Once a Knight is Enough

Knight Genealogy

~~~

The Family of
John Harrison Knight (1844-1917) and Rachel Melvina Hampton (1848-1883)

With
DNA Considerations
and
Disambiguating John Harrison Knight of Hamilton County TN from John Hiram Knight of Bledsoe County TN

by Jerry Eugene Knight

Version 1.0
Written Dec. 2018. Revised Nov. 2019


NOTE: I welcome comments, criticisms and especially referrals for additional records. The reader can reach me at JerryEKnight(at)gmail.com.
Details and records of the data summarized in this document can be found in my public Ancestry.com Family Tree, which is named “Knight Family Tree”. My user name at Ancestry.com is Jerry Knight.


INTRODUCTION

John Harrison Knight and Rachel Melvina Hampton, who appears as Melvina in almost all records, are almost certainly the parents of my paternal Grandfather, Thomas Russel Knight. Since Rachel Melvina generally appears in the records as Melvina, I generally will call her Melvina in this document.

Judging from census records, John (1844 – 1917) and Melvina (1848 – 1883) were probably born in Hamilton County Tennessee, but formal birth records are not available in Tennessee in the 1840’s. John’s death certificate does indicate that he was born in Hamilton County, Tennessee. John and Melvina were married on Aug 25, 1867 in Hamilton County, and their first 4 children were born there. In the 1880 census John and Melvina are living in Johnson County, Illinois, where 4-month-old and final child, Charles, was born. Shortly after the 1880 census John and Melvina and the families of several of their close relatives moved to the area around Logan County, Arkansas. Melvina and several other family members died shortly after the move to Arkansas; Melvina in 1883. John never remarried. And, according to 1900 and 1910 census records lived in Logan County, Arkansas with his children until he died in 1917.  John Harrison and Melvina are buried next to each other and near other close family members at Ellsworth Cemetery in Logan County, Arkansas.

A formal Arkansas death record is available for John and lists his full name as John Harrison Knight, but the certificate was completed by an attending physician and does not include John’s birthdate or any information about his parents. (See images further down.)

There are two schools of thought regarding the parents of John Harrison Knight in on-line family trees. The first, and I believe correct parents, are listed as Jacob Knight and Nancy Mitchell. I will present more about them later. Second, many family trees indicate John Harrison’s parents were John F. Knight and Jane Stewart of Rhea and Bledsoe County, Tennessee.  Indeed, John F. and Jane do list a child named John H. Knight in the 1850 and 1860 census, but they lived in Rhea and Bledsoe Counties for most of their lives. I don’t have any record of them in Hamilton County.  Available records and other public family trees indicate this John H Knight was probably named John Hiram Knight and was born in Bledsoe County in about 1840. John Hiram married Sarah Simmons on 16 Jun 1861 and they had one child, Martha Jane who was born 4 Mar 1863. John Hiram fought in the civil war, was captured and died in Andersonville Prison in 1864. He is buried in the Andersonville National Cemetery. Furthermore, Y-chromosome DNA evidence that will be presented further down proves that I am not a descendent of John F. Knight and Jane Stewart.

It is my belief that most online family trees that include John Harrison Knight have conflated the records of John Harrison Knight and John Hiram Knight.  Most of these trees use the birthdate for John Hiram, the parents of John Hiram, John F. Knight (c1800-c1890) and Jane Stewart/Stuart (c1803-1883), and other information from John Harrison Knight. The following tables summarizes these records including the data conflated in numerous family trees as noted.

EVENT

John Hiram Knight

John Harrison Knight

Data for John Harrison Knight Shown in Family Trees

Birth

4 Apr 1840
From trees, I don’t have a record with this date. Agrees with censuses.

Apr 1844
1900 census, US Army enlistments, censuses

4 Apr 1840

Birth Location

Rhea County, TN

Hamilton County, TN. Cited on Death Certificate, Inferred from censuses

Rhea County, TN

Wife

Sarah “Sallie” Simmons (1847-1883)

Rachel Melvina Hampton
(1848-1883)

Rachel Melvina Hampton
(1848-1883)

Marriage Date

16 Jun 1861, Bledsoe County, TN

25 Aug 1867, Hamilton County, TN

25 Aug 1867, Hamilton County, TN

Children

  1. Martha Jane “Mattie” (1862-1840)
  1. James Will (1868-1916)
  2. Mary Adeline (1871-1837)
  3. Wilburn Jacob (1872-1960)
  4. Thomas Russell (1875-1952)
  5. Charles Timothy (1878-1952)

John Harrison’s children

Military Unit

Enlisted 15 Jun 1862 at Pikesville, TN in 4th TN Cav, reassigned to K Co. 7th PA Cav. Captured, died at Andersonville Prison

Enlisted 24 May 1863 at Lebanon, KY in Co C 11th TN Cav, which was later combined into Co I 9th TN Cav. Orders for honorably discharged 24 May 1865 at Knoxville, KY. Mustered out 11 Sep 1865.

Mixed

Death

17 Jun 1864 in Andersonville Prison

11 Jan 1917 in Logan County, AR

11 Jan 1917 in Logan County, AR

Burial

Andersonville National Cemetery

Ellsworth Cemetery, Logan County, AR

Ellsworth Cemetery, Logan County, AR

Death Certificate

Military Records

Arkansas Death Certificate

 

I have not found any document that records Melvina’s full name or proves her parents. She lived and died before formal birth and death records were kept in Tennessee or Arkansas. The headstone next to the grave for John Harrison Knight reads “R L Knight Wife of John Knight Died 1 May 1883 Aged 35 years. I think this is strong evidence that it is the grave of Melvina, but note that the headstone reads R L Knight, not R M Knight. This greatly confuses the situation. The headstone for James Will Knight, John and Melvina’s oldest child, is right next to the graves of Melvina and John and lists his parents as John H and R M Knight. And, my Aunt, Verna Rachel “Vernie” Knight Dixon, told me once that she was named after her grandmother.  In every census from 1850 until 1880 Rachel Melvina is listed as either Melvina Hampton or Melvina Knight (Night), so I believe her full name was Rachel Melvina (Hampton) Knight, which implies there is a transcription error for her middle initial on her headstone.

Melvina’s headstone is broken. Its top is laying on the ground in the grave adjacent to John’s headstone. The broken headstone reads “R L Wife of John Knight”. The headstone currently pictured for Rachel Melvina Knight at Find-A-Grave is incorrect. Neither I nor my Brother-in-Law, Ron Lustig, were able to find the headstone pictured at Find-A-Grave at Ellsworth Cemetery, but its shape is very similar to the nearby headstones of several members of the Sivley (Siveley) family. John and Melvina’s youngest son, Charles, married a Sivley daughter as did several other Hamilton relatives.
Melvina’s headstone says she was 35 on 1 May 1883, which implies she was born between 2 May 1847 and 1 May 1848. Many on-line family trees list her birthdate as 5 Jul 1848, but none of them have documentary evidence for this exact date.

Melvina Hampton Knight

The headstone for John and Melvina’s oldest son, James W Knight is located adjacent to the graves of John and Melvina. His headstone reads “James W Knight son of John H & R M Knight Born July 3, 1869 Died July 8 1916.

James W. Knight

 

The Age and Birth Date of John Harrison Knight

I have not found any records that include John’s birthdate. There is some inconsistency in the records that contain indications of John’s birth year and almost all Ancestry.com family trees that include John Harrison Knight list his birthdate as either 4 April 1840 or 4 April 1844; not a single one of nearly 100 trees has any documentary evidence to support these exact dates. Most of the records I have collected favor an 1844 birthdate for John, and it should be noted that John’s parents, Jacob Knight and Nancy Mitchell, were married on 22 April 1841, which adds further doubt that he was born in 1840. The 1900 census indicated John was born in April, 1844, and when he enlisted in the US Army on 24 May 1863, John gave his age as 19 years. This indicates he was born between 25 May 1843 and 24 May 1844, consistent with an April 1844 birthdate. John’s death certificate on 11 Jan 1917 lists his age as 74+, which indicates he was born before 11 Jan 1843. I think he was actually almost 74, not 74+. Most census records indicate John was born in 1843 or 1844, but the 1850 and 1910 records indicate he was born in 1839 or 1840.  Considering all information, I think his birthdate was most likely April, 1844. The following table summarizes the records that contain evidence of John Harrison’s birthdate.


EVENT

DATE

AGE

BIRTH YEAR

Census

23 Oct 1850

11

1839

Census

25 Jun 1860

17

1843

Cavalry Enlistment

24 May 1863

19

1844

Cavalry Muster Out

11 Sep 1865

21

1844

Census

29 Jun 1870

26

1844

Census

15 Jun 1880

37

1843

Census

13 Jun 1900

56

April, 1844

Census

21 Jun 1910

70

1840

Death Certificate

11 Jan 1817

74+

1843

John Knight John Harrison Knight

 

DNA EVIDENCE

I have used two types of DNA evidence, Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA, to investigate the family of John Harrison and Rachel Melvina.
The Knight Family Project at FamilyTreeDNA uses the y-DNA from Knight males to establish direct paternal lines. Y-DNA is only useful for John’s male descendants and ancestors. The project currently has 329 group members, including me.  So far, at least 20 distinct lines of Y-DNA have been identified among the Knights. Two of these are of special interest to the identification of the parents of John Harrison Knight. These are Linage IV, my lineage, which includes descendants and family of Jacob Knight of Hamilton County, Tennessee and Linage III the lineage of Jonathan Knight of Bledsoe County (b 1790) and Eleanor Knight, and their son John F. Knight, who married Jane Stewart/Stuart. The members of these groups are listed in the following tables.

The first entry in the Group IV table is me.


Knight Y-DNA Project Lineage IV.
The first entry is me.

Test Kit

Earliest Male Knight Grandparent

Y-DNA Group

B504849

John Harrison Knight, b. 1840 and d. 1917

R-M269 (R-BY16435)

74581

John Knight, b. 1795, North Carolina, USA

R-M269 (R-L48)

906514

No Ancestor Listed

R-M269

364170

No Ancestor Listed

R-M269

134397

No Ancestor Listed

R-M269 (R-P312)

205798

Richard Knight, abt. 1815, NC

R-M269

192117

No Ancestor Listed

R-M269

146891

Night Knight, 1751-1840

R-M269

673367

Jacob Knight, b.c. 1810 and d. aft 1860

R-M269

165658

James Knight/Night, 1826-abt.1865, Perry Co, TN

R-M269

278015

Jacob Knight, b. abt 1810

R-M269

144347

John Knight b c 1838, Christian Co, Ky

R-M269 (R-Z156)

190355

Radney Mack Knight

R-M269

41193

John Knight b c 1838, Christian Co, Ky

R-M269

527459

John Knight, b. 1747, d. 1841, Laurens Co., SC

R-M269

220678

Mr. William Knight, b. abt 1765 and d. 1840

R-M269

534288

Harvey Locke b. 1823 and d. 1897

R-M269

210428

William Knight (b. 1765)

R-M269

846077

John McKnight/Knight b. 1857 TN, d. 1942 KY

R-M269

150476

George Washington Knight 1844-1916 Brown Co, IL

R-M269

The first entry in the Group III table is that of a documented descendant of Jonathan Knight of Bledsoe County, b 1790.

Knight Y-DNA Project Lineage III.
The lineage of Jonathan Knight of Granville Co., NC and John F Knight of Bledsoe Co. TN

Test Kit

Earliest Male Knight Grandparent

Y-DNA Group

175321

Jonathan Knight b. 1770 NC

I-M253

N96625

Giles Knight b. 1653, Gloucestershire

I-M253

103758

Thomas Knight, Jr., b. 02JAN1662, Rodborough, Gloucester

I-M253

152962

No Ancestor Listed

I-M253

126326

John Montgomery b. abt 1841 England

I-M253

401136

James A. Knight, b. 1814 and d unknown

I-M253

313731

John Knight, b. 1756 and d. 1823

I-M253

603277

No Ancestor Listed

I-M253

650066

Wade Hampton Knight, b. 1798 and d. 1866

I-M253

117126

Wade Hampton Knight, b. 1798 and d. 1866

I-M253

163668

No Ancestor Listed

I-M253

550874

No Ancestor Listed

I-M253

322340

Daniel Huff (Hoof, Hough)

I-M253

The members of Group IV belong to Y-DNA haplogroup R-M269 and its subgroups and the members of Group III belong to haplogroup I-M253.  Both R and I haplogroups are common in Europe. But, the groups split from each other more than 50,000 years ago (reference the following diagram from Eupedia.com).  I think this is definitive proof that John Harrison Knight and I cannot be descendants of John F Knight.

 

Knight Y-DNA

The second line of DNA evidence are family trees constructed from Autosomal DNA test matches. In particular, I have studied the DNA matches at Ancestry.com and the family tree built by Ancestry’s ThruLines. The ThruLines family tree tool has identified my “DNA” cousins for each generation. I have tried two versions of my family tree, 1) One using Jacob Knight and Nancy Mitchell as the parents of John Harrison Knight and 2) One using John F Knight and Jane Stewart instead. The results are shown in the following list:

  1. Thomas Russell Knight and Ada Bell Callahan. 10 First cousins, descendants of 7 of 13 uncles and aunts (1 uncle and 1 aunt never married and did not have children).
  2. John Harrison Knight and Rachel Melvina Hampton. 14 First cousins, descendants of 4 of 5 uncles and aunts (1 uncle never married and did not have children)
  3. 1st variation: Jacob Knight and Nancy Mitchel variation. 26 matches through 3 of 6 children.
  4. 2nd variation: John F Knight and Jane Stewart variation No matches except descendants of John Harrison Knight.

I believe these two lines of DNA evidence prove the John Harrison Knight is not a descendant of John F. Knight and Jane Stewart and that he is most likely a descendant of Jacob Knight and Nancy Mitchell.

Here is the ThruLines Family Tree for Rachel Melvina and her presumed parents, Thomas W. Hampton and Olive Melvina (Webb) Hampton.

  1. Thomas Russel Knight and Ada Bell Callahan. 10 First cousins, descendants of 7 of 13 uncles and aunts (1 uncle and 1 aunt never married and did not have children).
  2. John Harrison Knight and Rachel Melvina Hampton. 14 First cousins, descendants of 4 of 5 uncles and aunts (1 uncle never married and did not have children)
  3. Thomas W Hampton and Olive Melvina (Webb) Hampton. 25 matches through 5 of 9 children. One of the 9 children died as an infant.

I believe this line of data, along with census records showing Melvina living as a child in the household of Thomas and Olive Hampton is conclusive evidence that Rachel Melvina’s parents were indeed Thomas W. Hampton and Olive Melvina (Webb) Hampton.

CENSUS WITH JOHN AND HIS PARENTS BEFORE HIS MARRIAGE TO MELVINA

In 1860 census Jacob Knight’s family, including son John, who I believe is John Harrison, lived in Hamilton County, Tennessee a few households away from the family of 12-year-old Melvina Hampton. This Melvina Hampton has the correct name and age for the woman John Harrison Knight married in 1867. Furthermore, there is only one John Knight born between 1839 and 1849 living in Hamilton County, Tennessee in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses. This John Knight is with his apparent parents, Jacob and Nancy Knight in 1850 and 1860 and with his recent bride Melvina Knight and first child James W in 1870. James Will Knight never married and lived with John Harrison for most of his life. James Will is buried next to John and Melvina at Ellsworth Cemetery in Logan County, AR.

1850

 

1860

 

District 27, Hamilton, Tennessee

 

District 7, Hamilton, Tennessee

 

23 Oct 1850

 

25 Jun 1860

 

Jacob Night

60

Jacob Knight

65

Nancy

38

Nancy

43

Jane

14

 

 

John

11

John

17

 

 

Jacob

14

Angelene

8

 

 

Cordelia

4

Cordelia

12

 

 

William

9

 

 

Martha

6

CENSUS WITH MELVINA AND HER PARENTS BEFORE HER MARRIAGE TO JOHN

I believe Melvina Hampton’s parents were Thomas Wilbur “Wade” Hampton (1824-1903) and Mary Johnson Hampton (1824-1881) although I don’t have a formal document that proves the relationship. Melvina’s parents and her grandparents Thomas Maxey (1800-) and Olive Melvina Hampton (1800-1883) are buried with her at Ellsworth Cemetery or nearby Prairie View Cemetery, in Logan County, Arkansas.

1850

 

1860

 

District 27, Hamilton, Tennessee

 

District 7, Hamilton, Tennessee

 

4 Sep 1850

 

29 Jun 1860

 

Thomas Hampton

26

Th Hampton (Trans: L W)

35

Mary Hampton

26

Mary

35

Melvina

1 (Trans: 7)

Melvnia

12

John

0

John N

10

Martha

17

Wm G

8

 

 

Sarah A

6

 

 

Thos J

4

 

 

Sophronia O

2

There seem to be two transcription errors in these census records at Ancestry. First, Melvina’ age in the 1850 US Census is transcribed as 7. I believe the recorded age is actually a 1 with a faint smudge. Age 1 is consistent with later census records.  Second, in the 1860 census, the head of household for Melvina’s family is transcribed as L W Hampton, but the text actually reads Th Hampton, an abbreviation for Thomas Hampton.  Some Ancestry.com users have interpreted the text to read T W Hampton for Thomas W. Hampton. Considering the poor penmanship of the census taker, that is also a possibility.

Melvina was 34 when she died in 1883. I note that Melvina, her mother and grandmother all died between 1881 and 1883, shortly after the family arrived in Arkansas.

Later census records show John as a “widow” sharing his home first with daughter Adaline (Knight) Wages in 1900 and later with son Thomas (my grandfather) in 1910.

1870

 

1880

 

1900

 

1910

 

District 7 Subdivision 42, Hamilton, Tennessee

 

Goresville, Johnson, Illinois,

 

Clark, Logan, Arkansas

 

River, Logan, Arkansas

 

29 Jul 1870

 

15 Jun 1880

 

13 Jun 1900

 

21 Apr 1910

 

John Knight

26

John Nite

37

John Knight

56

John Knight

70

Malina

22

Melvina

31

 

 

 

 

Jame W

2

James

12

James

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marion Wages

30

 

 

 

 

Adline

9

Addie Wages

29

 

 

 

 

Wilburn

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas

5

 

 

Thomas

34

 

 

Charly

4 mo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethel Wages

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wages

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willie Wages

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claude

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ola

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Callahan

19

OTHER RECORDS JOHN HARRISON KNIGHT AND RACHEL MELVINA HAMPTON KNIGHT

John’s military record and pension application are available from the National Archives.

John’s headstone is a standard Civil War era military headstone. It has John’s name and his military unit, Company C 11 Tennessee Cavalry. The headstone does not record birth or death dates.

John Harrison Knight

Company C, 11 Tennessee Cavalry was organized at Camp Nelson Kentucky primarily of Union sympathizers who had fled to Kentucky from Tennessee. John was inducted at nearby Lebanon, Kentucky. The 11 Cavalry completed organization at Knoxville, Tennessee on 16 Aug 1863 under the command of Col. Isham Young. The unit was active in defending Knoxville during the Confederate siege and fought in battles on 15 Aug 1863, 31 Oct 1863 and 28 Jan 1864. Most of the 9th and 11th Cavalries were captured while defending the Cumberland Gap; John on 22 Feb 1864 in Lee County, Virginia. On 9 Mar 1864 during his detention in Confederate prison John was hospitalized at Richmond, Virginia. He was paroled in Virginia on 21 Mar 1864 and reported back for service in Maryland on 24 Mar1864. John and the portion of the 11th that was not captured were consolidated into the 9th Tennessee Calvary. John received discharge orders on 25 May 1865 and was mustered out at Knoxville, KY on 11 Sep 1865 at age 21. His discharge papers note that he is due transportation back to his place of enlistment.

MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN OF JOHN AND MELVINA KNIGHT

Hamilton County, Tennessee Marriage Record: John Knight and Melvina Hampton:

John Knight

 

John Harrison and Melvina (Hampton) Knight had 5 children named in census records. These are:

  1. James Wil Knight (1868 – 1916)
  2. Mary Adeline “Addie” Knight (1871 -1937)
  3. Wilburn Jacob Knight (1872 -1970)
  4. Thomas Russell “Tom” Knight (1875 -1952) My Grandfather
  5. Charles Timothy “Charlie” Knight (1878 -1952)

James Wil (1868 – 1916)

James Wil Knight never married. He lived with his father, John, through the 1900 census.  I have not found a definitive record for James in the 1910 census, but the following record for James W Knight, a single boarder with Letha A. Curry may be him. The listed age is a little young (38, not 41 or 42) and occupation is railroad worker, not farmer as in previous censuses, but he is single and his parents are all born in Tennessee. James died 8 Jul 1816, a year or so before John Harrison. A record of his death can be found online at Ancestry.com in the “Arkansas Death Index 1914-1950” and a copy of James’ death certificate is available at the Arkansas Department of Vital Records.

1910

 

McRae, White, Arkansas

 

6 May 1910

 

Letha A Curry

53

James W Knight

38

A picture of James’ headstone at Ellsworth Cemetery was shown previously. The dates on the headstone are Born July 3, 1869 and Died July 8, 1916, Age 47 yr. 5 da.  Note that James died about 6 months before his father.

Mary Adeline “Addie” (1871 -1937)

Mary Adeline Knight married Marion Washington Wages (1869 – 1957) in Johnson County, Arkansas on 31 May 1895. The marriage record is indexed at Ancestry.com. Addie’s next younger brother, Wilburn Jacob Knight, married Marion’s sister Mary Wages. I have not found the 1940 census record for Addie’s recently widowed husband Marion Wages.

1900

 

1910

 

1920

 

1930

 

Clark, Logan, Arkansas

 

 

 

Roseville, Logan, Arkansas

 

Clark, Logan, Arkansas

 

13 Jun 1900

 

21 Apr 1910

 

10 Jan 1920

 

14 Apr 1930

 

Marion Wages
Married 5 yrs

30

Marion Wager
Married 15 yrs

40

Marion W Wages

48

Morgon W Wages

60

Addie Wages
3/3 kids alive

29

Addie
6/8 kids alive

38

Addid

46

Mary A

58

Ethel

4

Ethel

14

Ethel

27

Ethel

34

John

2

John

12

 

 

 

 

Willie

2

William

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnie

8

Minnie

23

 

 

 

 

Tommy

6

Tommy

15

 

 

 

 

Bessie

3

Bessie

12

Bessie

24

John Knight
Addie’s father

56

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Knight

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1900 census indicates Mary Adeline was born in Nov 1870 and her husband Marion was born in Sep 1869. Find-A-Grave lists their birthday and death as 22 Nov 1870 to 5 Nov 1937 for Mary Adeline and Sep 1869 to 23 Dec 1957 for her husband.

There are formal death certificates available for both Mary Adeline and her husband Marion Wages. They are referenced in the Arkansas Death Certificate Index at Ancestry.com. A photo of Marion’s headstone is available at Find-A-Grave. Mary Adeline’s grave is recorded next to her husband’s but apparently it is unmarked.

From the census records Marion and Addie had the following children. According to the 1900 census Addie and Marion had been married 5 years and had 3 children, all living. The 1910 census records indicates Addie and Marion had been married 15 years and Addie had 8 children, 6 living. Several public Family trees show Eddie Wages, twin to Ethel, having died shortly after birth, but that conflicts with the 1900 census.  I have no clue as to the identity of the missing children from either records or Family Trees. Arkansas did not start systematically collecting death certificates until 1917, so there is no formal record of the death of these children.

  1. Ethel Emma (1896 - ?)
  2. Eddie Wages (1896-1896) from family trees, but inconsistent with 1900 census
  3. John Ashly (1898 – 1969)
  4. William “Willie” Wages (1900 – 1917)
  5. Minnie Malvania (1902 – 1990)
  6. Thomas E (1904 – 1974)
  7. Bessie (1907 - ?)
  8. Unknown child implied by 1900 census record

Wilburn Jacob (1872 -1970)

Wilburn Jacob Knight married Mary Wages (1875 – 1958) on 28 Dec 1895 in Johnson County, Arkansas. Their marriage record is indexed at Ancestry.com and available from Arkansas Vital Records. Mary Wages was the younger sister of Marion Wages who married Wilburn’s older sister Mary Adeline “Addie”. Both couples married in 1895 several months apart.

The 1900 census records the couple has been married 5 years and has 2 children, all living.  In 1910 they have been married for 14 years and have 4 children, all living.  Census records indicate they had two more children between 1910 and 1920.


1900

 

1910

 

1920

 

1930

 

Kentucky, Newton, Arkansas

 

Ward, Johnson, Arkansas

 

Ward, Johnson, Arkansas

 

North Cobb, Caddo, Oklahoma

 

14 Jun 1900

 

20 Apr 1910

 

3 Jan 1920

 

7 Apr 1930

 

William Knight
Married 5 yrs

27

Jacob Knight
Married 14 yrs

35

Wilburn Knight

48

Wilburn Knight

57

Mary
2/2 kids

25

Mary
4/4 kids

32

Mary

43

Mary H

53

Jame

3

Janie

13

 

 

 

 

Lizzie

5/12

Lizzie

10

Lizzie

19

 

 

 

 

Jim

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernard

5

Bernard

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elmer

9

Elmer

18

 

 

 

 

Ishmael

4

Ishmael

15

In 1940 Wilburn and Mary are living with son Ishmael and his new wife and baby son, Jennice, and Newton.

1940

 

Richards, Comanche, Oklahoma

 

3 Apr 1940

 

Jacob H Knight

70

Mary A

69

Ishmael A

26

Jennice L

21

Newton W

1

No formal birth certificate exists for either Wilburn or Mary, but in the 1900 census Wilburn indicates he was born in Feb 1873 and Mary was born in May 1875. I have not obtained copies of either death certificate and they are too recent to appear in the on-line indices. Find-A-Grave has a photograph of their double headstone which gives birthday and death for Wilburn as (1870-1960) and (1872-1958) for Mary. The Find-A-Grave record itself lists Wilburn’s birthdate as 14 Feb 1872 and Mary’s as May 1872.

The children of Wilburn and Mary recorded in census records are:

  1. Melvina Jane “Janie” (1896 – 1965)
  2. Elizabeth Knight “Lizzie” (1899- ?)
  3. Jessie James (1902 – 1971)
  4. Bernard (1905 - ?)
  5. Elmer Eli (1911 - 1981)
  6. Ishmael Ashlee (1915 – 1975)

Thomas Russell “Tom” (1875 -1952) My Grandfather

Thomas Russell Knight married Ada Bell Callahan (1888 – 1950) 14 Aug 1904 in Logan County, Arkansas. A copy of their marriage record is available and it is indexed online at Ancestry.com. Tom and Ada lived in Logan County, Arkansas on a farm near the Arkansas river for all of their married life. In the 1900 census, Thomas was single and he may be the person operating a saw mill in Cache, Clay County, Arkansas. In that census record he is listed as single and a boarder with age and birth state omitted. Thomas and Ada Belle married 14 Aug 1904.


1900

 

1910

 

1920

 

1930

 

1940

 

Cache, Clay, Arkansas

 

River, Logan, Arkansas

 

Roseville, Logan, Arkansas

 

River, Logan, Arkansas,

 

River, Logan, Arkansas

 

12 Jun 1900

 

21 Apr 1910

 

13 Jan 1920

 

16 Apr 1940

 

10 Apr 1940

 

Thomas Knight

 

Thomas Knight

34

Thomas R Knight

45

Thomas R Knight

54

F R Knight

64

 

 

Anna

20

Ada

33

Ada B

41

Ada

64

 

 

Tom

5

John

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claude

3

Claude

13

Claude H

23

 

 

 

 

Ola

1

Ola

11

Ola

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verna

9

Verna R

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ocie

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lela

5

Lela A

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letar

2

Leta M

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archie R

10

Archie

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arbie R

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leon

5

Lean

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Junior

2

Glen

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herbert W

0

Wayne

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenel Knight
Ada’s nephew

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corine Knight
Ada’s niece

6

 

 

John Knight
Tom’s Father

70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Callahan
Ada’s nephew

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two 6 years old listed in the 1940 census are actually Gerald Dean Callahan and Corine Callahan, Ada Bell’s niece and nephew.  Their parents were Ada Bell’s brother George C Callahan (1892-1955) and Nora E Douglas (1897-1933). Nora died in 1933 shortly after the twins were born and Thomas and Ada Belle mostly raised them.

There is no formal birth certificate available for either Tom or Ada. Tom’s WW1 draft registration indicates he was born 15 May 1875. In the 1900 census a possible record for Tom gives a birthdate of May 1878. In the 1910 census Tom and Ada have been married 6 years and have 3 of 3 children living. The 1900 census gives Ada Bell’s birth as Aug 1889. Find-A-Grave has a photo of their double headstone which gives dates of (15 May 1875 – 17 Sep 1952) for Tom and ( 6 Aug 1888 – 12 Nov 1950) for Ada Bell. My father remembered the birthdates of his parents and confirmed the information presented at Find-A-Grave.

Death Certificates are available for both Thomas and Ada Bell at the Arkansas Department of Vital Records.
Thomas and Ada Belle had 13 children. All but Leieta appear with them in census records:

     

    Charles Timothy “Charlie” (1878 -1952)

    Charlie was married at least 3 times. The first two ended in divorce. His first marriage was to Princess Augustus Ann "Annie" Sivley (1881 -1937) on 24 Mar 1901.  After Annie and Charlie split up, Charlie married Allie E. Phelps (1886 – 1952) on 21 Oct 1907. Allie entered the marriage with a young daughter, Manda Brown who used Knight as her last name. Charlie and Allie divorced on 7 Oct 1937. Charlie then married Brillie Morton (1877 – 1959) on 1 Dec 1937. There are formal marriage records available for these marriages and divorces and an index to them is available online at Ancestry.com.

    Here are the census records for Annie Sivley. There are no online records that show her married to Charlie Knight.  She married Andrew Jackson English (1841 – 1916) soon after divorcing Charlie. There are no census records indicating that Andrew and Annie had any children together.


    1900

     

    1910

     

    1920

     

    1930

     

    Logan, Logan, Arkansas

     

    Ninnekah, Grady, Oklahoma

     

    Ninnekah, Grady, Oklahoma

     

    Sherman, Grayson, Texas

     

    1 Jun 1900

     

    4 May 1910

     

    14 Jan 1920

     

    5 Apr 1930

     

    James M Sivley
    Father

    54

    A J English
    2nd marriage

    55

     

     

     

     

    Anna A Sivley
    Single

    18

    Annie English
    4/4 Kids,
    2nd marriage

    28

    Annie English
    Widow

    39

    Annie English
    Widow
    Married at 19

    48

     

     

    Buelah Knight

    9

    Buelah Gonzales
    Divorced

    19

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Philip Ray Gonzales
    Buelah’s son

    1

     

     

     

     

    Luella Knight

    9

     

     

     

     

     

     

    John Knight

    8

    John English

    18

     

     

     

     

    Eugene Knight

    5

    Eugene English

    14

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Mary L Knight
    Granddaughter?

    3 mo

    The children of Charlie Knight and Annie English are:

    1. Beulah Knight/English (1900 – 1942)
    2. Luella Knight/English (1901 - ?)
    3. John Knight/English (1902 - ?)
    4. Eugene Knight/English (1905 – 1940)

    Here are the census records for second wife Allie Phillips. Charlie is missing from the 1930 census. Allie and Charles have divorced in 1940, but Allie lists herself as widowed in the 1940 census.

    There is no census record regarding the father of Manda Brown who is listed as Charles’ step daughter in 1910. Marriage records indicate Allie married Samuel T Brown on 10 Dec 1904. Presumably, he is the father of Manda.


    1900

     

    1910

     

    1920

     

    1930

     

    1940

     

    Logan, Logan, Arkansas

     

    Ward, Johnson, Arkansas

     

    Ward, Johnson, Arkansas

     

    Hartman, Johnson, Arkansas, 

     

    Hartman, Johnson, Arkansas

     

    23 Jun 1900

     

    20 Apr 1910

     

    3 Jan 1920

     

    12 Apr 1930

     

    4 Apr 1940

     

    Thomas J Phelps
    Father

    50

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Anna E
    Mother

    39

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Charles Knight
    Married 3 yrs

    29

    Chas T Knight

    41

     

     

     

     

    Anna E

    15

    Allie Knight
    4/4 kids

    24

    Allie

    34

    Allie Knight

    45

    Allie Knight

    55

     

     

    Manda Brown

    4

    Manda B Knight

    14

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Vinnie Knight

    2

    Melvina

    11

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ray Knight

    0

    Ray

    9

    Ray

    20

     

     

     

     

    May Knight

    0

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Frances M

    7

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Juanita

    5

    Flossie J

    15

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Charles T, Jr

    9

    Charles

    19

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Gordon L

    7

    Gordon

    18

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Arlice W Hutton
    Granddaughter

    4

    Wilda Dilton

    15

    The children of Allie and Charlie recorded in the census records are:

    1. Amanda Joshephine “Manda” Brown/Knight, Charlie’s step-daughter (1906 – 1982)
    2. Melvina “Vinnie” Knight (1908 - ?)
    3. Ray “Roy” Knight (1910 – 1989)
    4. Frances M “Frank” Knight (1912 - ?)
    5. Flossie Juanita Knight (1914 – 1984)
    6. Charles Timothy Knight Jr. (1920 – 1988)
    7. Gordon Elwood Knight (1922 – 1981)

    In 1937 Charlie married his 3rd wife, Brilla “Brillie” Morton who was the widow of Wainright S Sexton (1861 – 1930). Brilla and Wainright married on 19 Sep 1893.  Wainwright was previously married and it seems he brought the 5 older children listed in the 1900 census (Leonard, Mary, Elisha, Ada and Bertha) from his first marriage. The 1900 census says that Brille has 2 living children, probably Ethel and William. 

    Here are the census records for Brillie. I have not found a definitive 1940 record and I do not have any evidence that Charlie and Brillie had any children together.


    1880

     

    1900

     

    1910

     

    1920

     

    1930

     

    Salem, Dent, Missouri

     

    Hilburn, Madison, Arkansas

     

    Grant, Johnson, Arkansas

     

    Lee, Johnson, Arkansas

     

    Ward, Johnson, Arkansa

     

    11 Jun 1880

     

    16 Jun 1900

     

    5 May 1910

     

    29 Jan 1920

     

    27 Apr 1930

     

    G W Mourton
    Grandfather

    50

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    William Mourton
    Father

    23

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Winwright Sexton
    Married 16 yr

    38

    Wainright S Sexton
    Married 14 yr

    50

    Wainwright Sexton

    50

    Winright S Sexton (Ancestry index has Dexter)

    74

    Brillia Mourton

    3

    Brillia
    2/2 kids, 16 yrs married (doesn’t make sense)

    21

    Brellie
    5/6 kids

    30

    Brilla

    36

    Brillie

    50

     

     

    Leonard

    20

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Mary

    16

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Elisha

    15

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ada

    10

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Bertha

    6

    Bertha

    17

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ethel

    5

    Ethel

    13

     

     

     

     

     

     

    William

    3

    William

    12

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Annie

    8

    Anna

    19

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Harvey

    7

    Harvey

    17

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Henry

    5

    Henry

    13

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Roy

    2

    Roy

    11

    Ray

    20

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Susie

    9

    Susia

    18

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Norman
    Grandson

    13

     

     

    I have not found definitive census records for Charlie in 1930 or 1940. He was not living with Allie in 1930 and I cannot find any census with him living with Brillie. He is buried next to Brillie in Johnson County, Arkansas.

    In 1930 there is a Charles T Knight, born in Illinois at the Bolivar, Arkansas prison farm. This Charles is born about 1881, instead of 1878, in Illinois, and both parents are from Tennessee, all of which but the age is correct for Charlie. Age of first marriage is listed as 37, which is strongly incorrect. In 1940, there is a Charles Knight, born in Illinois, at the Larned, Pawnee, Kansas, poor farm. This Charles ‘s birth year is estimated to be 1872.

    1930

     

    1940

     

    State Convict Farm, Bolivar, Jefferson, Arkansas

     

    Larned, Pawnee, Kansas Poor Farm

     

    6 May 1930

     

    5 Apr 1940

     

    Charles T Knight

    49

    Charles Knight

    68

    Several previously unknown relatives, with DNA matches with me according to Ancestry.Com have contacted me during their investigating and indicate Charlie might be their illegitimate father.

    I hope that the above research will help other family members to sort out their trees and give accurate information to their own families and to others. This is a work in progress and I will appreciate any information that others may have to further fill out the picture.

     

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