Wednesday, March 26, 2014

William Knapp Entries in The Settlers of Beekman Patent (Dutchess County, N.Y.)

I reviewed all of my previous blog posts about William Knapp (1775-1856), born in Dutchess County, New York, and all of the comments made by readers.

In my post Possible Knapp Families in Dutchess County - Post 2: The "Nicholas Knapp Genealogy" (15 December 2011), Martin commented:

"Have you used the series the Beekman Patent? They have passed the K's so, it should have everyone listed."

I recall looking through the Knapp Family section in Volume VII of The Settlers of The Beekman Patent books at one of the local libraries some time ago, and looking for candidate families in Dutchess County for parents of my William Knapp  I recall that I didn't find any that fit "my" William Knapp.  I even wrote Possible Knapp Families in Dutchess County - Post 4: Knapps in the Settlers of the Beekman Patent.  However, I did not use the index to find all instances of the name William Knapp.

However, it's worth reviewing the books again.  I will concentrate on Volume VII (surnames Hunter to Leavens), because that is the volume with the K surnames.  

I recalled that the New England Historic Genealogical Society website (which I subscribe to),, has digitized the book pages for the first eight volumes.  A search for Knapp on the website quickly found that the Knapp Family section was from pages 591 to 610, and the index for Volume VII is on pages 1101 to 1104.  I downloaded those pages to my computer and put them in my Knapp surname file folder in a separate Beekman Patent file folder.  

Here is the index page with the listing for William Knapp names:

That's not so bad - there are a total of 8 entries for William Knapp listed.  There are also two William Knap entries.  I carefully  checked each one of them out and have listed the entries below:

*  page 597:  William Knapp is mentioned as a son of Elijah and Irine Knapp, listed in Elijah Knapp's 1820 will in Schenectady County, N.Y. (Wills, B:21).  A possible candidate.

*  page 603:  William Knap is mentioned as a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Knap, listed in Jonathan Knapp's 1799 will in Orange County, N.Y. (Wills, C:163).  A possible candidate.

*  page 604:  William Knapp is mentioned as a son of Lebbeus Knapp, listed in the 1834 will in Rockland county, N.Y. (Wills, C:222).  A possible candidate.

*  page 610:  there are 7 entries on this page, shown below:

I can eliminate four of the entries on page 610 because they pertain to another William Knapp born later than mine, or to parents who could not be my William's parents.  The ones on the list of most interest are:

William Knapp who died in Dutchess County and left an extensive estate (Dutchess County Wills Box 1025).  A possible candidate.

William Knapp of Goshen, Orange County, N.Y. who named a son William R. Knapp in his 1817 will (Orange County Wills, F:146).  A possible candidate.

William Knapp, Jr. of Warwick, Orange County, N.Y., who named his nephew William in his 1822 will (Orange County Wills, G:130).  A possible candidate.

*  page 613:  this entry refers to an 1800 U.S. census entry for Ruleff Knickerbocker who was enumerated next to a William Knapp.  A possible candidate.

*  page 595:  William H. Knapp, son of Chauncey Knapp,  was age 13 in the 1850 U.S. census.  Not a candidate.

That's all there is!  As you can see, there are some possible candidates here for parents of my William Knapp, but several of them are outside of Dutchess County.  I will try to review those tonight and tomorrow to see what I can find.  

I don't know how complete the Settlers of the Beekman Patent book is with respect to all of the extant records for a given surname.  It appears that it found probate records in many New York (and even in adjacent states!) and abstracted names of heirs.  It found U.S. census records for 1790 to 1850.  It found some church baptism and marriage records, and some cemetery records.  I don't know if it found land records, so I will look at those soon.

If you have families in Dutchess County, New York, you really should review the Settlers of the Beekman Patent books.  The author , Frank J. Doherty, may have already found your target persons and provided a reference to the original records.  The complete list of available books, with links to a list of family names reviewed, is at

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Previous blog posts about this research problem include:

*  My Elusive Ancestor - William Knapp (1775-1856) (9 October 2006)
*  Possible Knapp Families in Dutchess County NY - Post 1: The 1790 U.S. Census (14 December 2011)
*  Possible Knapp Families in Dutchess County - Post 2: The "Nicholas Knapp Genealogy" (15 December 2011)

*  Follow-Up Friday - The William Knapp Search (16 December 2011)
*  Possible Knapp Families in Dutchess County - Post 3: Given Names of the Children (19 December 2011)

*  Possible Knapp Families in Dutchess County - Post 4: Knapps in the Settlers of the Beekman Patent (20 December 2011)


Cousin Russ said...


If you need me to take a run over to Goshen, please let me know. As you know, my wife also has Knapps and we have been over to Goshen a couple of times. In fact, on our way to Albany last week, we went very close to Goshen.

If you do, please email me what you want me to look up.

My wife will probably thank you as well.


Jen Baldwin said...

Reading with interest, Randy. I'm still working on my Joseph M. Knapp research as a mining investor here in Colorado. Thanks for continuing to update us on the search!