Once a Knight is Enough

Knight Genealogy

by Laura Knight

John Knight and Jonathan Knight of Lunenburg VA and Granville NC

With a Segue to Obadiah William Knight

With Research Assistance and Inspiration from Jerry Knight of Arkansas

NOTE! Big Update: I have received confirmation from documented descendants of John Knight and Elizabeth Woodson that this line belongs to Y-DNA Lineage VII on the Knight Family Y-DNA project. This confirms that there is no close relationship between the Knights of Lunenburg and the Knights descending from Capt. Peter Knight of Northumberland, VA; this latter line is Lineage XII on the Y-DNA project.

Join the project if you can!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled article.



As I noted in my article about John Knight of Sussex, at one point in time there were three John Knights who were from quite separate families, who have been erroneously connected to one another or conflated for a very long time. Lucian Lamar Knight did it in his book about Knights and Woodsons, and a whole lot of people have been doing it ever since. All three of the John Knights in question left wills proving that there were two John Knights in Sussex, one of whom was JR (designated as such in a record), and one John Knight of Lunenburg:

1. John Knight of Sussex VA who left a will in 1762.

2. John Knight JR of Sussex VA who left a will in 1791, son of John Knight of Sussex.

3. John Knight of Lunenburg VA who left a will in 1772.

The will of John Knight JR of Sussex, son of John Knight of Sussex, eliminates entirely any possibility of John Knight of Lunenburg being that son. As we are going to see, it is not just a multiplicity of Johns, there are quite a few Williams as well!

Sometimes it is hard to even know how to begin to discuss some genealogical problems because the mass of confusing claims with conflicting data is just so overwhelming. I'm going to try to make this as short and simple as possible though.

The mass of confusion seems to stem mainly from sites like ancestry.com that try to make it easy for an ordinary person to build a family tree by just pointing and clicking. On ancestry.com, someone finds a record, decides that it should be attached to an individual on their tree (rightly or wrongly), points and clicks - presto! - people are added to your tree, and as soon as that happens, dozens of other trees begin to replicate it. I made a few tests on ancestry and discovered that those trees with the highest number of records appear at the top when suggesting matches. It appears that it doesn't matter if the records are the wrong ones to apply to the individual, what counts is the number.

I've noticed that the most egregious errors are created by people whose main family lines are not Knights, they just somehow connect to a Knight and they tend to stick what they think is the most likely prospect into the slot and build from there. I can actually understand this because I've faced similar situations. When I have a lateral connection that needs at least parents and siblings, I assume that the family working on that line knows what they are doing, so I try to look for a tree belonging to that particular name as a guide. But perhaps I'm assuming that more work is actually being done than is the case! People tend to rely too much on old books written before the Information Age when we have such expanded access to literally millions, if not billions, of old records. In that sense, ancestry.com has done a great service by making much of this available (for a price, of course), but they appear to want to operate on the cheap, using un-trained volunteers to transcribe and index on one free site, while they then sell the transcriptions and indexes on another.

I spent quite awhile going through some really messed up trees on ancestry.com and took a lot of screen shots and had planned to display some of them as examples of how truly bad the situation is, but then I decided that would be a waste of time - mine and yours. Instead, I'll concentrate mostly on just using the actual records and show here what is correct, as far as those records can go. There are a couple of really wrong things that will need to be dealt with toward the end of this article, but I want to keep that to a minimum. I will also speculate a bit on the solutions to a couple of problems that appear to throw people completely off track. I should add that one problem I hadn't even anticipated emerged all on its own during the compiling of this information simply due to concentrated review of the set of records that will be presented here.

I'm going to start with John Knight of Lunenburg, and after some background is in place, I will arrange the records in two columns, one for Goochland/Lunenburg VA and one for Granville NC. I think that this method will help us to better see what exactly is going on at any given point in time though sadly, this collection of records is rather sparse and there are some things we will never know with certainty. One thing is certain, and should be said from the beginning, it not possible that this branch of Knights descended from Capt. Peter Knight of Northumberland or Peter Knight, Merchant of Gloucester, though they might be related in some other way to the latter. Do read the three onsite articles about those two individuals listed on the INDEX to get the full scope of what is known for certain about them, and about the former, it is quite a bit! That data excludes John of Lunenburg from being a descendant of Capt. Peter Knight.

The Origins of John Knight of Lunenburg

There are a couple of factors that have dramatically increased our knowledge of the past: 1) the Information Age itself that gave birth to the internet; 2) the burgeoning interest in genealogy which has stimulated the search of archives and extraction and transcription of old records. As a result of this activity, we now know that there were two Peter Knights in early Virginia, and there was no "Knight-Basse" marriage, and that neither Peter Knight was the direct ancestor of the Knights of Lunenburg that intermarried with the Woodsons.

The Knights of Lunenburg seem to emerge from a Dark Age of Henrico/Goochland counties, and that, in itself, is a problematical statement since there are actually quite a few records that survived from that area and era, including a goodly number concerning the Woodson family. So, the idea was that, since there were no records of Knights in Henrico/Goochland, the John Knight who appears in Lunenburg, with connections to Henrico/Goochland Woodsons, must have come from somewhere else and was just "passing through", so to say. That led, of course, to the idea to connect him to the well-known figure, Capt. Peter Knight, who made such a splash in early Colonial Virginia; the names of both are Knight, so they must be directly connected, right? And then, there was the John Knight of Sussex, (whose family actually migrated to Edgecombe NC); he has to fit in there too, right? And so, Lucian Lamar Knight, working with some earlier materials that were iffy at best, connected them all together. However, the will of John Knight JR of Sussex put a period to the idea that John Knight of Lunenburg was the son of John Knight of Sussex.

The thing is, when one takes the time and trouble to look into this, it is not so simple or straightforward, and there were a number of Knights dotted around here and there, all maddeningly elusive while giving the impression of being somehow related. And that's not even to mention - or think about - the probability that there were other Knights on the landscape who were completely undetected, who flew under the official records radar entirely. But that may be just an impression created by the devastating loss of records due to fire, war, and just plain neglect. And then, of course, there is the problem of the Four Migrations; the Knights of Pennsylvania, headed up by Giles came with the Quakers and other Knights came with the Borderers Migration.

Nevertheless, excluding the Capt. Peter Knight line, for the most part, let me present here the small collection of very early Knight records that may represent the origins of John Knight of Lunenburg. Some of these records include Knights only as headrights, but please remember that the headright system is not exactly what it is often presented to be. It was, to put it plainly, often a racket. People could appear as a headright when they were already settled, had their own land, or were the son of a settled colonial.

One additional note about Tithables before we begin: These lists show the name of the taxpayer to whom the tithes were chargeable, usually the head of a family together with the names of male children old enough to be taxed and the names of other white persons charged as tithes such as overseers and indentured servants. The Act of Queen Anne, October, 1705 provided that: All male persons. of the age of sixteen years, and upwards, and all negro, mulatto, and Indian women of the age of sixteen years, and upwards, not being free, shall be, and are hereby declared to be tithable, or chargeable, for defraying the public, county, and parish charges…” This means that no white women were included in the numbers against each name, nor younger children under 16, but only slaves, given as numbers, and the names of male children over 16 were included. So, for John Knight, below, we see that in 1748, he had no male children 16 or older in his household , and he was charged for 4 slaves. Also note that the Tithes lists were generally reported in June of each year with a few exceptions.

To begin,

1638 - Mar 2 VA James City - Admin - John Watkins - Land patent for “150 acs. James Citty Co. at the Low. Chippokes for trans. Of 3 pers”: incl. Robert Knight. (Nugent I, p. 103)

The above record caught my eye because the Watkins family were very present in later Henrico/Goochland counties and a Rachel Watkins, Quaker, married Robert Woodson JR, becoming the mother of Elizabeth Woodson who is said to have married John Knight of Lunenburg. So, an early contact between a Knight and a Watkins struck me as interesting. I can't say how this John Watkins connects to the later Watkins, but there it is: a whiff of more going on than meets the eye. This Robert would need to be born at least by 1620.

Here, I am going to include a record from across the Great Water, in England, because it will be a connecting link:

1639 – Mar 8 – UK London St Bride – Bap – Barbery Coleman – d/o Anthony Coleman and wife, Ann. (London Met Arch)

Barbery's father appeared in Virginia not long after she was born:

1642 – Sep 21 - VA James City – Admin - Anthony Coleman – Land patent for 82 ½ acs. In Pasbyhaies …. By order of Court, Dec. 3, 1639, “For the better strengthening and securing of James Cittie,” &c. Adj. Sir Francis Wyatt, Alexander Stoner, his own land & Mr. White’s. 21 yr. Lease from the feast of St. Michaell the Arch Angell 1649. Annuall Rent: 3 bbls. & a bushel of Ner. Indian corne sheld at the State Howse in James Citty.” Note: Renewed in the name of Thomas Ludwell, 11 July 1651. (Nugent I, p. 145)

From the wording of the patent, Anthony already has other land in the area, and he is definitely hobnobbing with the big shots. Keep the Stoner name in mind because it travels to Henrico and then to Lunenburg within the next couple of generations.

The first record I found with a direct relationship between a Coleman and a Knight was this:

1642 - Oct 17 – VA Elizabeth City – Admin – Henry Coleman – Land patent for 104 acs…. Bounded W. upon Hampton River, S. by land of Mr. Henry Poole & N. by land of Mr. Robert Speed. Formerly lease land. For trans of 2 pers: Robert Peltriman & William Knight. (Nugent I, p. 137)

The Poole name is later associated with Knights of Granville NC for sure, and probably earlier. Considering later Coleman and Knight connections, one wonders if this William Knight is related to the subsequently appearing family consisting of the father Joseph Knight, and sons: Edward, Joseph and William? It is too early to be the son, but it could be a brother or cousin of father Joseph.

1648 - Jul 3 – VA James City – Admin – Thomas Hart - Son of Henry Hart, deceased, land patent for 100 acs. at Smiths Fort, James City Col, for trans. Of 4 pers. Incl Robert Knight, William Pierce, Phillip Clave. (Nugent I, p. 176)

As I've learned from reading and transcribing thousands of old records, this doesn't necessarily mean that a new Robert Knight has been imported, but could very likely be the same Robert Knight used as headright by John Watkins above, ten years earlier. It could also be his son, come of age. Is Robert a brother of Joseph the elder and William the elder? The name, Robert, may be important as well considering the upline connections I will propose below.

Next we see Anthony Coleman again associated with a Knight and a Stoner, as well as a William Peirce (Pierce/Pearce) whose descendants are later associated with Woodsons in Henrico/Goochland as are the Princes and Edwards:

1648 - Sep 9 – VA James City – Admin - Mrs. Jane Perkins (Pirkins) – Patent for 27 acs. … Adj. Land of Anthony Coleman & near John Fitchett. This land was given to Alexander Stoner by Capt. William Peirce in open court and forfeited by sd. Stoner unto John Knight, who assigned to William Edwards, who assigned it to Edward Prince, who assigned it to Robert Miles, who assigned it to the sd. Mrs. Perkins. (Nugent I, p. 177)

Note that the patent of Thomas Hart, just a few months earlier, has a William Pierce and Robert Knight, together, as headrights, and now, a William Pierce is associated with an Alexander Stoner and a John Knight in the chain of land transfers. These guys were real busy scratching each other's backs! The wording of the patent tells us that, at least for a time, this John Knight had possession of land next door to Anthony Coleman which, in the 1642 Sep 21 Coleman patent, was in the possession of Stoner.

Next, we encounter an Edward Knight and Joseph Knight together, and the third patent makes it clear that they are father and son:

1650 - Sep 25 VA James City – Admin - Edward Knight – Land patent for 140 acs. …Lying at the head of Chiskroes Cr. On the e. side of Chickahominy Riv., bounded N. upon land of Mr. Robert Holt, S. upon Mr. Samuel. Abbott, W. upon the head of the Cr. & E. upon Mr. Robert Witherall. Being part of 560 acs. Granted to Mr. Richard Bell, who by will bequeathed same to his sonn in Law Thomas Morecock, and due sd. Knight by purchase from Morecock. (Nugent I, p. 202)

1650 - Sep 25 – VA James City – Admin - Joseph Knight, 1600 acs.  …Lyeing between the branches of Jones Cr., Morgans Cr. & Warrany on E. side of Chickohominy Riv., beg. Close by Richahock Path. Trans. Of 32 pers. (Nugent I, p. 202)

1650 - Sep 25 – VA James City – Admin - Edward Knight – Land patent for 400 acs. … Lyeing neare the Southermost br. Of Warreny Cr. On the E. side of Chickohamony Riv., beg. At the extreme of Joseph knight, his father, running N. thence E. to Richahock Path. Trans. Of 8 pers. (Nugent I, p. 202)

Let's recap briefly so we can stay oriented. So far, from 1638 to 1650, a matter of 12 years, we have Robert Knight, William Knight, John Knight and Joseph Knight who all seem to be of the same generation; Joseph has a son, Edward.

At this point, in 1652, Surry County was formed from the portion of James City County south of the James River which we need to make note of since we will be finding Knights there soon that appear to be related to the James City Knights.

Four years after the granting of the patents to Joseph Knight and his son Edward, we learn something crucially interesting about them and their close association with Anthony Coleman:

1654 - Jun 1 – VA James City – Admin - Majr. Francis Morrison – Land patent for 24 acs. Commonly knowne by the name of the Glasse House, James City Co., …The sd. Land being formerly by Sr. John Harvey, Knt. by bill of sale assigned to Anthony Coleman, & by Edward Knight & Joseph Knight the heires of sd. Coleman, assigned to John Senior etc… (Nugent I, p. 240) 

Francis Morrison will renew this patent on 1655 Sep 6 with the additional information: “”Formerly by Sir John Harvey by bill of sale made over unto Anthony Coleman, & by Edwd. Knight his heir & Joseph Knight, Att. Of William Coleman, joynt heir to sd. Anthony Coleman, assigned to John Senior” etc.  (Nugent I, p. 313)

So, the story seems to be that Joseph Knight acted as attorney on behalf of William Coleman who was "joynt heir" with Edward Knight, to the estate of Anthony Coleman. This tells us that Edward Knight married the daughter of Anthony Coleman thus becoming a co-heir on behalf of his wife, with Anthony's son, William, who may have been underage or not immediately present.

When we check on William Coleman, the first reference is a patent to a Henry Coleman dated 10 Mar 1635 for "100 acs. Eliz. Citty Co., “for the per. Adv. of his wife Katherine Coleman & 50 acs. For trans of 1 servt: Jaques Dela Rey." The transcriber, Nugent, has made a note: (Marginal reference and general index given this name as William Coleman.) (Nugent I, p. 42)

There are several other early entries for a Henry Coleman without such marginal notes or variances between the index and the entry; it seems, therefore, that this latter entry of 1654 should be that of William Coleman, heir of Anthony Coleman, and that there was also a Henry Coleman who was likely related, but not a son of Anthony; possibly his brother, who took out the 1635 patent.

The baptismal record of Anthony Coleman’s daughter, Barbery, is included above 1639 Mar 8. In 1654, she would have been just 16 years old. A grandson of John Knight of Lunenburg, who married Elizabeth Woodson, via his son Charles, was named Coleman Knight (1760-1840) which may even suggest that the mother of John Knight of Lunenburg was a Coleman, or that he had a first wife, before Elizabeth Woodson, whose name was Coleman! This grandson Coleman married  Nancy Knight in 1787, his first cousin, daughter of  Peter Knight, son of John and Eliz. and possibly half-brother to Charles, father of Coleman.  The question is: how to get from Edward Knight, son of Joseph Knight, to John Knight of Lunenburg? The trail is obscured by lack of records which again, is surprising considering the many records we do have from Henrico and Goochland.

Nevertheless, we press on :

1656 - Jan 13 – VA Surry – Admin - Capt. George Jordan - Court: It was ordered to audit and settle and deliver all accounts depending between Capt. George Jordan and Mr. Richard Hill, deceased… a bill in the hands of Mr. Jno. Dibdall, also Mr. Jennings, etc. Test: Peter Knight, John Flood, Benjamin Sidway. Rec.: 6 Feb 1656. (Timberlake Davis)

This Peter Knight is, no doubt, the elder Peter Knight, merchant of Gloucester County. It seems a good bet that he was connected in some way to some of the other Knights in the area at this early point in time, but I haven't been able to find a strong connector. This Peter apparently died without surviving male issue, but he may have been a cousin, or even a brother, of William, John, and Joseph, the early James City Knights.

Fifteen years after the last mention of Joseph Knight and his son Edward in James City, the latter being heir to Anthony Coleman, and skipping over quite a few records that are on file, but I am not including here that tell us that Edward and Joseph JR had a younger brother named William, a William Knight appears to be established in Surry County which, as we recall, was originally part of James City County. I would suggest that this is the very same William, son of Joseph Knight of James City. (For all the records, see the Master Records lists.) Notice also who is also on that tithables list:

1669 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin - Tithables list - Selected: William Knight (2), Arthur Jordan, Doctor Nathaniel Knight, Lt. Col. George Jordan, William Jordan, John Gregory, George Watkins, William Hare, Thomas Taylor, Nicholas Crawford, James Murrey. (VA Gen. Soc. Qrtly. Vol. 22 No. 1)

This William Knight has two tithables: sons or relations 16 and over would be named, indentured servants or slaves, probably not; the names I've included are all movers and shakers in Henrico and some later in Lunenburg. Dr. Nathaniel Knight will die in 1677 without issue, naming his father, Samuel Knight of Stroodwater, Gloucestershire England as his residuary legatee. He makes some bequests to Phillips, Briggs, Brownes, Harrisons, Hoskins, Allens, but otherwise, does not seem to be connected with the path we are following, so I'll make no further reference to him.

In any event, William Knight of Surry appears only this once there, and then there is no Knight listed again, in the available records, until 1690, over 21 years later. What we do see are some Jordans moving into the area though they are not the Quaker Jordans, but rather from the Arthur Jordan line which intermarried with the Cabells and Washingtons at an early date.

You can have a look at the Selected List of Tithables for Surry County 1668 - 1703 HERE to get a good feeling for who was there, hanging around with who else. But, as noted, no Knight appeared again until 1690, and then, it becomes regular for a few years as follows:

1690 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin - Tithables list - Selected: John Knight with Thomas Busby and Nathaniel Hales (Halet?).

1694 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: Thomas Cotten & John Knight.

1695 Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight.

1696 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight.

1698 -Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight.

1699 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: George Knight.

1700 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight.

1701 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight.

1702 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight.

1703 - Jun 10 VA Surry – Admin – Tithables - Selected: John Knight & Valentine Williamson.

1704 VA Surry – Admin - Rent Roll - No Knights

When the two names are together with "&", that means the first name mentioned is the "master" and the second name is a tithable under him, i.e. a male 16 or over of any relationship, familial or partner or friend living with him and helping him with his estate. To get a pretty good idea of what life was like then, and how relationships worked, read Alexander Brown's "The Cabells and their Kin". He includes a lot of quotes from diaries written at the time about daily doings and historical matters.

Now, looking at that list of tithables, John Knight goes from having partners/helpers to being on his own. And then, all of a sudden, there is George Knight who appears only once, and then John Knight is back.

We will see that there is a connection between a George Knight and an Anthony Knight in Henrico/Goochland,below. For now, I just want to note that many of the individuals in the tax lists referenced above ended up in different counties when county boundaries were changed. Others went in various directions as new lands were opened up for settlement. And, of course, some planters maintained plantations in more than one county, usually close to their home county. After 1703, there are no Knight records for Surry in my collection for the next 20 years, and I think this probably may reflect reality unless someone else finds some and sends me the info. That does not necessarily mean that there were no Knights in Surry, they just weren't on the radar. The Cabells had a grandson who was a literary recluse who spent his entire life living privately, working for his family, but was never on the records radar. I'm sure there was a lot of that sort of thing then as there is today.

Let me recap the Surry Tax (tithables) list with some additional notes:

1669 - Surry - William Knight with 2 tithables

The 21 year gap; part may be due to lack of records, but where there are records, there are no Knights.

1690 - Surry - John Knight with two friends who may have gone into business together.

If the previous William Knight died in that 21 year gap, and this is his son taking up his inheritance when he came of age, then this John would be born abt 1669 when William was first listed. That's about all we can infer from this record and the possibles are a bit broader, but not by much.

1698 - Surry - John Knight w Samuel Gregory in list also.

So, eight years later, we find a Samuel Gregory in the same list with a John Knight (not together as tithables, though), no doubt the same John Knight of the 1690 list.

In the very next year, there is that anomaly:

1699 - Surry - George Knight

Where did this guy come from?

Moving on:

1699 - Aug 23 – VA Henrico – Admin - Thomas Chamberlayne - Of Henrico sells Martha Jones daughter of Philip Jones of Henrico, a mare named Peggy Wit:  Anthony Knight, Charles Roberts. (Weisiger 1996, p. 111)

And then:

1700 - May 1 VA Henrico – Will - Anthony Knight -  To Maj. Thomas Chamberlayne, I give and bequeath my ____ ___  named George to serve to ye age of thirty years and no longer. 
*   To god daughter Margery Gillam, 1 shilling.
*   To god son Burrell Gordon, 20 shillings.
*   John Oliver to live on plantation I possess for 6 years, paying yearly 400 lbs tobacco.
*   Maj. Thomas Chamberlayne to be executor…
*   Dated 1 __ 1699, Wit: James Sanford, Mary Ludson, Charles Roberts, Recorded 1 May 1700. (Weisiger, 1998, p. 64)

Note: What was ___ George? Was he an indentured servant who was to serve until he was 30? Or was he a slave who was to be freed at the age of 30? It’s pretty obvious that whichever George was, he was being “willed and bequeathed” to Chamberlayne. What is strange is that there is no main heir named;  he does not bequeath his land to anyone but leaves it to the occupation of John Oliver for 6 years and it looks like Thomas Chamberlayne is only the executor, so the land may have been entailed and it was not necessary to name the main heir; perhaps it went to a daughter who was married to Chamberlayne?  

Also note the 1686 Nov 20 entry of a land transfer from Thomas Wells to Robert Clark whose son was named Samuel Clark. Recall that this was the name of the "heir and next of kin" to Peter Knight of Gloucester who probably married Knight's daughter or widow. Notice that Thomas Chamberlayne was witness to that transfer.  Was Thomas Chamberlayne the son-in-law of Anthony Knight?

In any event, considering the Gregory-Knight connection between Surry and Goochland at about this same time, could the George Knight who shows up in Surry also be a Goochland connection? It seems likely to me. George, must be connected to the John Knight of Surry 1699; and the later William Knight of Goochland 1730, must be related also, but how?

There is another interesting consideration I would like to mention off to the side here: First, in 1643 Apr 17, in James City County, Richard Kemp, Secretary of the VA colony and a member of the Council of State, patented a load of land using Richard Clarke, John Chamberlain (Chamberlayne), Leonard Hawley, as headrights. As it happens, Capt. Peter Knight married Anne Hawley, daughter of James Hawley.

In 1677 Dec 29, in Stafford Va, Cadwallader Jones patented over 14K acs using John Woodson, John Bennett, Edward Cutts, Rowland Farmer, John Farmer, John Knight, William Moore, Richard Lee, Samuel Hughes, Alexander Kemp, John Chamberlaine (Chamberlayne), William Walker, and "a cast of hundreds!" as headrights. (It's really worthwhile to read all the records and clock the repeating, criss-crossing names!)

Then, in 1686 Nov 29, in Henrico County, a Thomas Chamberlayne witnessed a deed of gift from Thomas Wells to Robert Clark, wife Anne, and son Samuel Clark. As it happens, a Samuel Clark(e) was the "heir and next of kin" of Peter Knight of Gloucester!

The point here is that the Chamberlains/Chamberlaynes were connected to both Peter Knights and they and their descendants hung out together, at least until the Revolution tore everything and everyone apart.

Here is an image of the will so you can understand why the transcript is so fragmented. This is a high-rez image constrained, so you can download, zoom in and try to read it:

Anthony Knight

Back to the Knights on the Tax List:

1700, 1701, 1702 - Surry - John Knight is now back in Surry and there is no George Knight.

1703 - Surry - John Knight & Valentine Williamson.

See the 1673 Oct 27 Accomack record of William Kendall & Mary Kendall, heirs of William Kendall, land transaction with David Williamson in the chronological Records Lists. The Kendalls had a stellar list of headrights including John Knight, Henry Hawley and Mary Ligon and the creative "Corn. Wallis". (Nugent II, pp. 134-135)

So, that's the end of those records. In 1704, no Knights were listed. Doesn't mean they weren't there, but there's no record.

Now, thinking about this, we know that Edward Knight, son of Joseph, apparently married the heiress of Anthony Coleman sometime around 1654. (See record enty 1654 Jun 1) Edward and Barbery were probaby the parents of at least Anthony Knight (d. 1700) who could have been born as early as 1655/6. If he had an "heir of his body", he didn't say so and Maj. Thomas Chamberlayne appears to have been the heir, possibly because he was married to a daughter of Anthony. And then, there is the possible connection between Chamberlayne and Peter Knight of Gloucester. Was Peter closely related to Joseph Knight, father of Edward, Joseph JR and William?

Edward Knight, son of Joseph and husband of Barbery Coleman, had two brothers: Joseph and William as the record entries show. It looks possible for the William of the Tithe list - 1665 - who only appears once - to be that brother and father of a John Knight who shows up 21 years later to take charge of his inheritance. That would make John Knight and Anthony Knight cousins. George Knight may have been a brother of John.

Twenty five years after the last appearance of Knights in Surry, there is this:

1728 - Sep 18 VA Goochland – Admin – William Knight - Court: Suits : Edward Moore vs John Taylor; Edward Moore vs John Stubblefield; Joseph Woodson vs John Micheaux; William Chamberlaine vs George Marchbanks.Ordered that a road be cleared from the Widow Johnsons by the race paths on the South side of William Knight’s… (Blomquist 2007, p. 27.)  Note: From this we learn that there is, indeed, a William Knight living in Goochland though we have no idea how long he has been there nor are we certain as to which branch he belongs.

And then,

1730 - May 19 VA Goochland – Admin – William Knight - Court: Samuel Gregory acknowledges a deed with the Livery of Seizin endorsed from himself to William Knight to be his Act and deed and it is thereupon admitted to Record.”  (Blomquist 2007, p. 214, 215)

UPDATE: Thanks to Ken Spratlin, whose mother was a Knight (and he has a Genealogy Blog), I now have photographic images of the document in question and have extracted it and here it is:

1730 - May 19 VA Goochland – Admin – William Knight – This indenture made this 19th day of May anno Domini one thousand seven hudred and thirty between Mr. Samuel Gregory of Charles City County of the one part and William Knight of the County of Goochland of the other part… twenty pounds of Virginia money paid by the said William Knight for a parcel of land containing one hundred and thirty acres in Goochland County on the North Side of the James River on the head of the Westernmost branch of Tuckaho and part of a part of land formerly taken up by Charles Evans and Joseph Woodson and was patented in the hand of said Charles Evans and bounded by Mr. Allen Howard… former dividing line between Joseph Woodson and Charles Evans… to the said William Knight to him and his heirs and assigns forever… Samuel Gregory warrants the sale… SIGNED: Samuel Gregory (Seal).  Wit: Allen Howard, John Knight, Andrew Moorman (his mark).
Court: Samuel Gregory acknowledges a deed with the Livery of Seizin endorsed from himself to William Knight to be his Act and deed and it is thereupon admitted to Record. Wit: Allen Howard, John Knight, Andrew Moorman (his mark). ” (Image of document obtained from LDS Family History Library, in possession of this author.)

The document begins on one page and goes to a second one, so there are two images. These are very large, high-rez images which I am constraining as to size here, but you can download and read them easily.

Knight-Gregory Indenture

The fact is, the patent was granted first to Joseph Woodson and Charles Evans as partners, and was then divided. Evans apparently sold the land to Samuel Gregory who was now selling it to William Knight. I did not find the original Woodson patent on this one; have a look at the collected Woodson Records.

Consider the time element. The above tithable list that included Samuel Gregory was made in 1698, and the land transaction was 32 years later. The John Knight who acted as witness to this deed was born by at least 1709 or earlier and God only knows whose son he is.

There was a William Knight already settled in the area, apparently with land, already in 1728, so he could be an elder and John a younger. If the Samuel Gregory of the earlier Surry tithables list is the same Samuel Gregory later in Goochland, he would be an older man by this time. In the tithables list, Samuel G. shows up in 1697, after a John Gregory had been on the list since 1673 (and a Francis Gregory, later, prob. a brother). That would suggest that he was a young man in 1697, and later moved to Goochland/Henrico County. Thirty years later, he sold some land to William Knight, who could be the son of the John of the tithables list 1690-1700, who likely also moved to Henrico/Goochland. This John of Surry-to-Henrico, the speculative father of William of Goochland, probably had another son named John Knight in Goochland County.

In any event, by about 1733 or 1734, John Knight married Elizabeth Woodson and their first child, Jonathan, was born about 1735 as we can see from the later Lunenburg Tithables lists below.

Now we find something interesting: the land purchased by William Knight above in 1730, witnessed by John Knight, is now being sold by William and John jointly. It's hard to tell from this whether they were father and son, or brothers. Notice that William cannot write and signs with his mark, but John can write and signs his name, suggesting father and son; if they were brothers, it would seem that they would both be raised with a little education:

1743 – Jun 23 – VA Goochland – Admin – William & John Knight – This Indenture made the twenty third day of Jan Anno Dominy one thousand seven hundred and forty three (1743) between William and John Knight of the County of Goochland of the one part and James Cocke of the County of Henrico of the other part Witnesseth that the said William and John Knight for Divers good causes and considerations them thereunto moving but more espitially for the valuable consideration of fifty pounds currant money of Virginia to them in hand paid by the said James Cocke the receipt whereof they the said William and John Knight doth hereby acknowledge and themselves therewith fully satisfied contented and paid hath fully clearly and absolutely acquitted exonerated and discharged the said James Cocke by these presents hath bargained sold aliened enfoefd and confirmed … unto the sd James Cocke to him his heirs and assigns forever one tract or parsel of land containing one hundred and thirty acres more or less situated lying and being in the County of Goochland on the North side James River and on the head of the Western branch of Tuckahoe Creek and part of a tract of land formerly taken up by Charles Evans in his own name and bounded as followeth…. etc Allin Howards corner… Howard’s line which divided him from the said William and John Knight to a corner stone placed in the former dividing line between Joseph Woodson and Charles Eavans … crossing the easternmost branch of the Horsepen creek of Beaverdam etc.  To have and to hold… William and John Knight doth further covenant and agree that they will warrant unto the said James Cocke etc… In witness thereunto the said William and John Knight hath hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year above written.  Signed: William V. Knight (his mark/seal); John Knight (seal)  Wit: Joseph Lewis, Thomas Cocke, William Wadd (his mark); Abell A. Clarkston (his mark).
Memorandum that on the twenty third day of June 1743 land was delivered to James Cocke; Same signatures and witnesses.
At a Court held for Goochland County January 17 1743 deed was proved in Court. (Image of document from LDS Family History Library in possession of this author.)

Again, here are the images. You will notice that on the left page of the first image, there is a deed from Joseph Woodson to John Woodson JR.

Knight-Cocke Land Sale
Knight-Cocke Land Sale


This activity of William and John Knight must have been preparatory to moving since between then and 1746/48, John Knight and Elizabeth Woodson Knight showed up in Lunenburg and patented land there.

Lunenburg County was established on May 1, 1746, from part of Brunswick County and our first sighting of John Knight of Lunenburg is in a Tithables list made 1748 June, where he listed 4 tithables, obviously slaves and not his children.


So, taking all of the above into account, trying to formulate how all the variables might be accounted for, I think that I have put together a rational construction - though certainly speculative - below, that actually explains the very sparse evidence we have. The line would look like this:

1. Joseph Knight of James City - possibly related to Peter Knight of Gloucester VA

A. Edward Knight m. Barbery Coleman c. 1654, dau of Anthony Coleman of St Bride's, London

i. Anthony Knight of Goochland b. c. 1655 d. 1700

a. A daughter? m. Maj. Thomas Chamberlayne?

b. A possible son to whom the estate was entailed?

B. Joseph Knight JR., issue? Is he the Joseph Knight who later appears in Northumberland?

C. William Knight b. c. 1644 - on the Surry Tithable's list in 1669.

i. John Knight b. c. 1665 - on the Surry Tithable's list

ii. George Knight b. c. 1666 - on the Surry Tithable's list

ii. William Knight b. c. 1669 - on the Surry Tithable's list in 1690-1703; moves to Henrico/Goochland?

a. John Knight b. c. 1690 - signs as witness to deed, later appears to be co-owner with William.

Origins of this Branch?

Of course, we would like to know about the origins of Joseph Knight and his three sons, Edward, Joseph and William; I've made a tentative connection upline to an Edmond Knight b. 18 June 1563 in Bromley, Kent, England. He was son of an Oliver, b. c. 1547, who in turn, was son of Robert Knight, Gent, of Bromley. You can find his will under 1558 in the main record collection. There are several wills from that family and they were all interesting. (I highly recommend the enjoyable pastime of reading records. Some of them are actually hilarious; better than TV!)

Keep in mind that the above is a theoretical construction based purely on records analysis. It is also possible to organize the above persons in more than one way. But what does seem clear is that they are connected, and that there were Knights in Henrico and later Henrico and Goochland and that these Knights were related to the Knights that moved to Granville NC. In 1793, a Josiah Knight and his wife, Milly, baptized a daughter in Henrico, and just a couple of years later, a Milly Knight married a William Hill in Granville. Then, the elder Milly Knight became a widow in Granville by 1800. The Henrico to Granville movement is significant, I think. Along with the appearance of Milly in Granville, there is a Stephen Knight. We find a Stephen Knight and his wife, Leah, baptizing a daughter, Betsy Collins Knight, in Henrico in 1791. Stephen may be either a son of, or brother of, Josiah, both of them removing to Granville where they had Knight relations. If there were three sons of William Knight, as I propose above, there were Knights there that went unrecorded.

Goochland to Lunenburg and Granville

Now it is time to turn our attention to the facts on the ground in Lunenburg VA and Granville NC. Before we begin, let's establish dates and spatial parameters for Goochland and Lunenburg Counties.

1728 - VA Goochland - Info - Formed from Henrico shire. Goochland originally included all of the land from Tuckahoe Creek, on both sides of the James River, west as far as the Blue Ridge Mountains. The map below actually shows county formation a few years later, but it's close enough.

VA 1731

Next,here is a bit about the business of establishing Goochland County and who the movers and shakers were.

1728 - May 21 - VA Goochland – Admin – John Woodson - Court: A Commission from the Honble. William Gooch Esqr. his Majesties Lieut. Governor & Commander in Chief of this Dominon to Thomas Randolph, John Fleming, William Mayo, John Woodson, Daniel Stoner, Rene Laforce, Tarlton Fleming, Allen Howard (Allin), and Edward Scot, Gent. to be Justices of the Peace for this County is read as also the Dedimus for administering oaths, then Tarlton Fleming & Allin Howard Gent., Administer the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament… unto Thomas Randolph and William Mayo Gent. who also Subscribed the Test. take the oath of a Justice of the peace and of a Justice in Chancery and then administer the Said oaths unto John Woodson, Tarlton Fleming, and Allin Howard Gent. who also Subscribed the Test. etc. (Blomquist 2007, p.1)

Notice the Daniel Stoner and recall the chain of transmission of the land that went to Mrs. Jane Perkins: via Capt. William Peirce to Alexander Stoner to John Knight. Keep your eye on such connections.

After getting things established, the new power elite of Goochland County determined to do the usual necessaries: appoint a sheriff, take a list of tithables and these tasks were assigned out; then to build a Prison & Court House. After this, regular court business commenced, deeds, suits, etc. I will not be including everything in this set of records because most of it is irrelevant to my purposes. If you want to glut on mentions of the Woodson name, get the book!

1746 - May 1VA Lunenburg - Info - County established on May 1, 1746, from part of Brunswick County. The following map shows the new VA counties as of about 1750.

VA 1750

The next record of interest is 20 years later. It seems to be the first mention of John Knight of Lunenburg, and names many families later associated with Knights of Lunenburg:

1748 - Apr 27 – VA Lunenburg – Admin - Governor’s Council meeting – Petitions for land granted: Robert Carter, John Stevenson and John Lee, 20,000 acs. in Lunenburg County on Mayo River, beginning below the Fork of the South fork, including both Branchs.; To George Carrington leave to include 1,950 acs. already patented to the said Carrington, and 170 acs. joining the same patented to John Floyd, joing the same patented to Orlando Hughes in one patent; to James Williams 3000 acs lying on both sides of Wolf Trap Creek in Lunenburg, including the Branches of Juniper Creek and on both sides of Nances Road including an entry of 400 acs that the said Williams purchased of Thomas Nance, the rights for which are in the hands of the surveyor.; To John Hall, George Walton and James Johnson, 8,000 acs. in the counties of Lunenburg and Albemarle on the branches of Falling River and James River; To David Bell, Joseph Bell, Walter King & Archibald Cary 60,000 acs in Lunenburg beg. at the mouth of Peters Creek; To Robert Walton and Tucker Woodson 5000 acs in Lunenburg beg. on Randolphs line…Petitions for land granted: To Jacob Warrick, 1,000 acs in Surry on the south side of Nottoway River including his own plantation and joyning the lines of John Stephens, Jesse Gillam Thomas Pennington, John Knight and John King. (Exec. Journals. VA, Vol. V, pp. 248-251)

And now we begin to sort the records into columns. Keep in mind the conditions for being on a tithables list noted above.

Date Henrico/Goochland/Lunenburg VA Granville NC

VA Lunenburg – Admin - Governor’s Council meeting

Note: Record cited above which notes John Knight in residence in the new county.

VA Lunenburg – Admin – TithablesJohn Knight: 4.

Note: Recall the terms of tithables: this means that John Knight has no male children in his household 16 or over. He has 4 servants, probably slaves.

Jun 24 – NC Granville – Admin – John Knight –Land patent for 640 acres of on both sides of Rocky Creek Adj. Gaverner Johnston’s. (State Archives of North Carolina, Book: 11, p. 427, Grant no. 56, File no. 561, MARS:

Note: Now, I have read versions of this land patent in a number of places, and it is usually presented as saying “John Knight, Planter of Granville Co., NC" though it is attributed to John Knight of Lunenburg. However, the patent does not actually say that.  And why would John Knight, who has apparently just recently settled in Lunenburg, also acquire land in NC at the same time?  Some have said that he moved temporarily to Granville NC, and then moved back to Lunenburg, but it will be seen from the tithe lists that he is not noted as absent from there.  We know from later records that the Granville NC Knights are certainly connected to this family, but still, one wonders why John would be spreading his resources this way.  Yes, people back then got around a lot more than we would imagine, but still, it was not a negligible distance!

I would like to propose that this was actually John Knight JR, son of John of Lunenburg, already patenting his own land at the same time his father made the move to Lunenburg County. That would mean, of course, that John Knight JR was born about 1724 because you had to be 21 to apply for a patent and it usually took about 3 years to be granted during which time you had to be resident and work the land.

If John Knight JR was born about 1724, that would push his father's year of birth back to about 1703.

That creates a small problem. As we know from the Woodson records, it is thought that the Elizabeth Woodson who married John Knight was the daughter of Robert Woodson JR and Rachel Watkins whom Robert married in 1710. So, if Elizabeth Woodson needs to be about 16 to have her first child, and it is a child who is an adult by 1748, she would need to be born in 1707 which would make her mother Sarah Lewis. But Robert Woodson's will lists his son by Sarah Lewis in such a way that you get the strong impression that this was his only child by her and that his daughters, named further down in the will, were all by Rachel Watkins.

The solution for that problem is that Elizabeth Woodson was John Knight's second wife and that at least John was the child of this unknown first wife, though I suspect that Charles was also a son of a first wife.


VA Lunenburg – Admin - List of TithablesJohn Knight (4).

Note: John still has no son 16 and over in his HH.

1750 VA Lunenburg – Admin - List of TithablesJohn Knight (4).

Dec 4 – NC Granville – Admin – John Knight - Thomas Christian & wife Mercy to John Knight of Lunenburg Co., VA 100 acres in Granville Co., NC for 15 VA. money. He purchased another 900 acres adjoining the 300 on both sides of Grassey Creek. (Granville Co., NC Deed Bk. A 311)

Note: The previous Granville patent to John Knight described land “on both sides of ROCKY Creek.” Has the name of the Creek been changed, or are we looking at two different John Knights? I think it is the same John Knight and we will see how he disposes of this land further on.


VA Lunenburg – Admin - List of TithablesJohn Knight, Jonathan Knight, (5)

Note: John Knight now has a son 16 or older. Since he did not have such at the 1750 tithe list, this means that Jonathan Knight turned 16 in the interim, thus born c. 1735. That is pretty clear and I think we can take it to the bank.


VA Lunenburg – Admin - List of TithablesJohn Knight, Jonathan Knight (5).

Note: Still only one son 16 and over. There is a ten year lack of records between this one and the next tithables list.


NC Orange – Info Orange county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bladen, Granville, and Johnston Counties.

Feb 24 – VA Goochland – Mar – Jonathan Knight & Judith Woodson – St James Northam Parish.

Note: Jonathan is now 22 years old. We don't know if other sons have achieved the age of 16 and older during the past ten years but the next Granville record will suggest that such is the case. Also, it is likely that Jonathan and Judith's first child will be born either late 1757 or early 1758.


Feb 15 – NC Granville – Admin - John Knight - of Lunenburg Co., VA to Memucan Hunt for 60 pds., 300 acres on Grassy Creek in Granville Co., N.C. Wit: Jonathan Knight, John Wade, William Knight. (Abstracts of Granville County Deeds, 1746-1765, Deed Book E, pgs 259/60.) 

Feb 25 – NC Granville – Admin - John Knight - of Lunenburg Co., VA to William Knight of Granville Co., N.C. for 10 pds., 300 acres on Grassy Creek in Granville Co., N.C. Wit: Memucan Hunt, John Wade, Jonathan Knight. (Abstracts of Granville County Deeds, 1746-1765, Deed Book E, pp. 260/1)

Feb 25 – NC Granville – Admin - John Knight - of Lunenburg Co., VA to Jonathan Knight of Granville Co., N.C. for 10 pds., 300 acres on both sides of Grassy Creek whereon Jonathan Knight lives in a dividing line between Charles Knight and William Knight and Memucan Hunt in Granville Co., N.C. Wit: M. Hunt, John Wade, William Knight. (Abstracts of Granville County Deeds, 1746-1765, Deed Book E, pp. 262/3)

Note: It has been 10 years without a tithables list to tell us when sons come of age 16, but we know that Jonathan has, and has married, and the above records suggest that in this same period, William Knight and Charles Knight have also come of age. However, rather than that being the case, I think that what we are seeing here is John Knight JR selling his Granville land to his brothers Jonathan and William, and also a tract to Memucan Hunt. I haven't found a land record for Charles Knight, so we don't know if he, too, was a son of John SRs first wife and has been in Granville all along with John JR. I am inclined to think that Charles, too, was a son of John SR's first wife.

In any event, John JR has disposed of 900 acres here and we don't know how many acres Charles has and if he obtained it from his brother (likely).


1764 - Mar 31 – VA Lunenburg – Admin - Cumberland Parish Vestry Returns of Processioning -  No. 4, Processioned by Daniel Wynn, Elisha Estis & Joel Farguson: … Daniel Wynn’s land, (lines between) Benjamin Bridgfords & John Knight’s, the last & Samuel Snead being present. … No. 5 Processioned by Lodowick Farmer & Sylvanus Stokes… (lines between) Richard Claiborne & Michael Johnson … Richard Claiborne & Lodowick Farmer… Gideon Moon & George Grimes… Richard Stokes & Evans Stokes’s & John Parker… Mr. Stephensons & John Johnsons… No. 6. Processioned by Joseph Minor, Jacobus Christopher & John Knight … lands belonging to: Richard Stokes JR & Richard Stokes SR… Col. John Nash, John Knight… William Monroe, Anthony Puckett, Francis Amos;  (Bell 1930, pp. 513, 514)

VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – John Knight SR, (4)  **  John Knight JR (3)  ** Peter Knight (2)

NOTE: It is two years since John JR sold off his holdings in Granville County NC and now we see him in Lunenburg.

There is a 12 year skip between the last tithe list and this one  and at this point, there are apparently three Knight Households in Lunenburg, John SR, John JR, and Peter Knight, which means that in that same period another son has come of age 16 and more since he is now established on his own.


VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – John Knight, Joseph Knight (7)  **  Peter Knight.  

Note: It's been 5 years since the last tithables list and John Knight now has a son 16 or older in his household. With a 5 year skip, it’s difficult to say much except that he is probably under 21 or he would likely have his own household based on previous pattern.

Notice also that John Knight JR is not listed after selling off his Granville lands and showing up in Lunenburg in 1764. Where did he go? Back to Granville or elsewhere? We would suspect that he had died except for the fact that he appears in his father's will in 1772. So, where did he go?


NC Granville – Admin - Jonathan Knight and Martha Knight - Petition of the Inhabitants of the County of Granville against burdensome Vestry taxation for the building of expensive churches signed by Jonathan Knight and Martha Knight.

Note: Who is this Martha? We know about Jonathan Knight, b. 1635, in Lunenburg County, and that he married Judith Woodson. Based on the date of his marriage, Jonathan can't have any child older than about 13 who could be named Jonathan and married to a Martha.

There is good evidence that Charles Knight married Mason Anderson, but I've never found a record for it so we don't know when. If he was actually born around 1727 by John SR's proposed 1st wife, he could have married as early as 1748 or so and his eldest son, Charles JR, could have been born as early as 1749 or 1750. This Charles JR was said to have married a Martha A. Johnson and that's the only Martha I find in the tree as it stands at the moment, so it might be a solution. If said Charles JR married Martha in about 1770, it would fit exactly; she would be niece by marriage to Jonathan.


Mar 12 – VA Lunenburg – Will - John Knight - Wife: Elizabeth; Named children: Peter Knight, William Knight, Joseph Knight, Rachel Knight, John Knight, Jonathan Knight, Charles Knight, Elizabeth Knight, Judith Knight Bagley, Mary Knight Lea, Woodson Knight, granddaughter Lucy Cook.

VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – John Knight Estate, Joseph Knight (9)  **  Peter Knight (4).

Note: Joseph Knight is a minor still, though over 16, and is listed in the household of his father's estate. John Knight JR is still missing from the list though he was in the will of his father.


Jun 14 – VA Amelia – Will – James Anderson - Mentions daughters Elizabeth Bagley & Mason Knight. Charles Knight is listed as appraiser in the 1781 inventory.

Note: It has been assumed, from this record, that Charles Knight, son of John Knight of Lunenburg, married Mason Anderson. It's a reasonable assumption since Amelia County is between Goochland and Lunenburg. What is not known is when the marriage took place. See the 1771 Granville note above for discussion. The solution I have proposed solves the problem of that record.


VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – John Knight Estate, Joseph Knight, Woodson Knight, (9)  **  Peter Knight (4).

Note: After a 2 year skip in records, Woodson Knight has come to age 16 and is thus listed in the household of his father's estate. That gives him a birth year of 1757. This fact, too, strongly suggests that John Knight of Lunenburg had a first wife if we assume - and I think we must - that John Knight of Granville 1748 was an adult and thus born about 1724. From 1724 to 1757 is 33 years, a very long child bearing period for one woman; not impossible, but highly unlikely.


VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – John Knight Estate, Joseph Knight, Woodson Knight, (9)  **  Peter Knight (4).

Note: Status unchanged since last list.


VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – Elizabeth Knight, Woodson Knight (8)  **  Peter Knight (4). 

Note: Joseph Knight is gone from the family home and the number of slaves has diminished by 1. But, we do not see Joseph with his own household. Many people have been led by this fact to think that this Joseph Knight went off with his brother, John Knight, to South Carolina and/or Georgia where a John Knight and a Joseph Knight are found in association. Well, that isn't what happened. It appears that Joseph Knight took his inheritance to Mecklenburg County VA and died there, leaving a will making it clear that he was the son of John Knight of Lunenburg as we will see below.


May 25 – NC – Mil – Roster of NC Soldiers - Capt. William Knight’s Co.: John Martin, wheelwright for Col. Samuel Smith, Fulvill Hall, planter, Augustus Woodliff, planter, David Allen, planter, James Beaver. (NC State Records, Vol. XIII, pp. 343-44)

Note: William Knight was actually a Lieut. and made a Pension declaration in Holmes MS 1834 Feb 26. He may have been a "local captain", though.



Sep 24 – NC Granville – Admin – Jonathan Knight – Land patent for 225 acres on Grassy Creek Beg at Poole’s Corner on the west side of said Creek … to Glaze’s corner… then by Knight’s own line… to the creek… to the beginning, etc. (State Archives of NC, Book: 39 pg: 121, Grant no.: 11, File no.: 1219, MARS:


VA Lunenburg – Admin – John Knight - Petition  to Thomas Nelson Esq, Governor etc. signed by John Knight. 

Note: Now, this is interesting because it suggests that, during the Revolution, John Knight was in Lunenburg County at least some of the time.

1781 - Jun 18 – VA Prince Edward – Mar - Woodson Knight & Martha “Patty” Walton.  (VA MG REC 1700-1850, p. 520)

Note: Woodson is now about 24 years old. Martha Walton was the daughter of General George Walton and Martha Hughes.  It was only after this marriage that the names “Hughes” and “Walton” entered the Lunenburg Knights family. Their son, John Hughes Knight, b. 8 Sep 1792, was the first “John Hughes Knight”.  John Hughes Knight JR was b. 29 Oct 1829.  So, if you see a “John Hughes Knight” on a family tree or a DAR application before this date, or outside of this connection, you know you are seeing a big error that has gone uncorrected for many years. John Hughes Knight married Sarah Everett Carter.  Let me just note here, for the record, that there could be no “William Hughes Knight” born 1758 (son of Jonathan and Judith) for the same reason.


Aug 23 – NC – MilList of Capt. Wood’s Horse in Col. Malmedy’s Regiment:  Ezekiah Utley, deserted; Ephraim Williams (quit camp, sent a substitute who was accepted);  Alexander Boling, AWOL; Thomas Greene, AWOL for 3 weeks; John Watson, sent on errand and never returned; Henson Utter, AWOL; John Parrot (Barrot), wagonmaker; James Amis, saddler;  John Knight, shoemaker to the army. (Vol. XV, 1780-1781, p. 509, NC State Archives)

NC Granville – Mil – John Knight - Granville Co Regiment -  1778, a Private under Capt. Richard Taylor and Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle (a Continental officer) in the New Levies. 1779, a Private under Capt. William Gill, attached to Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle. 1779, also a Private under Capt. John Henderson and Col. Francois DeMalmedy (NC Light Dragoons).

Note: Above, we see a John Knight in association with a John Parrot and a James Amis, both of whom were associated with the Knights of Granville County NC. John Knight JR, son of John of Lunenburg would be a little old to enlist in the army, so both of these records above very likely belong to the John Knight, son of Jonathan who married Martha Montague; 3 of his sisters married Amises.

Mar 27 – NC Granville – Mar – Lewis Amis & Elizabeth Knight – Bondsman, William Davis. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: This is apparently James Lewis Amis, the same soldier associated with Elizabeth's brother, John in the record above.


Apr 9 – NC Granville – Mar – Anderson Knight & Sarah Medville – Bondsman, John Davis. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Anderson Knight is probably the son of Charles Knight and Mason Anderson.

Oct 30 – NC Granville – Mar – Samuel Glaze & Mary Knight – Bondsman, Thomas Pool. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: We know that Mary Knight, daughter of Jonathan Knight SR married John Amis, so this Mary Knight must be daughter of either Charles or William. Notice that the 1779 land patent of Jonathan Knight is adjacent land of a Mr. Glaze and all the lands of Jonathan, William and Charles are next to each other. The date suggests she belongs to Charles.


VA Lunenburg – List of Tithables – Peter Knight (4)  **  Woodson Knight (Charlotte, 7)

Note: Since he signed the petition in 1781, John Knight has disappeared again and apparently, Elizabeth Knight has died.


Aug 12 VA Lunenburg – Mar - William Dudley of Lunenburg & Rachel Knight - marriage bond. Sur. Woodson Knight. Married 19 Aug by Thomas Grymes. (Matheny & Yates, p. 36)

Note: A marriage at this date would suggest that Rachel was born somewhere around 1765; either that, or she married very late in life! It has to be the latter if her mother, Elizabeth, was born around 1713 as she must have been to give birth to her other children as early as 1735 for Jonathan and as late as 1757 for Woodson which is already a 22 year child bearing period. I think 1759 is a reasonable year for Rachel, all factors considered. That would make her 25 at the time of her marriage.


NC Granville – State Census – County Line district: William Knight, 1 male 21-60, 1 male under 21 or above 60, 2 females, 1 negro, 12-50; Abraham Plain’s District: William Knight, 2 males 21-60, 3 males under 21 or above 60, 4 females, 4 negroes 12-50, 6 negroes under 12 or above 50;  Jonathan Knight 1 male 21-60, 4 males under 21 or above 60, 4 females, 1 negro 12-50.

Note: Here we see William Knight, son of John of Lunenburg, and his son, William who would be about 28 at this time.




Oct 11 – VA Lunenburg – Mar - Lodowick Farmer JR & Elizabeth, “Betsy” Knight. (his 2nd or 3rd marriage)  Bond. (Bell 1930,  p. 208.)

Note: Elizabeth, too, is marrying rather late in life according to the d.o.b. given her in most genealogies I've seen (with no evidence that I've ever seen). If she was born in 1746, she would be 41 at this time, yet we know she went on to have at least two children. I'd be a lot more comfortable with a later birth year for her, no later than, say, 1755.

Dec 14 – VA Amelia – Mar - Coleman Knight & Nancy Knight – (VA MG REC 1700-1850, p. 52)

Note: Coleman was the son of Charles Knight and Mason Anderson.  Nancy Knight was the daughter of Peter Knight, younger brother to Charles, thus, the couple were first cousins.

1788 Aug 16 – VA Lunenburg – Mar - Jeremiah Farmer & Mary “Polly” Knight -  Sur. John Knight. (Bell 1930, p. 208; Matheny & Yates 1967, p. 43)

Mar 27 – NC Granville – Mar – John Knight & Martha Montague – Bondsman, William Knight.. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: I read one discussion about this marriage where it was proposed that this John had a first wife because he and his son Jonathan were both named as heirs and executors of the will of Jonathan Knight SR and the son Jonathan wasn't old enough. I don't think this is correct. If John and Martha were married in March of 1788, their son Jonathan could have been born by December of that year and thus, 21, or close enough, when his grandfather died in 1809.

Dec 13 – NC Granville – Mar – Samuel Clements & Judah Knight – Bondsman, D. Gooch. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Judah is the daughter of William Knight and Pallatiah Evans.



Feb – VA Mecklenburg – Will – Joseph Knight – Sell as much of estate to pay debts; To William Woodson Andrews, 250 pounds current money of VA to be raised out of estate “by the labor of my negroes and stock”; said William to have money to maintain him and give him a good education; William also to receive colt; to Winefred Andrews, mother of said William, 20 pounds current money out of estate; to Sarah Prince (?), my mare; to my brother Jonathan Knight, residue of estate. Reuben Vaughan and Josiah Daly, executors. Signed with his mark. Wits: Betsey Vaughan (mark), Jeremiah Vaughan, Ingram Vaughan, Charles Osbourne. Probated 12 Feb 1789. (Mecklenburg Will Books, Vol 1-3, 1765-1798)

Note: Here is the will that destroys the hopes of those who want John Knight of Effingham GA to be a son of John Knight of Lunenburg. It just isn't so.

Nov 6 – VA Lunenburg – Mar - Barbee Betts & Judith Woodson Knight - By James Shelburne. (Matheny & Yates 1967, p. 9)

Note: Judith is the daughter of John Knight SR and Elizabeth Woodson Knight. She was married to George Bagley at the time of her father's will, but he apparently died.

Jan 21 – NC Granville – Mar – William Amis & Judith Knight – Bondsman, John Raven. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Judith is the daughter of Jonathan Knight SR and Judith Woodson Knight.


1790 NC Granville – Admin - Federal Census -  **  William Knight: No data available.  **  John Knight: No data available.  **  Thomas Knight.  **  Jonathan Knight: No data available.

Note: It appears that one of the William Knights that was here in 1786 is gone.Upcoming records will show that the elder has died - the William Knight married to Pallatiah Evans. John Knight is present. Is this the son of John of Lunenburg or John Knight-Montague? The last we saw of John, son of John and Eliz. Woodson was that he had sold off his land and returned to Lunenburg at least temporarily. Did he die there?


Jul 5 – NC Granville – Mar – Jonathan Knight & Christina U. Bennett (text: Johnathan) – Bondsman, Mark Howard. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Jonathan Knight, son of John Knight-Montague, grandson of Jonathan Knight SR is only 5 years old at this time. We know that Jonathan SR's wife, Judith, was still living at the time he died in 1809. Therefore, this must be son of Jonathan SR.


Jul 22 – NC Granville – Mar – William Hill & Milly Knight – Bondsman, John Hill. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Tthere is a record of a Josiah and Milly Knight baptizing a daughter, Polly Cheatham Knight 1793 Feb 15 in Henrico Co. It looks like Josiah has removed to Granville.


Oct 2 – NC Granville – Mar – John Amis & Polly Knight  – Bondsman, Woodson Knight. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Mary "Polly" is the daughter of Jonathan Knight and Judith Woodson Knight. Woodson is her brother and not the Woodson Knight who was son of John of Lunenburg.

Nov 7 – NC Granville – Mar – Nicholas Adkins & Elizabeth Knight – Bondsman, William Fuller. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Another daughter of Josiah and Milly?


Dec 27 – NC Granville – Mar – John Knight & Lettie Bearden – Bondsman, Spear Harris. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Is this a young man marrying for the first time, or is this an older man marrying a second time? John Knight, son of John of Lunenburg would be about 75 at this time; not impossible, but unlikely. I'm going to give him to Josiah and Milly tentatively.

1800 No census records for Virginia for this year appear to have survived.

1800 – May – NC Granville – Admin – Joseph Knight, Jonathan Knight – Know all men by this present that we, Jonathan Knight, John Washington  & Jeremiah Bullock, are held & firmly bound unto John Brodie, John Tieggs & Lewis Reavis, Justices of the county Court aforesaid in the just & full sum of four hund pounds to be paid to the said justices their heirs, executors or administrations in Trust for the benefit of the Orphan hereafter named committed to the tuition of the said Jonathan Knight to which payment will and truly to be made and done we bind ourselves our heirs, executors & jointly and severally firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this 9th day of May 1800.  The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the above bound Jonathan Knight is constituted & appointed guardian to William Woodson Andrews, orphan of Joseph Knight.  Now if the said Jonathan Knight shall will & faithfully execute his said guardianship by securing & improving all the estate of said William Woodson Andrews that shall come to his possession for the benefit of the said orphan, until lawfully called out of the same & in all other things comply fully with the act of assembly in that case made & provided then the above obligation to ve void & of no effect, otherwise to remain in full force & virtue.  Signed and sealed by Jonathan Knight JR, John Washington, Jeremiah Bullock. (North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, Estate Records, images online served by ancestry.com)

Note: A year following the probate of his brother, Joseph's will in Mecklenburg County VA, Jonathan Knight SR is taking charge of the affairs of Joseph's heir, William Woodson Andrews. I don't know how the latter connects to Joseph as he does not appear to have been married to William's mother.

1800 NC Granville – Admin - Federal Census - Capt. William Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 1 fem 16-25, 2 males 10-15, 4 fem under 10, 1 male under 10, slaves: 2.  **  Jonathan Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 1 male 16-25, 2 males under 10, 4 slaves.  **  Jonathan Knight: 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 45 and over, 1 fem 16-25, 1 male under 10, 6 slaves.  **  Milly Knight: 1 fem 45 and over 1 fem 10-15, 1 male 10-15, 1 male under 10.  **  Stephen Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 1 fem 16-25, 2 fems 10-15, 1 male 10-15, 3 males under 10, 1 fem under 10.

Note: As noted above, here we see that it was the elder William Knight who must have died before the 1790 census. And here we see Jonathan Knight SR and JR. Jonathan JR the son appears to have three sons of his own. Who are they? What happened to them? Why weren't they mentioned in the will of their grandfather?

Who is the elder Milly Knight? I already suggested that perhaps Josiah Knight of Henrico removed to Granville. What we see here indicates that he has died and his widow is now head of the household.

Note that there is no John Knight this year. Does this mean that John Knight JR, son of John of Lunenburg, has died? If the previous entry had been John Knight-Montague, he should be listed again this year. Perhaps he had no land until his father, Jonathan SR died?


Nov – NC Granville – Admin – Stephen Knight & Leah Knight – Inventory of the estate of Stephen Knight by his widow/executrix, Leah. (North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, online served by ancestry.com)

Note: There is a birth record for Betsy Collins Knight, d/o Stephen Knight and Leah, of Henrico Co, 1791 Dec 9. (Chamberlayne, 1980, p. 55) That means that the name, "Stephen", links back to the Henrico/Goochland Knights so, I'll give him to Josiah and Milly until something proves otherwise.


Aug 1 – NC Granville – Mar – Isaac Bradley & Rosey Knight – Bondsman, John Haskins. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: Again, I'm giving Rosey to Josiah and Milly. Ancestry.com has one version of the record transcribed as "Bradford", but looking at the actual record image closely makes it certain that it is Bradley.


Dec 24 VA Lunenburg – Mar - Tarlton W. Knight & Elizabeth W. Farmer – Bond date Nov 24.  Married 17 Dec 1806 by James Shelburne. (Bell 1930, p. 210; Matheny & Yates p. 74)

Note: Elizabeth Farmer was the daughter of Lodowick Farmer JR & Elizabeth “Betsy” Knight. Bell notes: “The date of the marriage – Nov. 24-1806 – is that given in the return of marriages by James Shelburne, the minister who performed the ceremony. That date is probably incorrect, and should be December 24, 1806. In the clerk’s office of Lunenburg County, Virginia, is preserved the letter of consent from Lodowick Farmer, for the issuance of the license for this marriage.  It is dated December 12, 1806. The early ministers were sometimes careless in making returns of marriages, apparently sometimes making up the lists from memory a considerable time after the event.” (p. 210)


May 18 VA Lunenburg – Mar - Samuel Knight & Sarah Knott - Married by James Shelburne. (Matheny & Yates 1997, p. 74)


1809 - Nov NC Granville – Will - Jonathan Knight, SR - Wife Judith (Judath), children named: Sarah Knight Rolfe, John Knight, Woodson Knight, William Knight, Elizabeth Knight Amis, Rachel Knight Dejarnet, Judith Knight Amis, Polly Knight Amis, Grandson: Jonathan Knight son of son John Knight. * John Knight, son, Jonathan Knight, grandson, and William Amis executors.

Note: The will inventory and settlement papers make it clear that only one Jonathan Knight is mentioned in the will, grandson Jonathan Knight, son of John Knight-Montague. Yet we are certain that another Jonathan Knight was present In Granville County thanks to a marriage record and census record. Why was he not mentioned in the will? Had he already received his share or was there some conflict in the family?


VA Lunenburg Admin - Federal Census -  Samuel Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 1 male 10-15, 2 males under 10, 2 fems under 10, 6 slaves.  **  Woodson Knight: 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 45 and over, 1 fem 16-25, 2 males 10-15, 2 males under 10, 1 fem under 10.  **  Tarlton W. Knight: 1 male 16-25, 1 fem 16-25, 2 fems under 10, 7 slaves.  **  John Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 1 fem 45 and over, 2 fem 16-25, 1 male 16-25, 1 fem 10-15, 1 male 10-15, 1 fem under 10, 4 males under 10, 18 slaves.

Note: We know who Woodson Knight is here; he is married to Martha Walton. Tarleton is his son, as is John Hughes Knight who is married to Sarah Everett Carter. But who is Samuel? He has 5 children so must have been married about 10 years, so would be about 35 giving him a birth year of 1775 or 1776. Of the children of John of Lunenburg, he can't be a child of Charles and Mason; he can't be a child of Woodson and Martha; Joseph had no children; Jonathan's kids are accounted for in his will (more or less, except a son who pre-deceased him); William has enough kids and is off in Granville; John, who disappeared, could possibly be the father, but an elderly one; the more likely prospect would be Peter Knight, father of Nancy who married Coleman Knight, son of Charles and Mason. We know that Peter had an estate in Lunenburg according to previous tithables lists, so it would make sense for this to pass on to a son. But, in the end, without at least something else to go on, it's just speculation.

NC Granville – Admin - Federal Census - Judith Knight: 2 fem 45 and over, 4 fems 10-15, 1 male under 10.  **  Jonathan Knight: estate.   **  John Knight: 1 male 26-44, 2 fems 26-44, 1 male 10-15, 3 males under 10, 1 fem under 10.  **  Jonathan Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 male 10-15, 2 males under 10, 10 slaves.

Note: This John Knight and Jonathan Knight pair can't be father and son because their age brackets are the same (and in the next census as well).

This is right after the death of Jonathan SR, and I don't think what we are seeing is John Knight-Montague nor his son, Jonathan. The Jonathan must surely be the son of Jonathan SR and the John Knight is the tentative son of Josiah, the John who married Lettie Bearden.


May 30 – NC Granville – Admin – Jonathan Knight – “To any lawful officer of (any) County (Granville) to execute and return in 30 days from the date hereof, Sunday excepted, I command you to take the body of John Knight & Jonathan Knight, Executors of Jonathan Knight dec’d, if to be found in your County under .___ to cause to appear before the me or ___ other Justice of the Peace in said County to answer the complaint of John ____ for the non-payment of twenty-four pounds four shillings and two pence due by note given under my hand and seal this 30th May 1812 Signed: H. Williams. 

Followed by: The Defendants appeared before me and acknowledged the service of this warrant and confessed judgment to the Plaintiff for twenty-four pounds, four shillings, 2 pence debt granted by me. Signed: H. Williams. 

Followed by:  July 15 1812: I command you to levy on the goods & chattels of John Knight & Jonathan Knight, executors of Jonathan Knight deceased, sufficient to satisfy the above judgement with all legal cass. for the want of such goods & chattels you are to levy on the land, tenements & make known where the land lyes & whose adjoining at return to the next County Court the same. Given under my hand, etc, H. Williams.

Followed by: No personal property found of John Knight therefore levyed on 100 acres of land more or less adjoining the widow Ralph & Nelson Nailing (Nayling) on the south side of Tarr River near Dickinson’s Bridge. July 16, 1812 Signed: Richard Wood, CL. (North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 for Jonathan Knight, Granville, Estate Records, images online, ancestry.com)

Note: The “Widow Ralph” is likely to be Sarah Knight Rolfe, sister of the John involved in the above affair.

Note: It appears that John Knight who married Martha Montague, and his son, Jonathan, executors of the estate of Jonathan Knight SR, have run into problems. The debt may have been against the estate of Jonathan SR and the executors failed to pay it. We notice that, after admitting the debt in May, it was apparently not paid and then, in July, when the order went out to seize property, John and his goods were gone so his land was seized.

1815 - Nov 17 TN Smith – Admin - John Knight - Of Jackson County TN purchases 188 acres on the North side of the Cumberland Riv. on Defeated Creek,  from Ellis B. Beaseley adj. Miles West, John Reeves & Jonathan Beasley. Wit: Miles West & Shadrack Moore. (Smith County Deed Book E. page 351)

Note: Later records show this to be the John Knight who left Granville after being taken to court for debt. Since he is described as "of Jackson Co TN", he must have spent some time there after fleeing Granville.


1820 – VA Lunenburg - Admin - Federal Census -  **  John Knight: 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 45 and over,1 fem 26-44, 2 males 16-25, 1 male 16-18, 2 males 10-15, 3 males & 2 fems under 10,  slaves 10 .  **  Tarleton W. Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 2 fems 10-15, 4 males under 10, 1 fem under 10,  slaves 14.  **  Woodson Knight: 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 45 and over, 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 16-25, 1 fem under 10, slaves 33.  

Note: Samuel Knight is gone. A Samuel Knight who would fit, by age and family composition, is found in Mecklenburg VA in this census. That makes some sense as we know the connection of Joseph Knight to Mecklenburg.

1820 – NC Granville – Admin - Federal Census -  **  John Knight: 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 26-44, 2 males 16-25, 1 fem 10-15, 2 males 10-15, 2 males under 10, 2 fems under 10.  **  Jonathan Knight: 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 26-44, 1 male 10-15, 1 male under 10, 1 fem under 10.  slaves 11.   **  Judith Knight (trans: Gudeth): 2 fems 45 and over 1 male 26-44, 2 fems 16-25, 1 male 16-25, 1 male under 10, 1 fem under 10.  slaves: 3.  

Note: Again I think we are seeing John Knight and Lettie Bearden, Jonathan Knight, son of Jonathan Knight SR, deceased, and of course, the widow of Jonathan Knight SR.

Below see John Knight-Montague and his son, Ellis. Who is the Joseph Knight?

1820 TN Smith – Admin - Federal Census -  **  Joseph Knight (not indexed by ancestry.com due to trans error): couple 26-45, 1 fem 10-15, 3 kids under 10.  **  John Knight (not indexed by ancestry.com due to trans error): 1 male 45 and over, 1 fem 45 and over,1 male 16-25, 1 fem 10-16, 1 male under 10,  slaves 7.   **  Ellis Knight: 1 fem 26-44, 1 male 16-25, 2 males under 10, 3 fems under 10.

And surely, below, is Jonathan the grandson of Jonathan SR in Sumner Co TN. Who is James?

TN Sumner – Admin - Federal Census -  **  James Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 16-25, 1 fem under 10,  slaves: 2 fems under 14.  **  Jonathan Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 2 males under 10, 1 fem under 10.



Aug 28 – NC Granville – Mar – Charles Knight & Lucy Evans – Bondsman, John R. Nailing. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Oct 8 – NC Granville – Mar – Benjamin Knight & Nancy Cook  – Bondsman, William G. Bowens.. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Note: At this point, there is no telling who these people belong to; hopefully, they would be known by their downline descendants. However, the next census will show that a whole lot of Knights have left for parts South and West so I'm betting these, and several upcoming marriages, are children of Jonathan Knight JR.

1824 Mar 24 – NC Granville – Mar – Amos Gooch & Martha Knight – Bondsman, Thomas House. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

Mar 8 – NC Granville – Mar – James H. Farmer & Mary T. Knight – Bondsman, __. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)


Dec 16 – NC Granville – Mar – Alfred Knight & Frances Amis – Bondsman, H. Harrison. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)


1830 – VA LunenburgAdmin - Federal Census -  **  John Knight: 1 fem 70-79, 1 male 50-59, 1 fem 40-49, 2 males 20-29, 1 male 15-19, 1 fem 15-19, 1 fem 10-14, 1 male 10-14, 2 males 5-9, 6 slaves.  **  Woodson Knight: 1 male 70-79, 22 slaves.  **  Tarlton W. Knight: 1 male 40-49, 1 fem 20-29, 1 fem 15-19, 1 male 15-19, 2 males 10-14, 21 slaves. 

Note: Woodson Knight and his sons, John Hughes Knight and Tarleton Woodson Knight.

Feb 3 – NC Granville – Mar – John W. Knight & Mary Ann Elizabeth Jeten – Bondsman, Henry Thompson. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

1830 NC Granville – Admin - Federal Census -  **  Benjamin Knight: 1 male 20-29, 1 fem 20-29, 1 fem 5-9, 2 males & 1 fem under 5.  **  Jonathan Knight: 1 male 60-69.

Note: What we notice about Jonathan in this census is his age; it means that he was born at least by 1770, and most likely the 1763 I predicted, so indeed, he must be the son of Jonathan Knight SR.



Dec 20 – KY Henry - Admin – William Knight – Pension Application of William Knight formerly of Orange/Granville NC: "“I was born in Orange County North Caroline 1759"

Note: This appears to be William Knight, son of Jonathan Knight SR of Granville NC based on name associations, dates, etc. We can also note that William was given short shrift in the will of his father and reading his Pension Statement account of his adventures during the Revolution makes one think that he was a somewhat rackety person throughout his life.


Feb 26 – MS Holmes – Mil – William Knight – Pension application: William Knight: ... That he obtained a commission as Lieutenant from Brigadier General Butler ... he was born in Granville County State of North Carolina in the year 1758. ... That in 1804 he left North Carolina and went to the State of Tennessee, Sumner County where he lived about 16 years. Since which time he has resided in the State of Mississippi. See his Pension Statment.

Jun 28 – TN Sumner – Mar – Jonathan Knight & Margaret Burke.

Note: One might be forgiven for thinking that this is a different Jonathan Knight from the one we last saw in Sumner County after he left Granville NC, however, following up with the census records shows this is the same Jonathan Knight. What happened to the apparent wife and children he had in the 1820 and 1830 censuses? One can only think that something dreadful must have happened between the 1830 census and this marriage in 1834. Later census records show that Margaret was 33 at the time of this marriage and Jonathan over ten years older. Nevertheless, even as an older couple, they went on to have at least three children: Josephus Flaveous Knight, Elizabeth Knight, and Irvine P. Knight.

But of course, all of that is assuming that the Jonathan Knight of Sumner County TN is the same Jonathan Knight formerly of Granville who fled the debt collecting sheriff and later showed up in TN. If so, thus ends the hopes of hundreds of family trees that have co-opted Jonathan for service to their downlines.

1838   Jul 4 – TN Smith – Admin – John Knight – Letter about the pension of John Knight, formerly of Granville County. This is John Knight-Montague. See his Pension Statement.

NC Granville – Admin - Federal Census -  **  Alfred Knight: 1 male 30-39, 1 fem 20-29, 3 kids under 9, 5 slaves.  **  Benjamin Knight: 1 male 30-39, 1 fem 30-39, 6 kids under 19.

Note: Not many Knights left in Granville at this point. Most of them have gone South and West. Jonathan Knight JR has died since the last census.

NC Orange – Admin - Federal Census -  **  Mary Knight: 1 fem 50-59.

NC Franklin – Admin - Federal Census -  **  Alexander M. Knight: 1 male 30-39, 1 fem 30-39, 2 fem 20-29, 1 male 20-29, 4 kids under 5, 1 free col male, 1 free col fem, 3 free col children, 45 slaves.

1845 May 5 – NC Granville – Mar – Cephus H. Parrish & Ann E. Knight – Bondsman, Edward Kittnell. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)
1847 Jan 5 – NC Granville – Mar – John R. Knight & Charlotte Peace – Bondsman, S. S. Parrott. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

NC Granville Oxford – Admin – Federal CensusJohn Knight, 24, Farmer, NC; Charlotte Knight, 30, NC; William Knight, 22, Farmer, NC; Ednah Knight, 2, NC; Mary Knight, 0, NC.  **  Benjamin Knight, 48, Farmer, NC; Mary J. Knight, 17, NC, Charles Parish, 25, farmer, NC; Ann E. Parish, 27.  **  Lewis Montague, 51, farmer, NC; Hicksey Montague, 49, NC; Archibald Clay, farmer, NC; James B. Montague, 28, Bible agent, 28; Catherine Montague, 28, NC; Frances L. Montague, 26, NC; Pamelia Clay, 3, NC; Charles S. Clay, 1;, NC; John R. Brickham, 20, carpenter, NC.  ENTIRE.

1850 – NC Granville Tabscreek – Admin – Federal CensusAlfred Knight, 43, farmer, NC; Frances Knight, 39, NC; Susan Knight, 19, NC; Lewis Knight, 15, NC; Woodson Knight, 13, NC; Judith C. Knight, 8, NC; Mary Knight, 7, NC; Susanna A. Hester, 21, NC.  ENTIRE.

Oct 5 – NC Granville – Mar – Benjamin Knight & Jane Parrott – Bondsman, W. Deuston. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)

1853 Mar 8 – NC Granville – Mar – John Weaver & Jane Knight – Bondsman, Nathan Breedlove. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)
1854 Mar 24 – NC Granville – Mar – William Knight & Martha Hays – Bondsman, David Stone. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)
1855 Jan 16 – NC Granville – Mar – Lewis Knight & Sally M. Duke – Bondsman, Robert W. Kittrell.. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)
1857 Feb 16 – NC Granville – Mar – George A. Harrison & Susan Knight – Bondsman, L. K. Wiley. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)
1867 – Dec 11 – NC Granville – Mar – David Yeargin & Caroline F. Knight – Bondsman, __. (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)
1881 Aug 1 – NC Granville – Mar – James Forsythe & Nancy Knight (Night) – Bondsman, Ellis Neill (?). (Granville  Marriage Bonds - Abstracts (1760 - 1957) image served by ancestry.com)


And so, we come to the end of what records I have for the above period. It's not a lot, but still, we may have solutions for a few small problems with the genealogy of this family. I think it is more than likely that John Knight SR had a first wife before Elizabeth Woodson. It also appears to be likely that the initial Knight patentee in Granville Co NC, was not John Knight of Lunenburg, but his son, John JR who then sold land to his brothers. Some age/date adjustments were made based on the records, and a link between the Granville Knights and the Henrico Knights was found. Based on the records and probability, I've proposed that, even though he did not mention him in his will, Jonathan Knight SR had a son named Jonathan.

Additional findings suggest that there was somewhat minimal activity in the Revolution among this group. Jonathan Knight, son of John Knight of Lunenburg, probably was not involved, and certain was not a "Major" nor was his son. We found Lieut. William Knight (not Capt., though he may have been called such in his home county) in his pension application, as well as John Knight-Montague, son of Jonathan SR. There is also the pension application of a William Knight who must have been the son of Jonathan Knight based on name associations, location, and age.

Obadiah William Knight, NOT Obadiah Woodson Knight

In terms of DAR and SAR claims, one is worth looking at for a moment because it appears to me that this application (and others based on the same material), may be the source of a whole lot of nonsense in Knight Genealogy today. I've had to take screen shots in sections in order to make it clear enough to read. It will also enable me to comment on each section.

Monte Hugh Knight

The year of the application is 1969 so it is likely that our Monte Hugh Knight is deceased. And noticing his name, we come right away to some understanding that he just knew that the name "Hugh" was important.

Monte Hugh Knight 2

So far, so good. I've checked the census records, the handy Tennessee Death Records that name the parents, and all checks out. I can correct the birth date of Jonathan Knight because I obtained the Tithables Lists and followed them and know when Jonathan appeared as a 16 yr old! Monte wasn't sure about Judith Woodson, but really, who is?

It is in the next section that he makes his first big error that has been passed on to a whole 1 or 2 generations of Knights, though it wasn't original to him, as we will see:

Monte Hugh Knight 3

Did you see it? He gave the name of John Knight of Lunenburg as "John Hughes Knight." Now, we understand why he did it: his own middle name was "Hugh", after all! It just HAD to be true. It even looks to me as though the person who was handling the application crossed out the Hughes because s/he knew it was an error. But still, it has persisted because I've seen other copies of this same application floating around where the Hughes is not crossed out.

His claim is that John Knight, that is, #6, the one who married Martha Montague, was his ancestor on which his claim is based, and he's correct about that because we have the records above.

Going to the next page of the application:

Monte Hugh Knight 4

Let me transcribe it so nobody can miss what he's saying here:

Entered the Service of the United States as a Volunteer in the year 1778, 1st tour: 6 months under Capt. Richard Taylor, Pleasant Henderson, William Gill, Lieut. William Knight, and Ensign Barnet Pullies. 2nd tour: 3 months under Capt. John Henderson of Colonel Malmeday's Regiment during the spring, when the battle of Guilford was fought. 3rd tour: 3 months at Georgetown in South Carolina. 4th tour: 3 months under General Marion near Monks Corner and at Manya's plantation. 5th tour: 2 months at the same place last mentioned, during this time the British evacuated Charleston.

All of that came from John Knight's Pension Application Declaration of Service which was a lot longer and we don't need to include it here, now. (I haven't transcribed it and it is difficult to read.) What is most interesting is his mention of "Lieut. William Knight." Above, we have a record from official documents, of a Capt. William Knight, not Lieut. We aren't going to quibble over whether or not he was a Capt. or a Lieut. - he was probably both in rapid succession - and we saw in our records above who he was: In the 1786 record, a state census, we saw two William Knights and a Jonathan Knight (I think Charles moved off to Nottoway at least for awhile). I noted that this son of William would be probably about 28 at that time, so it is very likely that he was the Lieut./Capt. William Knight. The 1790 census only told us that one of the Williams was gone and the 1800 census told us that it was the elder William and "Capt. William Knight" was in residence with 5 daughters and 2 sons. Capt. William Knight: 1 male 26-44, 1 fem 26-44, 1 fem 16-25, 2 males 10-15, 4 fem under 10, 1 male under 10, slaves: 2. And then, William Knight is gone from Granville in the 1810 census. In the next census he will be 45 and over so it's just a question of figuring out where he went by adjusting the ages of those in his household and allowing for those who may have married and set up on their own, or died.

Enough of that diversion; back to Monte Hugh Knight and his application for SAR membership. The next thing we want to look at are his "proofs".

Monte Hugh Knight 5

The three census records check out; basically, they just tell us about the household composition of John Knight and Martha Montague.

Then, the reference to "The Montague Family" by G. W. Montague. What the referenced passage says is this:

391. Latnet Montague, son of Abraham (38G), b. about 1728, in
Essex Co., Va.

Married, Mrs. Catherine Taylor, her maiden name was Catherine
Young, (one record states her name to be Rachel). About the year
1759, he moved to North Carolina and settled in Granville Co., where
he d. in 1811.

(skip other children)

396. Martha, m. John Knight; her family are in Smith Co., Tenn.

That's it for that; nothing new or interesting there. Next, "The Descendants of Capt. Thomas Carter" by Joseph Lyon Miller. I happen to have that volume on my desk and here's what the reference says:

117. Sarah Everett Carter, married April 11, 1815, Col John Hughes Knight", a prominent Nottoway Banker and planter, son of Woodson Knight, of Prince Edward County, and his wife, Patty Walton. She was the daughter of Gen. George Walton, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Woodson Knight was the son of John Knight JR (?) who settled in Lunenburg County in 1766 and married Elizabeth Woodson, of a fine old Goochland family. (p. 69)

So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? It's not even in Monte Hugh Knight's direct line. Did he confuse the real John Hughes Knight with John Knight who married Elizabeth Woodson? Was he reading carefully? Did he bother to check the dates? And while we are looking at this short passage, we already know that part of it is wrong because we've found John Knight in Lunenburg County in 1748, almost 20 years earlier than what Joseph Lyon Miller knew. And what is up with the JR? Nobody, to this day, as far as I can determine, really knows who the father of John Knight of Lunenburg was. I've speculated above, based on available records, but there is no smoking gun!

So far, it looks like Monte Hugh Knight has put together a very poor set of proofs for his acceptance in SAR. And he didn't even need to go back that far and mess up all those people; he had it in the bag with John Knight-Montague who was certainly a soldier in the Revolution.

Moving to the next reference Monte gives us:

"Colonial Granville County and its People" by Worth S. Ray, p. 271. Here is a screen shot of the reference cited:

Worth S. Ray

Here is where it really gets twisted. The author starts off talking about John Knight who married Martha Montague and is the son of Jonathan Knight and Judith Woodson Knight. Fine, okay, no argument there! He says he is "accepting the version of the Woodson Family genealogists" which might be a bad idea. Check the Woodson Records. But then he veers off into a story about John's brother, William Knight, a minister, who "established what was and still is known as the old 'Knight Camp Grount" which is a complete fabrication!!!

Now, I'm not saying there was not a William Knight who went off to Bedford County, Tennessee, nor am I saying that John Knight of Granville did not have a brother named William Knight, what I am saying is that two completely different people have been conflated here and mythical elements have been added!

First of all, it seems fairly certain that the William Knight of Henry County, Kentucky, who made a Pension Application Declaration in 1833 was the brother of John Knight of Granville-to-Smith Co. TN. Not much evidence of his being a preacher. We also have seen, from the records above, that John Knight-Montague did something of a disappearing act to protect his possessions from seizure for debt.

So what is the scoop on William Knight the "minister" and "Knight's Camp Ground" and "Obediah Woodson Knight"???

Jerry Knight of Arkansas did some research on this and found the above source for this myth as well as the following from "History of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church":

The Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church had it principal roots in two Southern Methodist Churches located in Bedford County, Tennessee, namely, Moore’s Chapel and Knight’s Camp Ground. Methodism is believed to have been introduced into Bedford County as early as 1808 with campground meetings first at Salem near Bell Buckle, and later at Steele’ s, HorseMountain, Knight’s, and Holt’s. Knight’s later became Knight’s Camp Ground Episcopal Church, South, getting its name from a family named Knight that gave the land. Moore’s Chapel was located in Blue Stocking Hollow, which area got its name from the old Blue Stocking Presbyterian Church located on this road, thought to have been established about 1811. The Moore’s Chapel building is no longer standing. A cemetery known as Moore’s Chapel Cemetery is now a well kept cemetery where many of the early members are buried. Knight’s Camp Ground Church was located on what is now Knight’s Camp Ground Road near the intersection with Dixon Road. There was a third church of this vicinity known as Solomon’s Chapel that closed about the mid 1920s. This church was located on the Pleasant Grove Road near Thompson’s Shop. All three of these churches were part of the same Methodist Circuit, and a part of the Tennessee Conference now known as Rich Valley Charge. In later years there were two other Methodist churches that discontinued services which were a part of the Rich Valley Charge, namely, Bethlehem which closed in 1953, and Center which closed in 1970. Pleasant Grove received members from these churches also, so we can say that we are now a church claiming roots in at least five former Methodist congregations. SOURCE

Notice first of all that the name of the church and location is stated to be because a Knight family gave land for the camp meetings, not because there was a preacher named Rev. William Hughes Knight, a mythical character if ever there was one.

What about the prominent Knight family of Texas founded by "Obediah Woodson Knight". That's true enough, except for the actual name, and it has nothing to do with any "Rev. William Hughes Knight" though there is a Hughes connection, and one of Obadiah's sons is actually named "William Hughes Knight"!

First of all, Obadiah's name was NOT "Obediah Woodson Knight" it was Obadiah William Knight! I provide the following evidence: the death certificate for Obadiah's son, Epps Gabriel Knight:

Obadiah William Knight

Just in case you can't see it clearly:

Obadiah William Knight 2

I can multiply this with additional death certificates from other children, but I think this one will suffice and it is particularly interesting because of the name of the son whose death cert it is, Epps Gabriel Knight, which totally gives away which branch of Knights this family belongs to - the one that hooked up with Jordans and Eppes, i.e. Isle of Wight/Sussex/Edgecombe Knights.

But here's more: A memorial book about the life of Obadiah William Knight was written and produced by a friend of his in Dallas. I've got the entire book but only a couple pages are relevant to us here. The first one gives a little background on the family including additional names that even more firmly connect this family to the Sussex-Edgecombe Knights.

Obadiah William Knight

Notice that a school is named after Obadiah. Why? Because he donated the land and a lot of money to help build it. He apparently did a lot of that sort of thing which takes us back to the Knight's Camp Ground in Tennessee which is mentioned at the bottom of this next page from the history of Obadiah William Knight:

Obadiah William Knight

In other words, just as the Methodist Church history said, Knight's Camp Ground has nothing to do with being named after any "Rev. William Hughes Knight" who was a preacher (the Methodist Church records have no such person on file), nor was Obadiah named "Obadiah Woodson Knight." The Camp Ground was named after Obadiah William Knight because he gave the land for it and probably some money to support it. The whole myth about "Rev. William Hughes Knight" appears to have been concocted almost out of thin air by Worth S. Ray. The way the myth has propagated, and the fact that nobody is even reading the documents they attach to their trees as evidence, is utterly demoralizing; is genealogy reduced to this? Not only has Obadiah been ripped unceremoniously from the bosom of his real family, but a mythical minister has been invented and given the credit for Obadiah's philanthropic act in donating land, and probably money, to set up a Methodist Camp Ground. It's actually shameful for this to continue to pass.

Another bit of nonsense was that Obadiah "went to Tennessee and married one of the Tennesse Hughes family." That is not exactly true as we see above: Serena Hughes was from North Carolina though she did marry Obadiah in Tennessee. Obadiah was not born in Tennessee either, he was born in Virginia as is stated on death certificates of his children, and the passport application of his son, Robert Edward Lee Knight, though even he erroneously said Culpeper county when it was more likely Sussex County.

Now, about the Epps/Eppes name. After long searching I found a set of parents that fit: William Knight and Nancy Whitfield Knight. Nancy Whitfield was the daughter of Thomas Whitfield and Winifred Eppes of Isle of Wight VA, daughter of Edward Eppes, son of Daniel Eppes.

Regarding the Martha Ann Knight, first wife of Obadiah William Knight, that the story above says was no relation, she actually was distantly related to Obadiah: she was the daughter of Allen Knight and Mary "Polly" Kitchens of Edgecombe NC. Allen was the son of Jesse Knight and his second wife, Fannie Edith Howard. Jesse was also the brother of Peter Eppes Knight II, and both were sons of Peter Knight and Ann Bell Knight. Peter was the son of John Knight and Elizabeth Eppes. Elizabeth Eppes was the daughter of Daniel Eppes and the sister of Edward Eppes who was the father of Winifred Eppes, the grandmother of Obadiah William Knight. It's a distant connection, but it is there.

We've gone a long way afield from John Knight and Jonathan Knight of Lunenburg VA and Granville NC, but I hope that some things have been learned, and some problems have been sorted, done, and dusted.

Here, we can be thankful to the many records being brought to light that enabled this short study.

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