A 1630 Connection to Williams County, Ohio or Through the Loins of the Snake-Oil Salesman
Esther Knapp Severence to Walden Severence to Delia Cordelia Severence Person to Jennie Person Warner to Mary Warner Lash (my husband's mother)
By Pamela Pattison Lash (21 November 1994)
As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought it would be fitting to include a detailing of one of my husband's ancestors, Nicholas Knapp. How does this ancestor connect to early settlers of Williams County, Ohio? David Severence, whose detailing will be posted another time, came to what was called Williams County c1834 with his wife, the former Esther Knapp, and his children. It is through this Esther Knapp Severence that immigrant Nicholas Knapp enters the picture.
I have kept the original spellings as close as I could decipher several very old documents, so please bear with me.
THE LINEAGE OF NICHOLAS KNAPP, IMMIGRANT, 1630 TO AMERICA
NICHOLAS KNAPP was born circa 1592 in Wells, Co Norfolk, England; he was baptized 16 May 1592. His parentage is suspect but the possibility exists that he was the son of Robert Knap and Margaret Poling.
Nicholas first?? married Elinor --- circa 1628-1630, Co Suffolk, England. She was born circa 1603/1605, Combs, Co Suffolk, England. The story exists that this Nicholas may have married Susan Mitterson prior to his immigration to America and that she had died sometime before he left England. At this stage this is just a story. Also in the family-tradition-says mode, Elinor is supposed to be a Lockwood, which has been rejected as incorrect. At this point her ancestry is unknown.
Nicholas departed from Southampton to Yarmouth on 22 Mar 1630 and from Yarmouth to America on 6 April 1630; he arrived at Salem, MA on 12 June 1630 and from there traveled to Watertown, MA on 14 June 1630. This was the Winthrop and Saltonstall Expedition itinerary aboard the ship Arabella, formerly known as the "Eagle". The captain of the vessel was Peter Milbourne of London. It is presumed he traveled along with his wife from England. They stayed in Watertown for 16 years; he made several distributions of land there between 1636-1642. These are listed in Bond’s History of Watertown as 1.) a 16-acre "home stall"; 2.) 2 acres in Pine Marsh; 3.) 1 acre in Pond Meadow; 4.) 30 acres of upland, part of Division 2 of Lot 17; 5.) 6 acres of plow land in Hither Plaine and Lot 35; 6.) 7 acres of "meddow" in Remote Meddows and the 39 Lot; 7.) 13 acres of upland beyond further Plaine and Lot 54; and 8.) 117 acres of farm upland in Division 2. He lived on Bank Lane.
On 1 March 1631 he was fined five pounds for selling water to cure scurvy at a very dear price; he was to be either imprisoned until he could pay his fine or give security for it or else he would be whipped; he also stood liable to any man of whom he had received money for the water. Mr. Wil'm Pelham and Mr. Edmond Lockewood then promised to pay to the court the sum of 5 pounds for Nicholas Knopp before May 1831. On 7 August 1632 there is 3 pounds of Knapp's fine of 5 pounds remitted. On 6 July 1638 in General Court it was stated that Nicholas Knop, being fined five pounds, part was paid and the rest remitted. Evidently the water was found to be beneficial so the suit was dropped on payment of costs.
While in Massachusetts he followed the occupations of farmer and weaver plus he operated a mill. Nicholas was classified as a proprietor in 1636-1637. In 1638 he witnessed the will of Nicholas Theale of Watertown. On 6 May 1646 he sold all land granted to him by the town except one acre of pond meadow to Bryon Pendleton, having sold the pond meadow on 29 September 1645 to Ed Garfield. Eight of his known children were born in Watertown with the last one born at Stamford, CT.
He later moved to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1646; then went to Stamford, Connecticut, in 1648, where he lived the remainder of his life. Nicholas was one of 24 men who settled permanently and became the backbone of Stamford. Nicholas was on the list of Stamford landowners in 1650 with his home lot as #1; other home lots of interest are: #26-1651 Peter Brown; #39-1647 Clement Buxton; #39-1658 Unica Buxton Brown;#30-1661 Nicholas Knap; #37-1661 Timothy Knap; #39-1661 Clement Buxton; #58-1661 Nicholas Knapp; #61-1661 Caleb Knap; #27A-1681 Moses Knap Jr; #30-1681 Moses Knap; #39-1681 Clement Buxton; #61-1681 Caleb Knap.
Nicholas is found on a list of men in April 1667 who wished to put horses on the common land of Stamford. Huntington’s History of Stamford, Connecticut states in connection with the activities of the Governor of Connecticut that "side by side ready to do the utmost of their means to sustain any measure which might aid them in asserting the rights of the Colonies against the unjust demands of the Crown, stood the substantial citizens of the town- the Hoyts, the Lockwoods, the Knaps, the Scofields, the Smiths, the Seelys, the Warings, the Waterburys, the Webbs, and the Weeds.
Elinor, the wife and mother of all Nicholas' children, died on 16 June 1658 or 16 August 1658, Stamford, Fairfield Co, CT. Nicholas married Unice or Unity Buxton Brown on 4 March 1659, Stamford, CT, and moved into the Buxton home on the east side of West Street.
Unice, whose parentage is unknown, was first married to Clement Buxton, a shoemaker who lived in a small house lot on West Street in Stamford. Some of his possessions included a writing desk and a wheelbarrow. Clement died 6 April 1657, leaving Unice a widow with three children, Clement Jr., Sarah, and Unity. His estate was inventoried on 3 September 1657 and appraised by Richard Law and John Holly. The widow Unica gave an estate oath on 13 May 1668; Clement Jr., gave bonds 19 April 1686 of 20 pounds in action against Daniel Scofield.
Unice took a second husband, Peter Brown, 25 or 27 July 1658, Stamford, CT. Peter was born circa 1610, Concord, Massachusetts. In 1632 he moved to New Haven, CT, serving as a baker; in 1647 he and his family moved to Stamford. His first wife Elizabeth --- died 21 September 1657 at Stamford followed by their son, Ebenezer, who also died there, 21 August 1658. Other Brown children were daughter Mercy, baptized 6 April 1645, and daughter Elizabeth, baptized 1 August 1647. Peter died 21 June 1658 or 22 August 1658, Stamford, CT; his will was probated 19 August 1658 and estate inventoried November 1658; The Widow Brown testified under oath as did Thomas Brown, 10 Feb 1658. When Nicholas married Unity in 1659 he also took on the responsibilities of caring for her children by Clement Buxton. Unity appears to have died before Nicholas.
Nicholas died on 16 April 1670 or 16 September 1670, Stamford, Fairfield Co, Connecticut. His will is dated 15 February 1670 and was recorded at Fairfield Co., CT. His occupation was a weaver and his religious affiliation was Puritan Congregational.
Issue of Nicholas and Elinor (--) Knapp:
• 1. Jonathan, b. 8 Nov 1631, Watertown, MA; d. 27 Dec 1631, Watertown, MA; 7 weeks old at death.
• 2. Timothy, b. 14 Dec 1632, Watertown, MA; d. before 1685, Rye, NY; m. 1665, Bethia Brundage, dau of John Brundage and Rachel Hubbard at Wethersfield, CT.
• 3. Joshua, b. 5 Nov 1634 or 5 Jan 1635, Watertown, MA; d. 22- 27 Oct 1684, Stamford, CT; m. 9 Jun 1657, Hannah Close at Stamford; Hannah dau of Goodman Thomas Close and Elizabeth (---); Hannah b. 1632, Grinton Parish, Co York, England; d. 1696, Greenwich, Fairfield Co, CT; she m2. John Bowers who d. 1694; Joshua was one of the original patentees named in the patent granted to Town of Greenwich by the General Assembly in May 1665.
• 4. John Caleb, b. 20 Nov 1636 or 20 Jan 1637, Watertown, MA; d. 12 Dec 1674, Stamford, CT; m. 26 Mar 1660, Hannah Smith, dau of Dr. Henry Smith, at Stamford; Hannah, b. 1640; d. 1685; m2. 1674, Thomas Lawrence.
• 5. Sarah, b. 5 Jan 1638/39, Watertown, MA; d. 1681, Rye, NY; m. 6 Apr 1667, Peter Disbrow, son of Peter Disbrow of Rye, NY.
• 6. Ruth, b. 6 Jan 1640/1641, Watertown, MA; d. 1702, Greenwich, CT; m1. 20 Sep 1657, Joseph Ferris, son of Jeffrey Ferris, at Stamford; m2.John Clapp, Greenwich.
• 7. Hannah, b. 6 Mar 1643, Watertown, MA; d. 7 Jun 1696, Stamford, CT; m. 1673, Zerubebel Hoyt, son of Walter Hoyt and Rhoda Wilson, at Stamford.
• 8. Moses, b. 6 Aug 1645, Watertown, MA; d. 1725/1726, Stamford, CT; m. 1 Oct 1668, Abigail Westcott, dau of Richard Westcott and Joanna ---, at Stamford.
• 9. Lydia or Lidia, b. 8 Jun 1647, Stamford, Connecticut; d. 9 Dec 1716, Stratford, CT; m. 16 Jan 1666, Dr. Isaac Hall, son of Francis Hall, at Stamford.
The Will of Nicholas Knapp, Stamford, CT, 15 February 1670
The last Will and Testament of Nicholas Knapp of Stamford concerning the disposal of his worldly estate.
• 1. I give to my son Moses Knapp my house and land in Stanford with all the meadow and upland belonging unto me. Also I give to my said son Moses my cart and plow or plows with all the furniture of irons; yokes; and chains belongings and a small gun in the house and a sword.
• 2. I give unto my son Timothy the monies remaining due me upon the bill for the house of John Bates live in.
• 3. I give to my son John Caleb the loom and half the gears and the other half of the gears I give to my son Josuah.
• 4. I give to my daughter Sarah Disbrowe the monies due to me from her husband about 37s-concerning the horss.
• 5. I give to my daughter Hannah one mare.
• 6. I give to my daughter Lidea the mare that was Mr. Bishop's with the increase she hath.
• 7. I give to my daughter Ruth twenty shillings.
• 8. I give to my two daughters in law viz: Sarah and Uneca Buxton, all their mother's clothes as a free gift, except one hat and one new pettecoat, which my will is they should have onward of their portion. Also I will and bequest unto Uneca Buxton the new Bible as a free gift.
• 9. My will is that the portions due to my daughters in law viz:Sarah Buxton and Uneca Buxton out of the estate of their father Clement Buxton: I say that their part and portions be currently paid according to their portion of the inventory.
• 10. Lastly my will is that my son Josuah Knap be sole executor of this my will to receive all and pay all dues according to this my will as also all debts to or from me.
If in case that mare be not found that I have given to Lidea that then she to have another mare in lue of that. This being my last Will and renouncing all other former wills made by me witness my hand.
(signed) John Weed
(signed) Nicholas Knap (his mark)
State of Connecticut, District of Fairfield, SS Probate Court
This Will is recorded in Vol 1665-75 p55 of records of said court.
• Early Settlement of Stamford, CT, Majdalany, 1990
• Families of Old Fairfield, Vol I, Jacobus, p104, 601-602
• Genealogies of Family and Descendants of Early Settlers of Watertown, Mass, Vol I, Bond 1855, p327
• Great Little Watertown, MA, 1630-1930, Robinson, 1930, p125
• History of Stamford, CT, 1641-1848, Huntington, 1979
• David Hayes of CT, VT, OH, Part IV, Edward R. Hayes, 1993
• Ye Historie of Ye Town of Greenwich, Spencer P. Mead, 1911, p595
• Knapp Family Association Vol 1-23, 1937-1960
• Ancestral Lines of Mary Lenore Knapp, Dr. A. A. Knapp, 1947
• Nicholas Knapp Genealogy, Dr. A. A. Knapp, 1953