Descendants of Benjamin Knower of Roxbury
Our genealogy, circa 1890. (Emily Randall Gregory papers)

Descendants of Benjamin Knower of Roxbury

        14. BENJAMIN KNOWER of Roxbury was born September 30, 1754, in Malden, Mass., and moved in young adulthood to Roxbury, now a borough of Boston. He died November 9, 1806, in Roxbury, only days after the birth of his youngest child. He was married twice, first to ELIZABETH WELD, on July 26, 1773, by the Rev. Mr. Amos Adams. The identities of her mother and father have been a subject of inquiry for over 100 years. For a probable solution to the problem detailing her descent from the Rev. Thomas Weld, click here. She died in Roxbury on September 7, 1802.
         Benjamin then married MARY GANNETT HAWES on April 27, 1806, also in Roxbury. Mary was a daughter of BENJAMIN GANNETT and MARY COPELAND and the widow of Stephen Hawes. She was a great-great-great granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Family legend has Benjamin present at the Boston Tea Party, but of course there is no proof that this is true. Legend also has him serving as a privateer in the War of 1812, but as he died in 1806, it is highly improbable. He did, however, serve as a privateer during the Revolution, aboard the brig Hazard, as well as as a minuteman and regular, leaving an extensive service record. A granddaughter preserved a Revolutionary War story which was written down in the 1890s.
         Family legend also states that he used a tombstone as his doorstep.

Children of BENJAMIN KNOWER and ELIZABETH WELD named in an 1806 deed:

19.      i. HANNAH KNOWER, who in 1806 was the wife of Nathan Watson, chairmaker of Roxbury. According to the deed, he is her second husband.

20.      ii. BENJAMIN KNOWER Jr. "of Albany, hatter" born 1775; died August 26, 1839, Watervliet, N.Y.

           iii. ELIZABETH KNOWER, who married WILLIAM HANNAFORD, currier, on November 21, 1802, in Roxbury.

21.       iv. GEORGE KNOWER, "of Roxbury, clockmaker," born about 1783; died August 16, 1824, Albany, N.Y.

22.        v. SAMUEL KNOWER, "of Roxbury, cabinet maker," born September 28, 1783, Roxbury, Mass.; died September 1, 1839, Buffalo, N.Y.

23.       vi. MARY KNOWER, "Polly, wife of Jonas Randall, saddler" born about 1788, Roxbury , Mass.; died 1856, New York City.

            vii. SARAH KNOWER, who was single in 1806, married CALEB DICKERMAN, October 1807, in Roxbury. He was born about 1790, Stoughton, Mass. She is referred to as a widow in an 1825 deed. A Benjamin K. Dickerman, merchant of New York, unmarried, sells his interest in a Roxbury parcel to Elisha Knower in 1859. We may suppose him to be a child of Sarah and Caleb.

24.     viii. TIMOTHY N. KNOWER, single in 1806, was born about 1795 in Roxbury, died May 17, 1854, Knowersville, N.Y.

25.      ix. ANN KNOWER, single in 1806, was born about 1799 in Roxbury, died August 25, 1877, New York City.

26.       x. DANIEL KNOWER, clockmaker, single in 1806, was born Roxbury Mass. He was named administrator of his father's estate in lieu of his stepmother, who stated that it would be inconvenient for her to do so.

The birth order of these children is uncertain, but in documents they are usually listed in the order given above. According to the Roxbury Vital Records, Benjamin and Elizabeth also had a child who died March 3, 1797, at the age of 5.


           xi. EMILY KNOWER, born November 7, 1806, Salem, Mass.; she died there November 18, 1888.

Emily Knower lived at 44 Beaver St., Salem, from 1876 to 1884 and boarded at 19 Prospect in 1886. The name Miss Emily Knower last appears in the Salem directories as a resident of the Home for Aged Women, 114 Derby St.

        19. HANNAH KNOWER married NATHAN WATSON October 1, 1797 in Roxbury. He is referred to as a chaise-maker in an 1825 deed.

Known child of HANNAH KNOWER and NATHAN WATSON is:

               i. WILLIAM WATSON, died September 20, 1799, Roxbury.

        20. BENJAMIN KNOWER was born 1775 in Roxbury and died August 26, 1839, in Watervliet, N.Y. He was married twice. His first wife was SARAH VAN KLEEK, whom he married June 21, 1800, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The Rev. Mr. C. Brouwer of the Dutch Reformed Church officiated. Sally, the eldest daughter of LAWRENCE VAN KLEEK and CHARITY WARNER, was born December 30, 1779 in Albany and died there February 18, 1833. Benjamin married SOPHIA P. CASTLE June 23, 1836, in New York City. According to her death certificate, she was the daughter of William Castle, a native of England, and his wife Ann Saxon, who was born in France. In the last decades of her life, she made her home with the family of Marcena Dickerson, an attorney of Rockland, N.Y., but is otherwise not mentioned in surviving family papers. She died Sept. 27, 1886.

          Benjamin apparently left Roxbury early in his manhood, and appears in the 1800 federal census as a resident of Dutchess County, N.Y., probably in Poughkeepsie. By 1810 he is residing in Albany, where he sold hats made by his brother Timothy in Guilderland. Local lore has it that the hats were made waterproof by immersion in the Bozenkill, a stream behind a mansion in Knowersville, a village of Guilderland now called Altamont. Benjamin is credited by Guilderland's historian with building the mansion, and Benjamin's daughter Cornelia is said to have married future New York governor William L. Marcy in the house. Photos Benjamin soon began to interest himself in politics and was appointed New York state treasurer June 29, 1821, undoubtedly through the influence of his notable son-in-law. Benjamin grew rich as a financier of the Erie Canal and as a director of the Mechanics and Farmers Bank of Albany.

          Contemporary accounts of his death stress his integrity, not normally a feature of the business dealings of the times.

          Benjamin Knower, his first wife, and most of their children are buried in a remarkable lot at Albany Rural Cemetery, near the graves of William L. Marcy, his wives and children. His portrait, sculpted by Erastus Dow Palmer, decorates the central stone.


29.          i. CORNELIA KNOWER, born about 1801, died March 24, 1889, Washington, D.C.

              ii. JOHN KNOWER, born October 1809, Albany, N.Y.; died September 25, 1892, in Newport, R.I. In adulthood, he was a wool merchant of New York City and summered with his cousin Abel French in Newport, where John had a "cottage."

             iii. JANE M. KNOWER, born 1811; died June 27, 1875. Cause of death given as "the schrims."

31.        iv. EDMUND KNOWER, born 1812; died May 8, 1844.

             v. BENJAMIN KNOWER, born 1813; died May 18, 1846, Marseilles, France.

            vi. CHARLES KNOWER, born 1814; died October 31, 1836. John Randall received news of his death by a letter. He was, according to contemporary obituary notices, private secretary to his brother-in-law, William L. Marcy.

            vii. HENRY KNOWER, born about 1818; died November 27, 1840, Albany. According to his obituary in the New York Tribune, died in Albany of  'hasty consumption' at the age of 23.

32.        viii. SARAH KNOWER, born July 11, 1819, Albany. She married ABEL FRENCH, who was born in Albany in 1814 and died in July 28, 1888 at Newport, Rhode Island. According to his New York Times Obituary published July 31, French served for eight years as U.S. Cosul in Aix-la-Chapelle, France. He was appointed by President Franklin Pierce. She died in 1897 and is buried in Paris, at the Cimetière de Passy.

              ix. REBECCA KNOWER, born about 1825; died November 10, 1855, New York City.

        21. GEORGE KNOWER was born in Roxbury, Mass. about 1783, and died August 16, 1824, in Albany. He married, possibly, ANN DORR, who was born about 1771, and died in 1841. Her passing was noted in the Annals of Albany: "Annie, wife of George Knower, died, ae 60." Ann, widow of George Knower, was admitted to membership in Albany's First Presbyterian Church in 1833. George Knower was originally buried in the Presbyterian lot of the State Street Cemetery in Albany and was moved to the Presbyterian lot of Albany Rural Cemetery during downtown redevelopment. His children are also buried at Albany Rural; the daughters apparently victims of an epidemic. Father and son were merchants. In Fry's 1815 Albany Directory one George is a merchant at 69 North Pearl, the other a grocer at 52 Hudson. In Klinck's 1822 Directory, the only George Knower is a merchant doing business at 69 North Pearl.

Both Knower descendants who have been researching this genealogy believe ELISHA DORR KNOWER is a also a child of George and Ann Knower, and was the family's only survivor.

Known children of GEORGE KNOWER and ANN KNOWER, all born and died in Albany, are:

i. GEORGE SIDNEY KNOWER, born March 24, 1817, died March 31, 1837.

ii. MARY ANN KNOWER, born September 2, 1819; died August 10, 1834.

iii. HARRIETT KNOWER, born April 4, 1821; died August 10, 1834.

          22. SAMUEL KNOWER was born September 28, 1783 in Roxbury and died September 1, 1839, in Buffalo, N.Y. He married MARIA DONNELLY on March 19, 1810, in First Dutch Reformed Church Albany. She was a daughter of THOMAS DONNELLY and RUTH PETTENGER. She was born February 20, 1793, in Tarrytown, N.Y., and died in 1829. He is probably the Samuel Knower who first appears in Albany in the 1800 federal census. In Fry's 1813-1814 Albany directories, a Samuel Knower is a cabinetmaker at 88 Market St. This dovetails with the cabinetmaker Samuel listed among the children of Benjamin Knower in 1806, above. In Fry's 1815-1818 Albany directories, a Samuel is 'Inspector of Ashes' at Patroon. A Samuel is then listed in Pearce's Albany Directory for the years 1818 and 1819 at 35 Maiden Lane, occupation: skipper, marine. In Pearce's Albany Directory for 1820, a cabinetmaker Samuel is listed at 30 Van Schaick. By 1822, the name Samuel disappears from Albany but appears from 1835-37 in Buffalo; this Samuel is a Morocco dresser, and Thomas Knower is his clerk. In Longworth's New York Directory for 1840, Samuel Knower is found at 144 Chatham St.; in 1857 he deals in patent leather at 161 Water St. It is difficult to believe that all these Samuels are the same man.
          Consider also an obituary notice published in the "New Yorker" of July 16, 1836: "Knower, Samuel, lately shot and killed at Dover, Mason County, Ky., by one Thomas Reider."

Known children of SAMUEL KNOWER and MARIA DONNELLY are:

          i. HESTER KNOWER, born December 20, 1810, Albany N.Y. She died in September 1815.

The Columbian Centinel of Sept. 20, 1815 and the Northern Post of Sept. 21, 1815 relayed the news of the death of Hester, age 5, by "immoderate and reckless" riding on horseback, apparently an early form of DUI. The Ohio Repository newspaper of Canton, Ohio, of November 23, 1815, states that the rider, Anson Spooner, was convicted of manslaughter by a court in Albany, N.Y. This article incorrectly states that Hester was the daughter of Daniel Knower.

          ii. ELIZABETH KNOWER, born January 14, 1812, Albany N.Y.; married EDWARD BUCKHOUT.

33.     iii. THOMAS DONNELLY KNOWER, born July 29, 1813; died March 18, 1885, New York City.

        iv. ANDREW DONNELLY KNOWER, born April 25, 1815, Albany N.Y.

In 1840, the federal census finds him with a wife and child in New York City. Their identities are not known.

34.      v. SARAH KNOWER, born 1819; died August 2, 1883, Auburn, N.Y.

        23. MARY KNOWER, frequently referred to as "Polly" in deeds, was born about 1788 in Roxbury and died in 1856 in New York City. She married JONAS RANDALL on November 24, 1805, in Roxbury. His occupation is usually given as saddler, but can be read "soldier" in at least one instance. He was probably a son of ABRAHAM RANDALL and ZIBIAH BLACKMAN. He was born about 1784 in Roxbury and died there January 16, 1833.

Click here to jump to the genealogy of their known descendants.

        24. TIMOTHY N. KNOWER was born about 1795 in Roxbury and died May 17, 1854, in Knowersville, N.Y. He married ABIGAIL FORBES November 24, 1819, in the Second Dutch Reformed Church, Albany. Her estimated year of birth varies from census to census, ranging between 1797 and 1805. According to the account book of the Severinson store at Knowersville, Timothy was charged with the purchase of 5 1/2 pounds of butter on March 18, 1816. Several clues point to a time of residence in New York City: Longworth's New York Directory has a Timothy Knower selling hats at 123 Water St. in 1817. Daughter Annie was born there in 1821; records of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York City indicate that Abbey Forbes, wife of Timothy Knower, was received as a member by certificate from the Reformed Dutch Church of Albany on Nov 22, 1822. The Manhattan directory for 1829-30 reports a Timothy Knower operating a hat and fur store at 128 Water St.; his residence was 76 Frankfort. In 1835, a Timothy Knower is a hat merchant in Buffalo. In the 1850 federal census, Timothy is back in Knowersville, occupation hatter. He is enumerated with wife, Abigail, and children Annie, Mary L., Josephine, Charles, and Isaiah. George is missing. At the same address, but listed as a distinct household, are Margaret Knower, 22, and Charles F. Knower, 3. Margaret was the wife or widow of Timothy H. Knower, a son of Daniel Knower. Timothy A. Knower, son of Timothy N. Knower, was employed by a grocer named Francis McGuigan in Albany. Timothy N. Knower and most of his children are buried in the McGuigan plot at Albany Rural Cemetery; The elder Timothy's cause of death given as "the fits."


i. ANNIE KNOWER, born about 1821, New York City., N.Y.; died May 10, 1856, Knowersville, N.Y..

ii. MARY L. KNOWER, born about 1823, died in Knowersville September 30, 1873.

37.    iii. TIMOTHY AUGUSTUS KNOWER, born April 22, 1825, New York state; died January 27, 1870, Albany, N.Y.

 iv. GEORGE KNOWER, born July 27, 1827 in New York City; died January 9, 1902, Altamont, (Knowersville) N.Y. He married ANNE ELIZA CLARK on June 20, 1860 in New York City. She was born June 24, 1830 in Rye, N.Y. and died February 20, 1878, in Albany. No children are known.

This gentleman presents a bit of a mystery. He lived a long life, but I have not yet found George in any census as an adult. He is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery with his parents, sisters and brothers, but his wife does not appear to be buried there. His cause of death is given as Bright's Disease in the cemetery records. He is probably the George Knower from Albany County who enlisted with the U.S. Army at the outbreak of the Civil War.

He may (or may not) be "the last of the local Knowers" remembered by Arthur R. Gregg, author of "Old Helleburgh, Scenes from Early Guilderland," an undated local history reprinted by the Guilderland Historical Society in 1975. Gregg says, "The last of the local Knowers here is remembered as an old man with flowing beard who came back annually from New York to vacation amid the scenes of his boyhood. He would recount the story of this famous wedding (of Cornelia Knower to William L. Marcy in 1824) held here many years ago with great pride." (p. 113)

George was not yet born in 1824 and in no position to remember the wedding, if indeed it took place there, but he well fits the description "last of the local Knowers."

          v. JOSEPHINE KNOWER, born July 29, 1828, Knowersville, N.Y.; died December 18, 1893, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Unmarried, she lived most of her life on a farm in Knowersville with her brother Isaiah, a farmer. "Exhaustion" is given as the cause of her death.

            vi. ISAIAH KNOWER, born about 1833 in Knowersville, died there May 31, 1888.

           vii. BENJAMIN F. KNOWER, born about 1835; died July 10, 1854, Brooklyn, N.Y.

A death notice published in the New York Herald on July 12, 1854, states: 'On Monday, July 10, of cholera, Benjamin F. Knower, of South Brooklyn, aged 19 years, third son of the late Timothy Knower. His remains will be taken to Albany for interment.' They were; he is buried with his parents, brothers and sisters in Albany Rural Cemetery.

38.       viii. CHARLES L. KNOWER, born June 10, 1838, Guilderland, died about 1890, St. Louis Mo.

         25. ANN KNOWER was born about 1799 in Roxbury and died August 25, 1877 in New York City. She married THEODORUS VANTINE, a fur dealer, on June 17, 1821 in Albany. He was born May 26, 1791 in Troy, N.Y. The couple and several of their children are buried in the Marble Cemetery, New York City.


i. CHARLES VANTINE, born January 22, 1823, New York City; died there March 23, 1824.

ii. ELIZABETH VANTINE, born April 1825, Troy, N.Y; died after 1900.

iii. CHARLES VANTINE, born About 1826, Troy, N.Y.; died after 1880.

iv. ANN VANTINE, born April 1829, New York City; died October 1, 1899, New York City.

v. AUGUSTA VANTINE, born about 1830; died after 1900, Westchester County, New York.

vi. EMMA VANTINE, born December 1833, New York City; died May 29, 1890, New York City.

vii. THEODORUS VANTINE, born February 1836, New York City; died February 25, 1872, New York City.

viii. FREDERICK VANTINE, born August 1840, New York City; died after 1900.

ix. HENRIETTA VANTINE, born September 1860, New York City; died after 1900.

        26. DANIEL KNOWER was born in Roxbury and probably died in Albany. He in appears in Fry's Albany Directory for 1813 and 1815; prior to that, he lived in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., possibly having traveled there with his brother Benjamin. In Klinck's Albany directory for 1822, Daniel Knower runs a 'commission store' at the corner of South Market and Division. According to the Roxbury Vital Records, Daniel and ANN H. BACON were married May 31, 1809, by the Rev. William E. Channing, At least one child in a mass baptism of Daniel Knower's children August 25, 1819, Third Presbyterian Church, Albany, has Bacon as a middle name. However, according to several Norfolk County, Massachusetts, deeds listing the children of Benjamin Knower and their spouses, she is styled ANN HINCKLEY. Some Daniel Knower descendants prefer the spelling HINKLING. Hinckley or Hinkling, of course, is likely to be the "H.," in Ann H. Bacon.

He was, while living in Roxbury, a clockmaker. Examples of his work are extremely rare, but a photograph of a signed clock appeared in the April 2000 issue of The Magazine Antiques photo

DANIEL, like his brother SAMUEL, tends to evade contemporary documentation, and evidence points to children for whom we have no civil documentation at all. Anne Knower, a descendant in Vermont who has kindly provided photographs and research on Daniel's branch of the family, confirms that he is the father of two of our 'Mystery Knowers'

39. i. MARGARET ANN KNOWER, who was known as ANNIE M. KNOWER at the time of her marriage. Emigrant to California.

40. ii. JOHN GEORGE KNOWER, emigrant to California.

iii. WILLIAM BACON KNOWER, born March 14, 1811, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; died June 8, 1879, West Troy, N.Y. He is almost certainly is the William B. Knower listed in the 1850 San Francisco city directory as a hatter at 150 Commercial St.

41.        iv. BENJAMIN WELD KNOWER, born December 26, 1812, Scotland, N.Y.; died January 23, 1879, West Troy, N.Y.

            v. AUDLEY PECKHAM KNOWER, born December 18, 1814; married ELIZABETH COULSON. Their daughter, Ella, referred to in the will of Dr. Daniel Knower as 'my unfortunate niece' , apparently married. As Ella Agramonte, a widow, she was an inmate in various state hospitals in censuses between 1880 and 1920.

           vi. DANIEL KNOWER, born in Albany September 25, 1817, and died January 11, 1897, in Schoharie, N.Y. In in 1839 and 1840 he practiced in Manhattan, evidenced by dentistry bills preserved among the papers of his cousin, John Randall. He married EUGENE CHARLOTTE MICHAELS on October 25, 1857, in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Schoharie. She was born about 1831 and died September 15, 1886. The couple, who had no children, are buried in the cemetery surrounding the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie. photos . Dr. Knower published about his travels in California during the Gold Rush. Click here for a peek at the book, "The Adventures of a Forty-niner."

42.      vii. CHARLES FREDERICK KNOWER, born July 11, 1819.

43.      vi. TIMOTHY HENRY KNOWER, born May 27, 1822.

          vii. CATHERINE KNOWER, born March 12, 1825. Her death reported in the New York Evening Post of July 18, 1833: Wednesday, July 17, Catharine Knower, dau. of Daniel. 8 y

Eighth Generation

        29. CORNELIA KNOWER was born about 1801 in Poughkeepsie, Albany or Guilderland, N.Y., and died March 24, 1889 in Washington, D.C.. She married WILLIAM LEARNED MARCY April 28, 1824, tradition has it in Guilderland, but newspapers of the time report Albany. He was born December 12, 1786 in Southbridge, Mass., and died July 4, 1857 in Ballston Spa, N.Y. The curators of her final residence at 736 Jackson Place, Washington D.C., write: "Mrs. William Learned Marcy , nee Cornelia Knower, was born in Guilderland, New York, the daughter of Benjamin Knower, a hatter. In 1824, she married Marcy, a lawyer and member of the Albany Regency. Marcy later served as a US Senator (1831-1832), Governor of New York, member of the Mexican Claims Commission (1841-1842), Secretary of War In the Polk administration (1844-1848) and Secretary of State in the Pierce' administration (1853-1857). Marcy's career is best remembered for a speech given on the Senate floor. Defending his nomination of Martin Van Buren as Minister to England, he stated "to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy," from which the phrase "spoils system" came to be used to describe the distribution of political office on party grounds. Cornelia Knower Marcy, for whom the row house was built, was a private individual who left behind no known archive accessible to the public despite her husband's life in public service." One portrait of her later in life is known.

The name Cornelia will recur like the flu in the Knower and Randall families.


               i. EDMUND MARCY, born about 1833, buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

44.         ii. CORNELIA MARCY, born February 27, 1834; died March 15, 1888, buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

        31. EDMUND KNOWER was born in 1812, and died May 8, 1844. He married HARRIET STRONG September 26, 1838, in the Presbyterian Church, Syracuse, N.Y. She was a daughter of Oliver Strong and Margaret Maclaren. She was born February 9, 1817, in Onandaga Hills, Oswego. In the 1860 federal census, Harriet, a widow, is living in Syracuse with her father. She is probably the "Mrs. Edward Knower" who figures occasionally in the social notes of New York City newspapers in conjunction with her daughter, Mrs. Samuel Judd Penniman, and her son, Benjamin Knower, with whom she later made her home. Albany Rural Cemetery records give her date of death as February 12, 1895, and the cause of death, cancer.


46.      i. BENJAMIN KNOWER, born August 20, 1839, Oswego, N.Y.; died November 5, 1902, Ossining, Westchester County, N.Y.

        ii. MARY TALCOTT KNOWER, born in 1840; died February 13, 1931; she married SAMUEL JUDD PENNIMAN, October 16, 1866, in Oswego. He was born in 1835 in Oswego, N.Y., son of James F. Penniman of Albany and Cordelia Louisa Judd of Lansingburgh, N.Y. He died before 1880.

Mrs. Penniman's birthdate is sometimes recorded as January 8, 1840, but that is too soon after Benjamin's birth in August 1839. In the 1880 census, she claims to have been born in 1850; in the 1900 census she claimed to have been born in May 1860.

        32. SARAH KNOWER married ABEL FRENCH June 10, 1850, in St. Peter's Church, Albany, son of Abel French, a mill owner, and Eliza McKown. He was born September 26, 1814 in Guilderland, and died in 1886. Sarah died in France in 1897 and is buried in the Cimitiere de Passy.

Children of SARAH KNOWER and ABEL FRENCH are:

i. JOHN KNOWER FRENCH, born about 1858; died November 10, 1873, Versailles, France.


        33. THOMAS DONNELLY KNOWER was born July 29, 1813, and died March 18, 1885, in New York City. He married LAURA HYATT BUCKHOUT November 8, 1835, in Ossining, N.Y. She was born there July 28, 1814, and died December 27, 1885, in New York City. A Thomas D. "Noah" turns up in the 1840 census at Buffalo, N.Y. In the 1850 federal census, Thomas is a merchant in Ossining; in 1860 he is enumerated with his Buckhout cousins, and in 1870 with Doubleday cousins, and 'at home' in 1870. In 1880, he, his wife and daughter Laura are residents at the customs house in Ossining. His address at death is given as 111 East 87th St., New York City; cause of death was pneumonia.


i. WILLIAM B. KNOWER, born December 9, 1836, Buffalo, N.Y.; died there May 10, 1840. Noted in family bible: 'Died of hip complaint and scarlet feaver'

ii. WILLIAM B. KNOWER, born 1841, died November 6, 1900; married GEORGENA TISSEMAN, March 23, 1870, New York City.

           We can't help but question the dates as reported in a published version of the family bible record, which gives his year of birth as 1839. Is it likely parents would give a second son the same name as the first while the first is still living? The surviving William B. Knower served with the Union in the Civil War and was listed on the Roll of Honor: "William B. Knower, Capt. 4th Artillery; Major by brevet for gallant and meritorious services in the engagement at Ream's Station, Va., to date from March 13, 1865." His obituary in the New York Times (Nov. 7, 1900) relates a story of heroism: at the battle of Ream's Station; Knower saved the company standard from capture by seizing it and thrusting it into his bosom. He then spent nine months as a prisoner of war at Libby Prison, Richmond, and was promoted to brevet major upon his release. The obituary states that he was born in Buffalo in 1841, but was a longtime resident of New York. An employee of the Bank of North America, he was married but had no children. He died of heart disease.
         The 1870 federal census finds William working as a bank clerk in Ossining, residing with his father and mother, in close proximity with S. Ward Doubleday, who is also a bank clerk. Doubleday is the family name of cousins as well as William's commanding officer.

48.     iii. EDWARD C. KNOWER, born February 12, 1841, Buffalo; died February 5, 1897, Baltimore, Md..

iv. ANNA MARIA KNOWER, born June 2, 1844, Albany; died February 8, 1866, Ossining, N.Y.

v. MARY KNOWER, born January 23, 1845, Albany; died February 14, 1845, Albany, N.Y.

vi. MARY KNOWER, born February 8, 1846, West Troy N.Y.; died December 28, 1846, West Troy.

vii. LAURA H. KNOWER, born March 9, 1847, West Troy, N.Y.

Mystery Knower Samuel Knower logically connects with this family, somehow. Although he left plenty of descendants, it is very difficult to identify his ancestor.

          34. SARAH KNOWER was born 1819 and died August 2, 1883 in Auburn, N.Y. She married ABRAHAM CORNELIUS GROOT on July 31, 1836. He was born April 22, 1813, and died May 7, 1890.


i. CORNELIUS A. GROOT, born about 1837.

ii. CORNELIA A. GROOT, born about 1844.

         37. TIMOTHY A. KNOWER was born April 22, 1825, in New York state, and died January 27, 1870, in Albany. He married ISABELLA I. SOUTHWICK TAYLOR, who was born about 1828 in New York City and died March 8, 1866, in Albany. In the 1850 federal census, he, his wife and 2-year-old daughter Kate are enumerated with the family of Francis McGuigan, a grocer, and his occupation is given as clerk. Census evidence suggests that Isabella's mother was a sister of Mrs. McGuigan. In the 1855 state census, Timothy's occupation is bank clerk.

           He married a second time, after the death of Isabella in 1866. According to the records of the Second Street Presbyterian Church, Troy, N.Y., Timothy A. Knower married Frances Holmes on April 13, 1868.


i. KATE KNOWER, born about 1850. She married CHARLES STEELE HOFFMAN, October 18, 1864, in Albany. He was born about 1841.

53.     ii. CORNELIA M. KNOWER, born about 1859, Albany.

          38. CHARLES L. KNOWER was born June 10, 1838 in Guilderland and died about 1890 in St. Louis, Missouri. He married MARY SCOTT LESLIE October 22, 1863, in St. Louis. She was born February 1839 in Ohio, and died February 17, 1925 in St. Louis. A physician and dentist, he is found in the 1860 census in St. Louis, enumerated with Aresutha Forbes, who is also from New York state. Aresutha is likely a relative, as Forbes is Charles' mother's maiden name. Charles' widow's name is given as Mary S. Knower on a Civil War pension claim filed December 17, 1890. She is also listed as widow of Charles in an 1890 St. Louis directory Her parents were A.M. Leslie, a native of Scotland, and Mary A. Leslie, a native of Ireland. He is listed in 1890 census as a manufacturer of surgical instruments in St. Louis.


            i. ANNA GERTRUDE KNOWER, born August 9, 1865; died March 8, 1953. She married David James MacDonald. He was born October 29, 1857, and died October 29, 1922.

55.        ii. CHARLES LESLIE KNOWER, born March 3, 1873; died August 1954.

            iii. MARY ABIGAIL KNOWER, born February 26, 1877, St. Louis Missouri; died December 17, 1954. She married Robert Charles Miller. He was born April 20, 1873, and died July 11, 1936.

             iv. MAUD MARY KNOWER, born February 20, 1875; d. September 1951; married Charles Herbert Lorenz on January 8, 1902; he was born February 16, 1877 and died in October 1946.

            39. MARGARET ANNE KNOWER was known as ANNIE M. KNOWER at the time of her marriage in San Francisco to JAMES R. RICHARDS as reported in the New York Evening Post of October 18, 1855: "San Francisco, by the Rev. J.A. Shepard, James R. Richards to Annie M. Knower late of this city. " Richards was born November 16, 1826, a native of Plainfield, Connecticut. Richards' birth and the birth of their two sons are documented in Volume 3 of the "Genealogical Register of the Descendants of Ancient Puritans," by the Rev. Abner Morse, published in Boston in 1861.

Known children of ANNIE M. KNOWER and JAMES R. RICHARDS, both born in San Francisco, are:

i. WILLIAM W. RICHARDS, born July 26, 1856

ii. ALEXANDER ORR RICHARDS, born January 1, 1858 and died November 19, 1946, in San Francisco.

            40. JOHN GEORGE KNOWER married SARAH WIGMORE, a native of Ireland, on November 1, 1865, in San Francisco. The marriage was performed by the Rev. Dr. Clark and published in the San Francisco Daily Examiner on November 4, 1865. John George Knower died January 13, 1911; Sarah died November 23, 1921, in the California Odd Fellows Home in Saratoga, Santa Clara County.

Known children of JOHN GEORGE KNOWER and SARAH WIGMORE are:

i. FREDERICK WIGMORE [or WILKINS] KNOWER was born November 30, 1867. He attended the University of California and worked as a civil engineer. In census records he states he was married at age 22; a Clara Knower, nee Clara Adelaide Cullen, of San Francisco may have been his wife. The couple was apparently estranged.

ii. ARTHUR JOHN KNOWER was born December 8, 1871. In the 1920 census he is found in a rooming house in Modesto, California. There is no record of him having married.

The 1880 census suggests a child named JAMES A. was born about 1872, but he is otherwise unknown. A third son, JOHN GEORGE, died in infancy in 1873. A Daniel Knower descendant believes there was also a son named William; he has not been found in civil records.

            41. BENJAMIN WELD KNOWER was born December 26, 1812, in Scotland, N.Y., and died January 23, 1879 in West Troy. He married ELECTA COWING September 24, 1836 in Northampton, Mass. She was born September 17, 1815, in Northampton, and died April 1, 1895, in West Troy. In the 1850 federal census, he is a wool sorter in Watervliet; in the 1860 and 1870 censuses, he is listed as a store keeper in nearby West Troy. In the 1880 census, widow Electa Knower, 64, is recorded in West Troy.


i. SARAH MARIA KNOWER, born November 12, 1837. She married Maurice Cashman.

ii. CATHARINE KNOWER, born July 17, 1839; died April 23, 1840, age 9 months.

56.     iii. DANIEL KNOWER, born April 8, 1841, Northampton, Mass.; died April 23, 1898, Watervliet, N.Y.

          iv. AUDLEY PECKHAM KNOWER, born March 31, 1843; died May 23, 1844, age 1 year, 2 months.

          v. MARGARET KNOWER, born May 17, 1847. She married Joseph McQuaid

          vi. WILHEMINA [or ADELINE] KNOWER, born July 18, 1851. She married William Boughton; during her marriage she is known as Wilhelmina Boughton.

          vii. ADAH C. KNOWER, born April 1, [or June 20, 1853]; died 1937; married Theodore Hinsdale Caulkins of Watervliet on January 14, 1876. Son of John and Jane Caulkins of Albany, he was born in 1850 and died in 1882. The couple is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

            viii. MARY LOUISE KNOWER, born September 10, 1858. She married Archibald Campbell.


42. CHARLES FREDERICK KNOWER married SALINA CUNNINGHAM, of Ayr, Scotland, August 31, 1868, in Glasgow, Scotland. He was a dentist.


57.          i. LEONARD GRAHAM KNOWER, born in Ayr, Scotland, August 28, 1871.

The couple's first child, named Audley, apparently died young.

         43. TIMOTHY HENRY KNOWER was born May 27, 1822. He married MARGARET ELIZABETH LINACRE September 2, 1846, in Third Presbyterian Church, Albany. She was born June 20, 1828 in Albany, a daughter of James F. Linacre and his wife Mary Talbert. She is still living in Jersey City in 1910, but died after that census, judging from the filing of her will in November of that year.

         Her name is given as MARGARET GREGORY and her children as TIMOTHY HENRY and CHARLES FREDERICK in a Daniel descendant's research, though the maiden name Linacra apprears on the death certificate of her son Charles..

         In the 1850 census, Margaret is enumerated in Guilderland with their son, but Timothy himself is missing.

         Margaret E. Knower filed for relief in 1886 as the widow of Timothy H. Knower, a Union soldier during the Civil War. According to his service record, he was 40 when he enlisted with 4th Heavy Artillery Regiment New York on December 7, 1862. He was mustered out of the same regiment with distinguished service on June 6, 1865 in Satterlee Hospital, Philadelphia.


Known children of TIMOTHY H. KNOWER and MARGARET are:

58.      i. CHARLES FREDERICK KNOWER, born February 12, 1847.

ii. JAMES FRANKLIN KNOWER born May 23, 1852. His death On Dec. 5, 1870, was reported in the New York Herald on Dec. 7, 1870. The death notice states that he is the son of Margaret Knower of Jersey City, N.J., and the late Timothy H. Knower.

Ninth Generation

         44. CORNELIA MARCY was born February 27, 1834, and died March 15, 1888. She married EDMUND HENRY PENDLETON on April 28, 1864, in New York City. He was born June 22, 1843 in Ohio, and died March 14, 1910. She is listed as a student in a residential school for young ladies in Lenox, Mass., in 1850. Emily Randall Gregory visited her cousin Cornelia in Paris while on her wedding trip in 1872; she reports in a letter to her mother that Mrs. Pendleton was very unhappy in her marriage.


i. WILLIAM LEARNED MARCY PENDLETON, born February 19, 1865.

          46. BENJAMIN KNOWER was born August 20, 1838, in Oswego, N.Y., and died November 5, 1902 in Ossining, N.Y. He married first, March 22, 1873, Mary Ludlow Gray, daughter of Dr. John F. Gray of New York City. She was born April 4, 1845 and died April 13, 1879. On June 20, 1883, he married MARY CONSTANCE ALLEN. She was born November 4, 1851, in New York City, and died February 27, 1931, in Hartford, Conn. He described himself as a dry goods merchant. In the 1880 federal census, he lives with his widowed mother. His city address is 24 Thomas St.

Ladies of the family gathered for a portrait in about 1900.


62.            i. MARY CONSTANCE KNOWER, born September 26, 1884, Ossining, N.Y.; died in France. Married  (63) Count Jean de Suzannet. Two photographs of her as a child prove her to have been beautiful, if perhaps a bit petulant.

                 ii. MARGARET CAMPBELL KNOWER, born April 25, 1888, Preston, Conn. Died in Norwich State Hospital. March 8, 1956. She married Count Alain Henri Georges De Suzannet, brother of (63.).



             i. COUNT ALAIN HENRI GEORGES DE SUZANNET, married (62. ii) MARGARET CAMPBELL KNOWER. No children.

63.        ii. COUNT JEAN KNOWER DE SUZANNET, born 1884, in France; died in 1938. Married (62 i) MARY CONSTANCE KNOWER.

          48. EDWARD C. KNOWER was born February 12, 1841 in Buffalo, N.Y., and died February 5, 1897 in Baltimore, Md. He married MARY D. MCELDERRY of Baltimore on October 10, 1867. Curiously, a family of Knowers not known to be related to ours is also found in Baltimore.

         During the Civil War, he was a member of the NY 4th Heavy Artillery Company D. He was recruited Nov. 1, 1861; attaining the rank of 1st lieutenant. In the 1880 federal census he is still with the U.S. Army, stationed at Sackett's Harbor, Jefferson, N.Y. His wife and family, all Maryland natives, are living outside the barracks.


64.         i. HENRY MCELDERRY KNOWER, born August 5, 1868, Baltimore, died January 10, 1940, Woods Hole, Mass.

              ii. WILLIAM KNOWER, born May 30, 1870, Baltimore, died December 27, 1894, Denver, Colo.

          53. CORNELIA MARCY KNOWER was born about 1859 in Albany. In the 1870 federal census, 'Nellie' Knower, an orphan, is enumerated with the family of her married older sister. She married ARTHUR DUDLEY MILLS.

Timothy Knower Judge, a Mills descendant, writes in October, 2004 on the progress of the Mills family, which had five children.

i. GERTRUDE ELIZABETH MILLS, born about 1879. A daughter had no children.

ii. ARTHUR DUDLEY MILLS, born about 1881.

iii. KNOWER MILLS (known as Timothy), born about 1885. A teacher of Latin and Greek, and a painter. Died Sept. 10, 1956 in Tisbury, Mass. No children.

iv. HAROLD MILLS, born about 1889. Married Marie Harlow; descendants.

v. CORNELIA MARCY MILLS, born 1892; married Harry Vincent Judge; descendants.

Children and grandchildren living carry forward Knower family names and associations.

          55. CHARLES LESLIE KNOWER was born March 3, 1873 and died August 1954. He married NAOMI ADELE SCHEBEL in 1910. She was born September 29, 1883, and died in November 1951.


           i. CAROLYN KNOWER, born February 10, 1919. She married Douglas Calhoun Macleod July 19, 1942. He was born July 4, 1908. Three children are likely to be living.

          56. DANIEL KNOWER was born April 8, 1841, in Northampton, Mass., and died April 23, 1898 in Watervliet, N.Y. He married CATHARINE WHITE April 9, 1868, in Third Presbyterian Church, Albany. She was born April 1, 1848 in Glasgow, Scotland, and died July 26, 1920 in Watervliet. In the 1860 federal census, he is a clerk in Watervliet; in 1880 his occupation is grocer. He states his father was New York-born and his mother was born in Massachusetts. Catherine, his wife, reports that her parents were both born in Scotland.


i. ELECTA C. KNOWER, born May 30, 1869; died June 16, 1896; she married CHARLES M. BORTER.

ii. BENJAMIN W. KNOWER, born July 3, 1871; died May 5, 1917. In an 1895 Albany directory, he is a student boarding at 25 North Pearl. In 1901-1904, he is a lawyer at 25 North Pearl, with a home at Watervliet. From 1905 to 1908 his office is at 100 State St. The 1909 directory states he has moved to Watervliet.

iii. JESSIE C. KNOWER, born November 4, 1873; died July 13, 1899, West Troy.

76.    iv. ROBERT WHITE KNOWER, born January 6, 1876, Watervliet; died January 1, 1965, Albany.

         v. FLORENCE MARY KNOWER, born May 1878.

77.   vi. DANIEL K. KNOWER, born November 21, 1883, West Troy N.Y.; died 1938.


         57. LEONARD GRAHAM KNOWER was born August 28, 1871 in Ayr, Scotland. He died January 6, 1952. He married AUGUSTA DENNISON, daughter of William Dennison and Rose Ellen Hardenberg. Augusta was born January 16, 1874 in Mariasville, N.Y., and died June 3, 1948. The couple had two daughters and a son, four grandchildren.

His granddaughter, Anne E. Knower, reports that Leonard G. Knower founded the Doyle-Knower store in Utica N.Y. in 1921. It closed in 1992.

         58. CHARLES FREDERICK KNOWER was born February 12, 1847. He died October 28, 1927. He married Hannah M. Ackerman, who was born around 1850. She died May 5, 1950 in New York. In 1880 the family lived in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he worked as a clerk in a sugar refinery.


78.     i. FRANKLIN D. KNOWER, born about 1876, died October 17, 1942

ii. MAUD KNOWER, born about 1879; she married Arthur Van Horn.

         75. CHARLES KNOWER was born September 20, 1914 in St. Louis. Among others, he married JOYCE SAMPSON, who was born August 7, 1924.

         76. ROBERT WHITE KNOWER was born January 6, 1876 in Watervliet, N.Y., and died January 1, 1965, in Albany Memorial Hospital, Albany. He married HARRIET ROSELLA CHISM. She was born January 29, 1883 in Rotterdam, N.Y., and died March 20, 1959, in Troy, N.Y. He was in turn draftsman, assistant superintendent and registrar for Albany Rural Cemetery, where he and his wife are buried.


              i. ROBERT CHISM KNOWER, born June 9, 1913; died December 17, 1997. Two sons are likely to be living.

          77. DANIEL K. KNOWER was born November 21, 1883 in West Troy and died in 1938. He married MABEL RATZ. She was born August 31, 1894, and died January 8, 1981. In 1929 and 1930 Albany directories, Daniel is a foreman living on Fourth Avenue, Lansingburgh.


i. JANE KNOWER. In Albany directories of the 1940s, she is a bookkeeper for APW Paper Co., living at 289 Fourth Ave, North Troy.

Sixth Generation



           i. MARIE LOUISE DE SUZANNET born 1912 and died in 1918.

           ii. JAQUELINE DE SUZANNET, married Count Maurice de Ponton de Amecourt Five children.

COUNT JEAN DE SUZANNET married a second wife, Helene Durant de Mareuil. Among their five children was

            i  ROBERT DE SUZANNET, who married DIANE D'ANSELME. Two daughters are living in France; grandchildren.

          64. HENRY MCELDERRY KNOWER was born August 5, 1868 in Baltimore, Md., and died January 10, 1940 in Woods Hole, Mass. He married VIRGINIA INLOES DUBARRY February 16, 1897 in Baltimore. He apprears in Albany city directories for 1932-33 as an associate professor of anatomy at Albany Medical College; he went on to make a name for himself in academic circles as an expert in the embryology and anatomy of termites.

His listing in "Who Was Who," is rather impressive.


i. HENRY DUBARRY KNOWER, born January 31, 1898, Baltimore. He died in 1939 in Florida.

ii. VIRGINIA INLOES KNOWER, born March 4, 1902, Baltimore. She married William A. Moore.

78. FRANKLIN D. KNOWER was born about 1876 and died October 17, 1942. He married May Randall in about 1903; she was born about 1880, the daughter of Amanda Randall.

Known child of FRANKLIN D. KNOWER and MAY RANDALL is

i. DORIS KNOWER, born about 1905. At the time of her father's death, her names was Doris Wisner.


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