John William Knowles

Male 1749 - 1838  (88 years)


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  • Name John William Knowles 
    Born 4 Jul 1749  Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Military Revolutionary War Patriot  [2, 3
    Died 21 Mar 1838  White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Mount Pisgah Cemetery, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I12227  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 4 May 2014 

    Family Hanna "Molly" Preston,   b. (CIRCA 1750), (Ballymena) County Antrim, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1821, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 21 Mar 1770  Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth Knowles,   b. 0___ 1770, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1820, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 50 years)
     2. James Knowles,   b. Abt 1778, (Cumberland County, Pennsylvania) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1846, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years)
     3. John (William) Knowles, Jr.,   b. 0___ 1784, Commonwealth of Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1864, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years)
     4. Sarah Knowles,   b. 18 Sep 1789, Fairfax County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Aug 1865, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     5. Joseph Knowles,   b. 0___ 1790, (Fairfax County, Virginia) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1850  (Age ~ 60 years)
     6. Eleander Knowles,   b. 4 Feb 1792, Fairfax County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Apr 1856, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
     7. Mary "Polly" Knowles,   b. 0___ 1795, (Fairfax County, Virginia) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1851, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 55 years)
     8. William Knowles, Sr.,   b. 6 May 1799, Fairfax County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jul 1862, White County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years)
     9. Isaac Knowles
    Last Modified 24 Sep 2021 
    Family ID F4447  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 4 Jul 1749 - Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 21 Mar 1770 - Pennsylvania Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Mar 1838 - White County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount Pisgah Cemetery, White County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Descendants of John W. Knowles, R.S. Knowles Tennessee Progenitor #02

      from Knowles Database, by R. B. Noles (May 10, 2007)

      please submit additions & corrections to rbnoles@bellsouth.net

      http://www.kknfa.org/Genealogies/Knowles_John_W_1749.pdf

      1830 Census: 21100110001-00002, identified as "William"...DAH. [5, 6]
    • http://homepages.apci.net/~makrissp/I-Hutson.html


      Sarah's father, John KNOWLES, was born 4 Jul 1749 in the town of Ballymena, County of Antrim and Parish of Echochel, which is now in the Parish of Kirkinriola located in Northern Ireland. He was a descendant of Thomas KNOWLES and Rebecca PINDER, married between 1698 and 1706. Thomas KNOWLES was from Hereford, England. Rebecca PINDER's father was Thomas PINDER who was born in 1662, and married Elizabeth Hacket, daughter of Sir Andrew HACKET of Moxhull in Warwickshire, England. John Knowles the immigrant ancestor of Sarah Knowles served in the early Revolutions in Northern Ireland. He was captured by the British soldiers and his sister helped him escape and he came to America. He has an American Revolutionary War record, too. [7]
    • 3 Sep 2007:

      DAR Unveils John Knowles Monument

      as printed in the Sparta Expositor, Thursday, September 11, 1969

      Contributed by Jane Hembree Crowley

      ....God shed his grace on thee, and crowned they good, with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea......

      Thus America was praised, and one who helped gain liberty for this foundling nation almost 200 years ago was honored.

      The local chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution unveiled a monument at the grave of pioneer White Countian John Knowles at Mr. Pisgah Cemetery Sunday.

      Knowles, a revolutionary soldier, came to White County from Virginia, in the early 1800s, settling in the Mr. Pisgah neighborhood--the site of his home being just behind the present church and cemetery. He is the ancestor of the Knowles clan in White County--and possibly has more descendants in this county than any other man.

      Among those taking part in the ceremony were Regent Mrs. Bob Sorrell, Mrs. Lela Taylor, Miss Gertrude Saylors, Mrs. Olivia Knowles Young, Willard Hudson, Jerry Jared, C.L. Fisher, Jack Wright and Freeman Ward, who accepted the monument on behalf of the descendants.

      Some one hundred persons gather under the cedar trees in the cemetery for the ceremony, and blended their voices in the singing of "America" to open the dedication.

      Miss Saylors, a descendant of Mr. Knowles , read the history of John W. Knowles, adding a bit about the present day family. Her address follows:

      John W. Knowles was born July 4th, 1749, in the Echochel parish of Autrim County, in the town of Belemenah, Ireland. He married Mollie (surname unknown) in Ireland. Although he was Irish, it is said he was not a big "talker".

      As a young man he took part in one of Ireland's Rebellions. The British Army crushed this rebellion and sentenced some of the leaders to hang...John Knowles was one of them. Before the British could execute him, his sister tied bed sheets together and lowered him from an upper story of the jail. He never saw his sister again.

      He and Mollie, his wife, and their two little sons, escaped the country and crossed the sea to our American Colonies. He was living in Pennsylvania when we Americans rebelled against British Rule in this country. John Knowles volunteered for 12 months tour of duty in the American cause, 1775.

      The first year he served as private: providing beef cattle for the soldiers. The second year, he served as a sergeant, guarding the Carlisle Barracks, for 12 months. Except, for this one year of guard duty, he was directed to provide beef cattle for the soldiers and forage for the army horses.

      When he would start these cattle to slaughter at headquarters, for the soldiers, he routed the cattle by his home, near Shippenburg, PA, so he could call by to see his wife and one child. (one child must have died after they reached America.)

      John W. Knowles reenlisted each year for 12 month tours of duty. ..in all, he served about six years or, until Cornwallis surrendered. Among several things John Knowles stated under oath, was that he had seen General George Washington, and General Green--he saw, them, he said, but had no personal acquaintance with them.

      Following the American Revolution he moved to Augusta County, VA. There, his daughter, Elizabeth , married Archibald McDaniel, 1795. Archibald, was also a veteran of the Revolution. He and Elizabeth moved to Tennessee. When Archibald became ill to die, he left it to John Knowles to select a place to bury him. The rectangular spot, encased by large stones, flush with the ground, (in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery) was Knowles' choice. ..It was on Knowles' own farm. McDaniel was buried in 1808 and his is said to be the first grave in what became the large Mr. Pisgah Cemetery.

      From Augusta County, VA, John Knowles moved to Amhurst County, and finally to Pendleton County, from which he moved to Tennessee to the place just across the hedgerow east of the cemetery. A large Buncombe apple tree-perhaps a second generation sprout from an original Buncombe apple tree, set out, no doubt by Knowles himself, may be seen at the old home place. The last of the old log house has not been gone too long.

      As to the dispute regarding John Knowles or W. W. Phillips being the first sheriff of White County: (many old times say they always heard that John Knowles was the first sheriff) Monroe Seals , who married into the David Goodwin family....(David, in another capacity, being one of White County's first officials) and of necessity, crossing paths with whomever the fist sheriff had been: Seals , author of "White County History" said, Knowles, not W.W. Phillips was the first sheriff......Mrs. Mary Mitchell says, "Phillips' name, as first sheriff, is on the books. Mrs. McDowell Blankenship , author of "The Uneven Yoke", states that John Knowles was appointed "deputy" sheriff of White County in 1807. This word "deputy" may be the solution to the dispute.

      Mollie Knowles, wife of John W. died about 1821 and according to custom was buried in their private family plot, that became the large public Mr. Pisgah Cemetery. About 1822, their son Isaac, died in North Carolina, leaving his little son, William , an orphan.

      "Grandpa" Knowles, about 73 at the time, mounted his big gray horse, (10 hands high) and headed for North Carolina to pick up this little orphan. (A ride of some 600 miles.) He remained in North Carolina about a year.

      In the meantime, his sons John K. Knowles and wife Sarah, John Rascoe and wife, Patsy, Christopher Swindle and wife, Mary Ann, having listened to his praise of Tennessee, had decided to return with him to make new homes for themselves in Tennessee. This was 1823.

      It was the big gray horse with little William riding behind "Grandpa", that was plunged into strange rivers to measure the depths and try for a ford, before the oxen teams with the loaded wagons, enroute to Tennessee, were risked in those waters. The John Knowles family and the John Rascoe family became devoted to each other.

      For the fast-stepping big gray hourse's fourth and last trip to North Carolina, he was borrowed and ridden by John Rascoe, on account of a Rascoe death in North Carolina.

      Toward the very end of John Knowles' life, as his vigor waned and he became a bed patient, John Rascoes' wife, Pasty, spent much time at his bedside. He died in his sleep, with a smile on his bearded face, March 21, 1836, age 80. He was buried beside his wife, Mollie, in what became Mr. Pisgah Cemetery.

      The War Department in 1969 issued a monument for his grave.

      A list of John and Mollie's children:

      1. John Knowles married a Hutson:

      2. Elizabeth married Archibald McDaniel;

      3. William (John W's son, not his grandson, William) married a Womack:

      4. Sarah Knowles married Matthias Hutson (descendants) Willard Hudson, Gertrude Saylors and Charlie Fisher and others;

      5. Elinor (Ellender) Knowles, first husband, Issiah Hutson (Issiah killed in his north chimney corner, as he tried to prevent Yankee soldiers taking his stallion. Farm now owned by Buck Jernigan):

      6. Mary (Polly) Knowles married a Badger (descendants Kate Badger of McMinnville);

      7. Isaac Knowles married ??, father of grandson, William,

      8. James Knowles married a Harris (descendants) Ed Knowles: The Jareds of Will Knowles, Freeman Wards ; family, Clay Cashdollar and others.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Since this article was written in 1969, some discrepancies have been found regarding the children of John Knowles. Please read the note located here.

      John Knowles (cont.)

      Listed below are some discrepancies between the 1969 article from the Sparta Expositor, and two primary sources on John Knowles: The Other Bunch by Sharon B. Almas Swindell, and the non-published but well documented work by Harold R. Wallace (now deceased) called The Descendants of John Knowles.

      If you can provide any information or documentation on the issues below, please contact Jane Hembree Crowley, who is researching these discrepancies.


      The areas needing documentation are:

      1. Spouse of Mary "Polly" Knowles. Wallace's documented work says the spouse was Stephen K. Charles and lists descendants. The article and the Swindell book say her spouse was a Badger but that info is not documented. Was Mary married to both men? Or is one incorrect?

      2. Documentation is needed for the son Joseph, not listed in the article.

      3. Documentation is needed for the son Isaac listed in the article.

      4. William Knowles married # 1. Swindell and #2 Denton, not a Womack as listed in the article?

      5. John II married Mahala Hardin not Hutson? Hardin not listed in either source but appears in LDS records. Both book sources above only list her given name.







      [8]
    • "John W. Knowles reenlisted each year for 12 month tours of duty. ..in all, he served about six years or, until Cornwallis surrendered. Among several things John Knowles stated under oath, was that he had seen General George Washington, and General Green--he saw, them, he said, but had no personal acquaintance with them." [8]
    • http://www.tngenweb.org/white/knowles.htm


      DAR Unveils John Knowles Monument

      as printed in the Sparta Expositor
      Thursday, September 11, 1969


      ....God shed his grace on thee, and crowned they good, with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea......

      Thus America was praised, and one who helped gain liberty for this foundling nation almost 200 years ago was honored.

      The local chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution unveiled a monument at the grave of pioneer White Countian John Knowles at Mr. Pisgah Cemetery Sunday.

      Knowles, a revolutionary soldier, came to White County from Virginia, in the early 1800s, settling in the Mr. Pisgah neighborhood--the site of his home being just behind the present church and cemetery. He is the ancestor of the Knowles clan in White County--and possibly has more descendants in this county than any other man.

      Among those taking part in the ceremony were Regent Mrs. Bob Sorrell, Mrs. Lela Taylor, Miss Gertrude Saylors, Mrs. Olivia Knowles Young, Willard Hudson, Jerry Jared, C.L. Fisher, Jack Wright and Freeman Ward, who accepted the monument on behalf of the descendants.

      Some one hundred persons gather under the cedar trees in the cemetery for the ceremony, and blended their voices in the singing of "America" to open the dedication.

      Miss Saylors, a descendant of Mr. Knowles , read the history of John W. Knowles, adding a bit about the present day family. Her address follows:

      John W. Knowles was born July 4th, 1749, in the Echochel parish of Autrim County, in the town of Belemenah, Ireland. He married Mollie (surname unknown) in Ireland. Although he was Irish, it is said he was not a big "talker".

      As a young man he took part in one of Ireland's Rebellions. The British Army crushed this rebellion and sentenced some of the leaders to hang...John Knowles was one of them. Before the British could execute him, his sister tied bed sheets together and lowered him from an upper story of the jail. He never saw his sister again.

      He and Mollie, his wife, and their two little sons, escaped the country and crossed the sea to our American Colonies. He was living in Pennsylvania when we Americans rebelled against British Rule in this country. John Knowles volunteered for 12 months tour of duty in the American cause, 1775.

      The first year he served as private: providing beef cattle for the soldiers. The second year, he served as a sergeant, guarding the Carlisle Barracks, for 12 months. Except, for this one year of guard duty, he was directed to provide beef cattle for the soldiers and forage for the army horses.

      When he would start these cattle to slaughter at headquarters, for the soldiers, he routed the cattle by his home, near Shippenburg, PA, so he could call by to see his wife and one child. (one child must have died after they reached America.)

      John W. Knowles reenlisted each year for 12 month tours of duty. ..in all, he served about six years or, until Cornwallis surrendered. Among several things John Knowles stated under oath, was that he had seen General George Washington, and General Green--he saw, them, he said, but had no personal acquaintance with them.

      Following the American Revolution he moved to Augusta County, VA. There, his daughter, Elizabeth , married Archibald McDaniel, 1795. Archibald, was also a veteran of the Revolution. He and Elizabeth moved to Tennessee. When Archibald became ill to die, he left it to John Knowles to select a place to bury him. The rectangular spot, encased by large stones, flush with the ground, (in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery) was Knowles' choice. ..It was on Knowles' own farm. McDaniel was buried in 1808 and his is said to be the first grave in what became the large Mr. Pisgah Cemetery.

      From Augusta County, VA, John Knowles moved to Amhurst County, and finally to Pendleton County, from which he moved to Tennessee to the place just across the hedgerow east of the cemetery. A large Buncombe apple tree-perhaps a second generation sprout from an original Buncombe apple tree, set out, no doubt by Knowles himself, may be seen at the old home place. The last of the old log house has not been gone too long.

      As to the dispute regarding John Knowles or W. W. Phillips being the first sheriff of White County: (many old times say they always heard that John Knowles was the first sheriff) Monroe Seals , who married into the David Goodwin family....(David, in another capacity, being one of White County's first officials)and of necessity, crossing paths with whomever the fist sheriff had been: Seals , author of "White County History" said, Knowles, not W.W. Phillips was the first sheriff......Mrs. Mary Mitchell says, "Phillips' name, as first sheriff, is on the books. Mrs. McDowell Blankenship , author of "The Uneven Yoke", states that John Knowles was appointed "deputy" sheriff of White County in 1807. This word "deputy" may be the solution to the dispute.

      Mollie Knowles, wife of John W. died about 1821 and according to custom was buried in their private family plot, that became the large public Mr. Pisgah Cemetery. About 1822, their son Isaac, died in North Carolina, leaving his little son, William , an orphan.

      "Grandpa" Knowles, about 73 at the time, mounted his big gray horse, (10 hands high) and headed for North Carolina to pick up this little orphan. (A ride of some 600 miles.) He remained in North Carolina about a year.

      In the meantime, his sons John K. Knowles and wife Sarah, John Rascoe and wife, Patsy, Christopher Swindle and wife, Mary Ann, having listened to his praise of Tennessee, had decided to return with him to make new homes for themselves in Tennessee. This was 1823.

      It was the big gray horse with little William riding behind "Grandpa", that was plunged into strange rivers to measure the depths and try for a ford, before the oxen teams with the loaded wagons, enroute to Tennessee, were risked in those waters. The John Knowles family and the John Rascoe family became devoted to each other.

      For the fast-stepping big gray hourse's fourth and last trip to North Carolina, he was borrowed and ridden by John Rascoe, on account of a Rascoe death in North Carolina.

      Toward the very end of John Knowles' life, as his vigor waned and he became a bed patient, John Rascoes' wife, Pasty, spent much time at his bedside. He died in his sleep, with a smile on his bearded face, March 21, 1836, age 80. He was buried beside his wife, Mollie, in what became Mr. Pisgah Cemetery.

      The War Department in 1969 issued a monument for his grave.

      A list of John and Mollie's children: 1. John Knowles married a Hutson: 2. Elizabeth married Archibald McDaniel; 3. William (John W's son, not his graandson, William) married a Womack: 4. Sarah Knowles married Matthias Hutson (descendants) Willard Hudson, Gertrude Saylors and Charlie Fisher and others; 5. Elinor (Ellender) Knowles, first husband, Issiah Hutson (Issiah killed in his north chimney corner, as he tried to prevent Yankee soldiers taking his stallion. Farm now owned by Buck Jernigan): 6. Mary (Polly) Knowles married a Badger (descendants Kate Badger of McMinnville); 7. Isaac Knowles married ??, father of grandson, William, 8. James Knowles married a Harris (descendants) Ed Knowles: The Jareds of Will Knowles, Freeman Wards ; family, Clay Cashdollar and others. [9]

  • Sources 
    1. [S50] "The Other Bunch",by Sharon Almas Swindell,3875 Silver Birch,, p. 128 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S52619] http://www.kknfa.org/Knowles_John_W_1749.htm#Knowles_Family.

    3. [S52694] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=34519856.

    4. [S1087] "Passons' Family Connections", written & compiled by Patricia S. Short Makris,, p. 358.

    5. [S52614] http://www.kknfa.org/Genealogies/Knowles_John_W_1749.pdf.

    6. [S52615] Descendants of John W. Knowles, R.S.

    7. [S52613] http://homepages.apci.net/~makrissp/I-Hutson.html.

    8. [S52620] http://tngenweb.org/white/knowles.htm.

    9. [S52709] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19754513.