Friday, December 19, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 51: #58, William Knapp (1775-1856)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  Here is my ancestor biography for week #51:

William Knapp (1775-1856) is #58 on my Ahnentafel list, my third great-grandfather.  He married in about 1804  to #59 Sarah Cutter (1785-1878).

William Knapp (1775-1856) gravestone, Newton, N.J.
(c) Russ Worthington (used by permission)

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, 
#29 Sarah Knapp (1818-1????), who married #28, David Auble (1817-1894), in 1844.
*  their son, #14 Charles Auble (1849-1916) who married #15 Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952) in 1898.
*  their daughter, #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) married, #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)in 1918. 
* their daughter, #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), who married Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                     William Knapp[1–7]   
*  Sex:                         Male   
2)  EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                      1775, Dutchess, New York, United States[1]   
*  Census:                   1 June 1830 (about age 55), Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States[3]   
*  Census:                   1 June 1840 (about age 65), Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States[4]   
*  Census:                   1 June 1850 (about age 75), Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States[5]   
*  Occupation:            1 June 1850 (about age 75), Shoemaker; Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States[5]   
*  Death:                     16 June 1856 (about age 81), Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States[1,6-7]
*  Burial:                    after 16 June 1856 (after about age 81), Old Newton Burial Ground, Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States[6–7]   
3)  MARRIAGES AND CHILDREN (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1.:               Sarah Cutter (1785-1878)   
*  Marriage:                about 1804 (about age 29), probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States[2]   

*  Child 1:                  Joseph C. Knapp (1805-    )   
*  Child 2:                  Samuel C. Knapp (1806-1852)   
*  Child 3:                  Cyrus C. Knapp (1809-1872)   
*  Child 4:                  Catharine Knapp (1810-1894)   
*  Child 5:                  Benjamin Knapp (1811-1857)   
*  Child 6:                  Charles C. Knapp (1813-1888)   
*  Child 7:                  Hannah Maria Knapp (1816-1903)   
*  Child 8:                  Sarah G. Knapp (1818-1900)   
*  Child 9:                  William Knapp (1823-1860)   
*  Child 10:                Manning M. Knapp (1825-1892)   
*  Child 11:                Elsie M. Knapp (1831-1903)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

William Knapp was born in the 1775 time frame, probably in what was then Durtchess County, New York, according to his death record.  He was age 81 at death on 16 June 1856.[1]  The 1850 U.S. census lists his age as 75, born in New York,[5] which computes to a birth in about 1775.

The parents of William Knapp are not known.  The records of Dutchess County, New York  are very sparse for this time period.  A search of available vital records indicate there were many Knapp families in Dutchess County in the 1770-1790 time period.  Review of the 1790 U.S. census shows many Knapps in southeastern New York.

The books Supplement to the Nicholas Knapp Genealogy by Alfred Averill Knapp, published in 1956, and  Nicholas Knapp Genealogy by Alfred Averill Knapp, published 1953, lists William as the son of Shubel and Rebecca (Mead) Knapp, listing his birth date as 1786.  This is surely erroneous, since the 1850 census lists his age as 75 and his death record in the Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey vital records say he was age 81, born in Dutchess County, New York.  

William Knapp married Sarah Cutter in about 1804, probably in Woodbridge, New Jersey where Sarah Cutter was born and raised.[2]  They had 11 children,  born between 1805 and 1831, all of whom reached adulthood, and all but one married.  The Supplement mentioned above provides some of the data on the children of William and Sarah (Cutter) Knapp.

Data in Catherine Knapp's 1894 obituary indicates that William Knapp was one of the first settlers of Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, and had a very extensive acquaintance.  He was a Justice of the Peace for many years, and resided on Spring Street on the property later owned by Moses McCollum.  The Knapps were among the earliest members of the Newton Methodist Episcopal Church, and with others of that faith, worshiped in barns and other places most convenient, traveling sometimes six or seven miles to service.  This was before the members were sufficiently numerous to build and worship in an edifice of their own.

Several newspaper articles naming William Knapp were published in the Sussex Register newspaper (available in the "Newspaper Clippings from the Sussex Register"  database on in the 1822 to 1829 time period, including:

1)  September 1822, page 10:

*A horse and wagon stolen from William Knapp, on a forged order."

2)  Title page, (1825) June:

" 13. A.C. Potwine goes to New York to remain as buyer of goods for store in Newton.  The firm has engaged William Knapp to make morocco shoes, and the drugs and medicines sold are inspected by Dr. Hedges."

3)  November 1829, page 20:

"14. Edward Stewart advertises sale of houses, including two-story stone house he occupied, 400 yards from Court house on Hamburg road, (Water Street) lately built; a frame house adjoining; a two story house on Spring street on one of the Conover lots, a house and lot on Liberty street, opposite Barnabus Carter's; half of the house and lot occupied by William Knapp, which was built by Hugh McMahan, and situated on Spring street, adjoining Zephaniah Luce Lot."

In the 1830 U.S. Census, the William Knapp family resided in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey).[3]  The household included:

*  1 male aged 0 to 5 years
*  1 male aged 5 to 10 years
*  2 males aged 15 to 20 years
*  1 male aged 50 to 60 years.
*  1 female aged 0 to 5 years
*  2 females aged 10 to 15 years
*  1 female aged 20 to 30 years
*  1 female aged 40 to 50 years.

In the 1840 US Census, the William Knapp family resided in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey.[4]  The household included:

*   one male aged 15 to 20
*  one male aged 60 to 70
*  one female aged 5 to 10
*  one female aged 15 to 20
*  one female aged 50 to 60.

In the 1850 US Census, this family resided in Newton township, Sussex County, New Jersey.[5]  The household included:

*  William Knapp -- age 75, male, a shoemaker, $800 in real property, born NY
*  Sarah Knapp, age 66, female, born NJ
*  Catherine Knapp, age 40, female, born NJ
*  Elsey Knapp, age 19, female, born NJ

William Knapp was a member and treasurer of the Harmony Mason Lodge in Newton in 1852, according to an 1888 article about the lodge.

His death record is in the Newton, Sussex, New Jersey vital records.[1]  The death record for William Knapp includes this information:

*  Date of Death:  June 16 1856 
*  Name of Decedent:  William Knapp
*  Sex:  Male*  Married or Single:  Married
*  Age:  81
*  Occupation:  Shoemaker
*  Place of Death:  Newton N.J.
*  Place of Birth:  Dutchess Co. N.Y.
*  Names of Parents:  [blank]
*  Cause of Death:  Old Age
*  Date of Making Record:  June 16 1856

An 1860 plat map of Newton NJ shows a house of W. Knapp near the southwest corner of Adams Street and Spring Street in Newton.

William Knapp and his wife, Sarah Knapp, are buried in the Old Newton Burial Ground  in Newton, Sussex County,  NJ.[6-7]  The cemetery is located behind properties on Main and Halsted Streets, with access by a driveway between the properties at 77 and 79 Main Street in Newton.  The inscription on the gravestone says:

June 16, 1856
In his 80th Year AEt.
Icis vigo.

There are no probate records for William Knapp in the Sussex County, New Jersey Estate Index, 1804-1974 (accessed on


1. New Jersey, Records of births, marriages, and deaths of New Jersey, 1848-1900, Volume AF, 1848-1867 (Sussex County)., page 655, William Knapp entry, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,584,582.

2. Dr. Benjamin Cutter, The History of the Cutter Family of New England  (Boston, Mass. : 1871).

3. 1830 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Sussex County, New Jersey, Newton township, page 222, William Knapp household; indexed database, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M19, Roll 82.

4. 1840 United States Federal Census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Newton township; Page 54, William Knapp household; indexed database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M704, Roll 260.

5. 1850 United States Federal Census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Newton township, page 137, dwelling #454, family #486, William Knapp household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 464.

6. A Record of the Inscriptions on the Stones in the Old Cemetery - Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, typescript (Newton, NJ : n.p., n.d., on shelf at Sussex County Library), William Knapp entry, unnumbered page.

7. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, Old Newton Burial Ground, Newton, N.J., William Knapp memorial #14259582.


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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Randy
I've been enjoying your blog for a bit over a year now, and would just like to suggest that when you write up an "end of the line" ancestor, that you do a follow up post saying what you are considering as next steps to break through the wall. Here, for instance, one step would be to find church records....