        Giles Knight b. 1653, Gloucestershire
I-M253        Thomas Knight, Jr., b. 02 JAN 1662, Gloucestershire
I-M253        John Knight, b. 1756 and d. 1823
I-M253        Wade Hampton Knight, b. 1798 and d. 1866
I-M253        Jonathan Knight b. 1770 NC
I-M253       Absolam Knight, b. 1761 and d.1837
I-M253        Ignatius Knight 1745
I-M253        William Knight c.1710-1783
I-M253        William Knight b. ca. 1715
I-P37            Andrew Calvin(?) Knight b.~1826 GA
I-S1990       Stephen Knight, b. 1800
I-Y17214    John McKnight b. 1805 Fayette, PA d. Ironton, Oh
I-Y5673      Jessamon Knight b abt 1808 KY
I-Y5673      Thomas Knight 1787 NC aft 1850 Rhea Co TN
J-M172       William Knight, b. c. 1795, VA,
J-M172       William T Knight, b.1784 and d. 1857
J-M172       John S (Jackson) Knight, b. 1818 and d. 1896
J-M410       James Washington Knight
J-M67          Thomas Knight, b.c. 1630, Cork, Ireland
R-L2            James Knight b. 3 Feb 1760 and d 22 Jan 1858
R-L21          John Knight b. 1785 and d. 1850
R-L48          John Knight, b. 1795, North Carolina, USA
R-M269      Mertillo Knight
R-M269      William McKnight b.1700's and d. 1800's
R-M269      Mathew Knight b 1802 d 1894 WVA
R-M269      Silas Knight
R-M269      William Thomas Knight, b. 1818, Alabama
R-M269      John Knight
R-M269      John Knight d 1701 Northampton Co., VA
R-M269      John Alexander Knight
R-M269      Richard Knight, abt. 1815, NC
R-M269      Night Knight, 1751-1840
R-M269      Jacob Knight, b.c. 1810 and d. aft 1860
R-M269      James Knight/Night, 1826-abt.1865, Perry County, TN
R-M269      Jacob Knight, b. abt 1810
R-M269      Thomas Pinkney Knight
R-M269      John Knight b c 1838, Christian Co, Ky
R-M269      Mr. William Knight, b. abt 1765 and d. 1840
R-M269      William Knight (b. 1765)
R-M269      Absolum Knight 1761-1837
R-M269      Peter Knight b.1620 d.1705 Northumberland co. va.
R-M269      Richard Lee Knight 05/05/1768
R-M269      William C. Knight, b.1802 d.1854, Greene Co,VA
R-M269      KNIGHT, WILLIAM 1596 Manchester, ENGLAND
R-M269      Jesse Knight 1877, Maury Co. Tenn
R-M269      Michael Knightly, b. 1840 and d. 1925
R-M269      Thomas Knight b. 1835 d. 1872
R-M269      John Knight b.c. 1710 - 1772 Lunenburg, VA
R-M269      James McKnight b.1784
R-M269      James McKnight, b. 1784
R-M269      Robert Washington Knight, Jr. b.1833 and d. 1919
R-M269      John Knight b.1792
R-M269      Mr. Woodman Knight, b. 1831
R-M269      George Washington Knight 1844-1916 Brown Co, IL
R-M269      Peter Knight b. c1620, lived in Isle of Wight,VA
R-M269      Joseph Knight, b 1819
R-M269      Willielmo Knyghte
R-M269      Robert Knight, abt 1770, Virginia, USA
R-M269      Reuben Messenger Knight b 1810 SC/GA
R-M269      William Knight b. c1815
R-M269      James Knight b. 1781 d. 1866
R-M269      John D. Knight, b.c. 5/29/1848, GA
R-M269      Peter Knight, Basses Choice, Isle of Wight VA
R-M269      John F Knight b. c1816, d. 1850-1860 AL
R-M269      George Knight b.1834, Valley Field, Quebec, Canada
R-M269      Allen Knight, b. c 1777, NC
R-M269      Moses Knight b 1763 Brunswick Co. VA
R-M269      William Henry Knight 1790-1871
R-M269      Richard Knight, 1774-1827, SC
R-M269      Joshua Matthew Knight b. 1803 SC d. 1859 GA
R-M269      Joseph Mc.Knight b.1864 Katesbridge Down, Ireland, d.1918 A
R-M269      Thomas Knight, b 1739 and d 1824
R-M269      Lester Knight b.1921 d.1944
R-M269      William Knight b. c 1722, lived in Surry Co., VA
* R-M269....John F. Knight 1800-1868 m. Jane Stewart   d. in Bledsoe Co. TN
R-U106       Richard Knight, Sr. b. 1680 Westmoreland Co, VA
R-U106       Richard Knight b. abt 1700, Surry Co, Virginia
R-U152       Rev. Samuel Knight (1793-1879), Effingham, GA m. Mary Nancy Roberts d. FL
R-U152       John Alexander Knight, b.1869 and d.1913
* R-U152 ....Abraham Knight b. 1789, Effingham Co. GA, m. Sarah Tucker
* R-U152 ....Abraham Knight b. 1789, Effingham Co. GA, m. Sarah Tucker
R-U198       Jesse Knight North Carolina b. 1753 d 1783
R-Z156        John Knight b c 1838, Christian Co, Ky

Did you notice that one person with I-M253 claims Absolum Knight 1761-1837 and another person with R-M269 claims the exact same guy? Also notice that one person with I-M253 claims Jonathan Knight b. 1770 NC and another with R-M269  claims John Knight b.c. 1710 - 1772 Lunenburg, VA, who is - according to the records - the grandfather of Jonathan, and they should, therefore, have the same YDNA.

That’s what I’m talking about here. For all we know, in each case, one of them is right, or both of them are wrong, but both of them cannot be right.

Notice also that there are two main divisions: the I-M and R-M groups with R-U being a subclade of R-M. So I think we could suggest that, even with this small a sample, that these two groups are those of the most prolific Knight families. Relationships between the individuals can be refined, but the big problem is to whom do they connect before the Revolution? Notice that Willielmo Knyght is claimed as an ancestor by one R-M contributor and Peter Knight of Basses Choice by a couple of them. At least the two claiming Peter are within the same ballpark, but the Willielmo, who is alleged to be the progenitor of Giles and Abel is also there while Giles is claimed by one in the I-M group.

 I'm not an expert on this topic, I'm just pointing out what is notable and can be seen with the eyes. Here, I’ll give a smidgen of info about the Haplogroups extracted from various Wikipedia articles.

E and F Haplogroups: Underhill (2001) proposed that haplogroup E may have arisen in East Africa. E is a clade of Haplogroup DE, with the other major clade, haplogroup D, being exclusively distributed in Asia.  DE is a clade within M168 with the other two major clades, C and F, considered to have a Eurasian origin.Most members of haplogroup E-M96 belong to one of its identified subclades, and the E-M96(xE-P147, E-M75) is rare. E1a and E-M75 are found almost exclusively in Africa.

I have included African American Knights in the records when I have found them. But obviously, some of them did not acquire the name by paternal ancestry.

G Haplogroup: Ancient G-M201s with sequencing Haplogroup G2a (G-P15) has been identified in Neolithic human remains in Europe dating between 5000 and 3000 BC. The majority of all the male skeletons from the European Neolithic period have so far yielded Y-DNA belonging to this haplogroup.  The only known example of the basal paragroup G(xG1,G2) – that is, either G* or an otherwise undocumented primary branch or G-M201 – was blood found on a handkerchief, sealed in a gourd in France during the 18th century. The handkerchief reputed to have come from a man who underwent public execution by guillotine during the French Revolution. The blood is said to have belonged to King Louis XVI of France (1754 – 1793), although its provenance is far from certain.

I Haplogroup: I-M170 is one of the most numerous haplogroups among European males.  I-M170 represents up to one-fifth of the male population of Europe, being the continent's second major Y-DNA haplogroup (behind Haplogroup R). The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Balkans (with the highest concentration in present-day Herzegovina). It may be associated with unusually tall males. Haplogroup I appears to have arisen in Europe, so far being found in Palaeolithic sites throughout Europe (Fu 2016), but not outside it.  Living examples of the precursor Haplogroup IJ* have been found only in Iran, among the Mazandarani and ethnic Persians from Fars.

This I Haplogroup appears to be the second most common Knight paternal ancestry and I guess that's not terribly surprising considering that it is one of the most common haplogroups in Europe.

J Haplogroup: Haplogroup J-M304 is believed to have arisen roughly 48,000 years ago in Western Asia. It is most closely related to the haplogroup I-M170, as both lineages are haplogroup IJ subclades. Haplogroup J has also been found among two ancient Egyptian mummies excavated at the Abusir el-Meleq archaeological site in Middle Egypt, which date from a period between the late New Kingdom and the Roman era. Haplogroup J-M304 is found in its greatest concentration in the Arabian peninsula. Outside of this region, haplogroup J-M304 has a significant presence in North Africa and the Horn of Africa. It also has a moderate occurrence in Southern Europe, especially in central and southern Italy, Malta, Greece and Albania.

R Haplogroup: The SNP M207, which defines Haplogroup R, is believed to have arisen during the Upper Paleolithic era, about 27,000 years ago.  Only one confirmed example of basal R* has been found, in 24,000 year old remains, known as MA1, found at Mal'ta–Buret' culture near Lake Baikal in Siberia.  R-M207 is common throughout Europe, South Asia and Central Asia. It also occurs in the Caucasus and Siberia. Some minorities in Africa also carry subclades of R-M207 at high frequencies.  Indigenous peoples of The Americas and Australasia also feature high levels of R-M207. 

R-M173, also known as R1, has been common throughout Europe and South Asia since pre-history. Haplogroup R1b (R-M343) is the most frequently occurring paternal lineage in Western Europe, as well as some parts of Russia (e.g. the Bashkir minority) and Central Africa (e.g. Chad and Cameroon). According to autosomal DNA studies the majority of modern R1b and R1a would have expanded from the Caspian Sea along with the Indo European languages. 

R-M269, or R1b1a1a2 (as of 2017) amongst other names, is now the most common Y-DNA lineage in European males. It is carried by an estimated 110 million males in Europe. Western European populations are divided between the R-P312/S116 and R-U106/S21 subclades of R-M412 (R-L51). Distribution of R-M269 in Europe increases in frequency from east to west. It peaks at the national level in Wales at a rate of 92%, at 82% in Ireland, 70% in Scotland, 68% in Spain, 60% in France (76% in Normandy), about 60% in Portugal, 53% in Italy, 45% in Eastern England, 50% in Germany, 50% in the Netherlands, 42% in Iceland, and 43% in Denmark. R-M269 reaches levels as high as 95% in parts of Ireland.  R-M269 has been found at a rate of ~44% among remains dating from the 11th to 13th centuries at Punta Azul, in the Canary Islands. These remains have been linked to the Bimbache (or Bimape), a subgroup of the Guanche. In living males, it peaks in parts of North Africa, especially Algeria, at a rate of 10%. In Sub-Saharan Africa, R-M269 appears to peak in Namibia, at a rate of 8% among Herero males.

It's not surprising that the majority of Knights belong to the most common Y-DNA lineage in Europe so that doesn't help us much; testers would need to do SNPs to get closer to the targets. My own paternal lineage belongs to the R-U152 subtype. You can read a little about this one HERE . Note that one of the project scientists was a Dr. David Faux. He wrote some papers about the haplogroup that can be read HERE and HERE. The main point he makes is this:

A geographical pattern had emerged in the author’s database and map representing men of British ancestry with the Y-chromosome marker S28 / U152.  The place of birth of their earliest known ancestor tended to cluster along the eastern coastal areas of England inland to the Midlands, some around the area immediately north of Wales (as well as Anglesey), but none along the south coast or the southwest in general. Also in Scotland the distribution included the Northern Isles and along the east coast, with none on the west coast. Furthermore, despite very heavy sampling, no one with a native Irish surname and documented ancestry to Ireland has yet tested positive for R-U152.  As the new data continued to “fit the mold” it occurred that this was not random, and so an interpretation in keeping with known historical events might be found, since the clustering suggested a relatively recent immigration to Britain rather than events associated with distant pre-historical times. When the author drew a line around the outside perimeter of the ancestral homes of those who tested U152 positive, it was clear that this was very similar to the boundaries of the Danelaw which separated the territories of the Danish Viking immigrants and the Saxon lands in the south and west.  At a later date it became apparent that this was virtually the same boundary relating to the lands settled by the Angles three hundred years earlier. Hence, there was an apparent overlap between all three distributions – R-U152, the Danelaw, and the Angle Kingdoms. (David Faux)

Another researcher has expanded on that early information HERE where we read:

U152  is a subgroup of P312 and is concentrated around the Alps. My estimation is that it appeared first approximately 3600 years ago, around 1650 BC. A few things are clear regarding U152 from present results: U152 is the dominant L11 subgroup in Italy, Hungary and South-East  France (Provence), while it is also common in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria, together with U106. We can not yet assume how common is it in the Balkans, and without the Balkans we cannot say anything sure a bout it’s origin. [...]

As regards the British Isles, U152 seem to have a frequency lower than 5% of all males, i.e. it is rather rarer than we would expect hearing the “Celtic U152” idea. It is also near-completely absent from Ireland, Wales and Scottish Highlands, which is not favoring a Celtic connection. I think we have to admit that we do not know the demographic history of U152 well-enough yet, and that U152 arrival to Britain is just as much possible with La Tene Celts as Roman legionaries or some Anglo-Saxon or Danish settlers who happened to have the U152 gene. (Tibor Feher)

For distribution maps, have a look HERE. Apparently, according the THIS PAPER, the R-U haplogroup is that of the House of Bourbon.

Now, all of this is very interesting, particularly the observations about the occurrence of this haplogroup in England made by Dr. David Faux. Below is the 23andme distribution map for my brother's Y-DNA results:

Y-DNA Distribution R-U152


The Thomas Hinde edition of the Domesday Book makes some interesting observations about Suffolk that lead into some considerations about DNA:

Suffolk, with Norfolk and Essex, is included in a separate volume known as the Little Domesday Book.  This is a misleading description, since its entries are considerably more detailed than those of Domesday itself. Unfortunatly, the additional information does not always enhance or clarify what is known about Norman Britain. Indeed, it sometimes adds to the confusion.

The system of gelding, for instance, which appears to have been used only in Suffolk and Norfolk, is totally unexplained. It is believed that each of the 24 Suffolk hundreds was divided into units called leets, which figured significantly in apportioning the payment of the geld, or tax. …

Nevertheless, a clear picture of Suffolk does emerge. It was a county predominantly of villages and freemen, rather than of manors and feudal vassals. Its population was fairly evenly distributed. … None of the seven principal towns, which included Ipswich, Bury St Edmonds and Dunwich, had more than 3000 inhabitants. (Hinde 1995, p. 250, emphasis, mine)

The remark about the region being one of freemen rather than feudal overlords and serfs, caught my attention. It reminded me of something I read in Carlton Coon’s book The Races of Europe where he talks about what amounts to the genetics of various occupants of European regions that have been in their locales long enough for a certain degree of genetic homogeneity to have arisen.

At the time he wrote, he was accused of trying to promote “racism”, but that wasn’t actually the case and his point of view has received recent strong support (though without mentioning his name) by no less an expert on genetics than David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard and the author of the book Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, who recently wrote that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among “races.” And he wasn’t talking about just differences between black, white, brown and yellow people.  He further says in the same article:

Recent genetic studies have demonstrated differences across populations not just in the genetic determinants of simple traits such as skin color, but also in more complex traits like bodily dimensions and susceptibility to diseases. For example, we now know that genetic factors help explain why northern Europeans are taller on average than southern Europeans, why multiple sclerosis is more common in European-Americans than in African-Americans, and why the reverse is true for end-stage kidney disease. […]

While most people will agree that finding a genetic explanation for an elevated rate of disease is important, they often draw the line there. Finding genetic influences on a propensity for disease is one thing, they argue, but looking for such influences on behavior and cognition is another.

But whether we like it or not, that line has already been crossed. A recent study led by the economist Daniel Benjamin compiled information on the number of years of education from more than 400,000 people, almost all of whom were of European ancestry. After controlling for differences in socioeconomic background, he and his colleagues identified 74 genetic variations that are over-represented in genes known to be important in neurological development, each of which is incontrovertibly more common in Europeans with more years of education than in Europeans with fewer years of education. […]

This study has been joined by others finding genetic predictors of behavior. […] in Iceland, there has been measurable genetic selection against the genetic variations that predict more years of education in that population just within the last century. […]

 “Whites” are not derived from a population that existed from time immemorial, as some people believe. Instead, “whites” represent a mixture of four ancient populations that lived 10,000 years ago and were each as different from one another as Europeans and East Asians are today. […]

The differences between the sexes are far more profound than those that exist among human populations, reflecting more than 100 million years of evolution and adaptation. […]

An abiding challenge for our civilization is to treat each human being as an individual and to empower all people, regardless of what hand they are dealt from the deck of life. […]

Arguing that no substantial differences among human populations are possible will only invite the racist misuse of genetics that we wish to avoid. (David Reich, loc. cit.)

Coming back to what Carlton Coon wrote based on a lifetime of anthropological studies of skeletons of ancient humans :

Although there was a difference in the localities from which various groups of Anglo-Saxons came, little regional difference is manifest in the series from England. The Jutes who settled in Kent, and who came from the peninsula of Jutland, seem larger faced than the Saxons themselves, but the difference is actually slight … [examination of remains reveal] they had preserved their [physical structural] identity at least until the end of the eighth century. …

The Saxon invasions of the British Isles were followed by those of the Danes… in the eighth century. The Danes, many of whom were actually Norwegians…  belong to the expected northwestern Nordic variety. (p. 118)

During the Iron Age, Norway was … settled by people comparable in civilization to those in Denmark and southern Sweden…The Iron Age [excavated skulls] from Norway are quite different from those of either Denmark or Sweden [i.e. the invaders]. They are larger and much more rugged, with heavy browridges and strong muscular markings. Metrically, they approach the Upper Paleolithic series   and could fit easily into the range of the central European Aurignacian group. … just what one would expect from a Danish Iron Age-Upper Paleolithic cross, with the latter in the majority, and this explanation agrees well with the archaeological data.  …The central coastal Norwegians of the Iron Age must have been in part true descendants of the Upper Paleolithic people of central Europe, who moved northward and westward with the retreat of the last ice, and remained relatively undisturbed in the centers of its last melting, until the arrival of ne immigrants in the Iron Age. … the land of the Vikings was the last periphery of the Nordic world, in which ancient but fully evolved forms of humanity blended with the newcomers from the South and East. (pp. 115-116)

People who migrate from an old home to a new … represent a special group selected on the bases of their suitability and opportunity for migrating.  […]

Americans of colonial British ancestry are not like Englishmen in the larger sense of the word. The English who went to America in the Colonial period were a definitely selected group – selected on the basis of religion, social and economic position, and geographical distribution. Once in America, under new conditions, comparative isolation, and the intensive cross-breeding of relatively few family lines, this differentiation was accentuate.  …

Farmers who moved westward into the fertile Ohio Valley, and on successively to Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, were not typical examples of the total population of which they were drawn. The selection of the mountain men of the Rockies, and of the early cattle rangers of the Plains was even more noticeable. …

Selective differences in emigration and immigration exist in the cultural as well as in the racial sense. The [Corded Ware ] invaders who moved westward into Europe did not carry all the trappings of … Russian culture with them; they took only those objects which they would find useful in their new environment, and easy to replace from local materials.

In the same way the early American plainsman and trapper did not fill his knapsack with lace sleeves, wine glasses, and silver shoe buckles, but carried only such clothing, weapons, and other equipment which he knew would be of service to him. Later on, after he had settled the new country, the more luxurious trappings of the old culture could follow, provided that he had maintained contact with his original home. …

The settlers who come to a new country later, after the ground has been explored, are often drawn from a different segment of the original society, and may represent a different racial entity, with different cultural associations and aptitudes from that of the pioneers. […] (pp. 9-10, excerpts)

The quote from Coon more or less encapsulates a number of issues that are raised by colonization throughout history. When people become uncomfortable where they live due to environmental reasons (which can include politics), they seek equilibrium and this may include moving elsewhere.  And when invaders come, the people either accommodate and amalgamate, or they, too, move elsewhere.  What is interesting is the suggestion of the types of people who are more inclined to be at the frontline of emigration, the pioneers; these people might be genetically less tolerant of certain pressures both physical and psychological.

Coming back to the quote that triggered this excursus, the remark that Suffolk was  a county predominantly of villages and freemen, rather than of manors and feudal vassals, suggests that before the Norman Conquest, the inhabitants of England derived from stock that does not well tolerate oppression and suppression, that freedom and equality are strong values mainly due to inborn – call them genetic – tendencies. They may do what they have to do to survive in a given environment, because they are certainly survivors, but they will always be looking for a better way, or a way out. Members of Knight families were certainly at the forefront of this activity. And this tendency may actually be the factor that makes Knight genealogy so difficult; while there were a few Knight patriots of the American Revolution, the one thing that stood out most clearly to my mind as I examined the records before, during, and after that event, was that many of the Knights seemed to be taking definite actions to get out of the way! They weren’t so much interested in amassing huge estates or fortunes as they were concerned to have their own fair bit of land and the ability to provide for their families, and to be left alone. To achieve this, they often kept a very low profile, the result of which was a lack of official records.

Another thing that appears to me to be of great interest, considering the early discussion of genetics, is the idea that the Knights (and other family lines) may go directly back to the earliest modern humans of Europe. Recall that most Knight Y-DNA results were R-M269. The subclade, U152, "is most frequent (20–44%) in Switzerland, Italy, France and Western Poland, with additional instances exceeding 15% in some regions of England and Germany." However, a sub-population in north Bashkortostan has been found where 71% of 70 men tested belong to R-U152. King et al. (2014) reported four living descendants of Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort in the male line tested positive for U-152. His line goes back to John of Gaunt, a son of Edward III.


How to Determine Capt. Peter Knight's Y Haplotype?

Returning now to an issue that is of some importance in sorting out Colonial Knights, by tracking the records, I know of a number of documented, male line descendants of Peter Knight whose modern male descendants could provide DNA to be the baseline against which other Knights could compare. On the online trees I have viewed, I don’t see the names or locations of any living relatives since that information is hidden, so I am listing here only the most recent deceased individual; what is needed is for someone to recognize one of these names as their own parent or grandparent and go and get tested!!  

John Broadus Knight JR (d. 1995 in Los Angeles, m. Margaret E. Walker)

The following all seem to have lived in South Carolina:

Bennett Rutledge Knight JR (1916-1980);

Marion C. Knight (1917-1999);

Claude Ervin Knight (1920-1982);

Dewey Gordon Knight (1926-1973);

Harvey W. Knight (1930-1984);

Willie Earl Knight (1924-1995); 

Dennis Robert Knight (1926-1979). 

If you are a male descendant of one of these people, you know what to do!  And please send me your results!

We also need more Knights from England who have good, solid, record based trees to provide DNA that can serve as baselines.




Coon, CArleton S.(1939) The Races of Europe, Harvard University Press.

“Nordic” indicating a mixture of the Russian Corded Ware people and the Danubian type; the Danubians being a mixture of Pontic and Anatolian types.

i.e. Cro-Magnon, 43 to 37 thousand years ago. The oldest undisputed example of human figurative art, the Venus of Hohle Fels, comes from the Aurignacian. The people of this culture also produced some of the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Trois Freres and the paintings at Chauvet cave in southern France. They also made pendants, bracelets, and ivory beads, as well as three-dimensional figurines. Perforated rods, thought to be spear throwers or shaft wrenches, also are found at their sites. The sophistication and self-awareness demonstrated in the work led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans. Human remains and Late Aurignacian artifacts found in juxtaposition support this inference. The oldest undisputed musical instrument was the Hohle Fels Flute discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany'. The flute is made from a vulture's wing bone perforated with five finger holes, and dates to approximately 35,000 years

Corded Ware culture encompassed a vast area, from the Rhine on the west to the Volga in the east, occupying parts of Northern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe. According to Haak et al. (2017), the Corded Ware people were genetically closely related to the people of the Yamna culture (or Yamnaya), "documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery," the Eurasiatic steppes. The same study estimated a 40–54% ancestral contribution of the Yamna in the DNA of modern Central & Northern Europeans, and a 20–32% contribution in modern Southern Europeans, excluding Sardinians (7.1% or less), and to a lesser extent Sicilians (11.6% or less). Haak et al. also note that their results "suggest" that haplogroups R1b and R1a "spread into Europe from the East after 3,000 BCE." Corded Ware appears to herald a new culture and physical type. and therefore represents one of the most impressive and revolutionary cultural changes attested by archaeology. Autosomal DNA tests also indicate that the Yamna migration from the steppes introduced a component of ancestry referred to as "Ancient North Eurasian" admixture into Europe. "Ancient North Eurasian" is the name given in genetic literature to a component that represents descent from the people of the Mal'ta-Buret' culture[3] or a population closely related to them. The "Ancient North Eurasian" genetic component is visible in tests of the Yamna people as well as modern-day Europeans, but not of Western or Central Europeans predating the Corded Ware culture. Haak, W.; et al. (1 June 2015). "Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe". Nature. 522 (207–211):

Located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains. Its capital is the city of Ufa.The first settlements in the territory of modern Bashkortostan date from the early Paleolithic period.  In the 10th century, Al-Balkhi wrote about Bashkirs as a people, divided into two groups, one of which inhabited the Southern Urals, while the other lived near the Danube river, close to the boundaries of Byzantium. His contemporary Ibn-Ruste described the Bashkirs as "an independent people, occupying territories on both sides of the Ural mountain ridge between Volga, Kama, Tobol and upstream of Yaik river".

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