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From my book "Line of Descent of George Roger Gilbert"


(This exerpt was taken from the "The Abbe Genealogy" from the Onondaga County Library.)

The name Knowlton reaches back traditionally to the time of William the Conqueror, 1066-87. Richard Knowlton was born 1553, probably at Knowlton Manor, which is situated about six miles from the great cathedral at Canterbury, Kent County, England. He married, July 17, 1577, Elizabeth Cantize. The last of their four children was William, commonly called Captain William, born 1584, married Ann Elizabeth Smith. They had six children, two of whom died young. Captain William with his remaining family sailed for America about 1632. He died on the passage and was probably buried at Nova Scotia, as an ancient grave-stone bearing the name of William Knowlton, 1632, was discovered there by a land-surveyor in 1839. The family appear to have moved to Massachusetts the next year, probably to Hingham, later to Ipswich. William, second son of Captain William, born in England, 1615, was a member of the first church in Ipswich and a freeman, 1641-2. He was a brick-layer by trade, married Elizabeth ______, and died 1655. The youngest of their seven children was Mary, born 1649, who married Samuel Abbe.

From a Knowlton Genealogy in the Onondaga Public Library, Syracuse, NY.


CAPTAIN WILLIAM KNOWLTON sailed from the port of London for Nova Scotia in 1632-4, as is usually believed, although this date is only approximate. A record is kept of those emigrants only who, on leaving England, took the oath of loyalty to the English Crown, and promised conformity to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Established Church, and who also swore that they were "no subsidy men".

As a large number desired to avoid this enforced allegiance, and to enter the land of their adoption free to follow their own political and religious inclinations, they took no legal departure, but sailed away with more or less secrecy, and were therefore not enrolled in the official records of the government. As no record of Knowlton appears in the Customs Department at London, it must be inferred that William was independent in political action, and a non-conformist in religion. As every resident within the geographical bounderies of an English parish was enrolled in its records, no matter what his faith might be, Capt. Knowlton and family were undoubtedly so enrolled at Chiswick. Unfortunately, the old parish church was seized by Cromwell and his troopers in 1645, and used as a garrison. His horses were stalled in its chancel, the men were quartered in the nave, and all the early parochial records were burned, except a small account book of the church wardens. In this book the name of George Nooleton appears as one of a number obligated to pay for repairs on the church from 1619 -1622. Of the children of Capt. William already mentioned, John, William, Dea. Thomas, and, probably, Samuel, accompanied him in his voyage to America, for one of this name was found in Hingham soon after the others appeared in Ipswich, and he died in 1655, leaving a will, probated September 1655, in which his "brother John" is named as executor. As John, son of Capt. William, is the only one answering to this relation and date, Samuel must have been the son of Capt. William, following the family to this country at a later date, perhaps.

Capt. William died on the westward voyage, and his widow and chilren proceeded to Nova Scotia, where they remained but a short time. The next we hear of them is in Ipswich, Mass., where John became a resident in 1639, William and Thomas following him in 1642. This old town had been organized only the year before John Knowlton selected it for his home.

1 Captain William and Ann Elizabeth Smith had:

1. 2. John, 1610. m. Marjery Wilson.
2. 3. William, 1615. m. Elizabeth.
3. 4. Dea. Thomas, 1622, m. Susannah; m. 2d Mary Kimball.
4. 4a. Samuel

Capt. William was at least part owner of the vessel in which he sailed for America. He died on the voyage, probably not far from Nova Scotia, for a land surveyor, Alphonson Wells by name, in the employ of the Canadian Government, brought word to the Canadian Knowltons that, when surveying land in Shelburne in 1839, he had found an ancient head-stone there bearing the name of William Knowlton, 1632. Anneapolis was the first settlement made in Nova Scotia, in 1604. This was captured by the English in 1620, and retaken by the original settlers the following year. In 1632, the French were in possession of portions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and there were here a few families from the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. It was probably here that Capt. William's remains were landed and buried. Tradition also says that his ship was sold here, and that his widow and children proceeded to Massachusetts, probably to Hingham, the following year, where his widow is said to have remarried.

The English tradition is that her name was Ann Elizabeth Smith. On June 9, 1668 one Anne, Widow of William Knollton, petitioned for an appraisal of land in Hingham, and she has been thought by some to have been the widow of Capt. William, an opinion which is strengthened by a will of Deacon Thomas, her son, dated "12th month, 14th day, 1653," in which he makes certain bequests to his brother John, to Marjery Wilson, and to his nephew Abraham and his niece Elizabeth, and " The rest for my mother's use during her life ." Although this makes it certain that his mother was then living, the petitioner Anne may have been the widow of William (1615) also named Anna Elizabeth.

3. William and Elizabeth had:

1. 8. Thomas 1640. m. Hannah Green, November 24, 1668
2. 9. Nathaniel, 1641. m. Deborah Grant, May 3, 1662
3. 10. William, 1642. m. Susannah _______
4. 11. John, 1644. m. Bertha (Bethia) Carter. (this is crossed out and "Edwards, dau. of Rice Edwards" is written in by some reader.)
5. 12. Benjamin, 1646 (the 6 was changed to 9 by the reader) m. Hannah Mirick, November 30 1676.
6. 13. Samuel, 1647. m. Elizabeth Witt, 1669.
7. 14. Mary, 1649. m. Samuel Abbe, October 12, 1672. Had s. Johnathan. Res. Wenham.

William was a bricklayer, and resided in Ipswich. He was a member of the First Church of Christ (Congregational), and a freeman in 1641/2. He was given commonage, with pasturage for one cow, and a share in Plum Island. On December 12, 1643, he conveyed to Edward Bragg of Ipswich a house and lot which he had purchased of John Andrews. He died in 1655, his estate being inventoried July 17, and estimated at £ 37-2-1. His debts amounted to £ 27-14-1. If his widow's name was Ann Elizabeth, she must have been living in 1668.


page 21 (14.) Mary b. 1653, not 1649. Add "m. 2d. Abraham Mitchell, in Windham, Conn." Her 1st husband, Samuel Abbe, was s. of John Abbe, who emigrated from Norfolk County, England, to America in the ship Bonaventure in 1635, and sett. in Salem, Mass., where he had land granted him in 1636, and in Wenham in 1642. Samuel was b. in Salem in 1650, lived in Wenham, was made freeman there Oct. 3, 1680, rem. to Salem Village (now Danvers) in 1682, where most of their chil. were born. They rem. to Windham Centre, Conn., in 1697, where he purchased a half allotment, 500 acres of land and half a house, all for £ 22-10-0. He was admitted an inhabitant of Windham Dec. 21, 1697, and d. a few months after settling there, in March, 1698. His widow m. Abraham Mitchell, who was admitted an inhabitant of Windham in 1700.

Chil. of Mary Knowlton and Samuel Abbe, as given in Essex Antiquarian, Vol. 1 pages 14-66 and 149, as follows:

1. Mary Abbe, b. 1673; d. unm.

2. Samuel Abbe, b. 1675, m. Hannah Silsbee of Lynn, Mass. March 15, 1710. He succeeded to his father's estate in Windham Centre, Conn. Had a Samuel, who d. young.

3. Thomas Abbe, b. 1678, d. 1700 unm.

4. Elizabeth Abbe, b. 1680, m. William Slater.

5. Ebenezer Abbe, b. July 31, 1683, in Salem Village (now Danvers), m. Mary Allen, and sett. in Mansfield, Conn., where he was living in 1739. Had 13 chil.

6. Mercy Abbe, b. March 1, 1685, in Salem Village, m. Jonathan Ormsby of Windham.

7. Sarah Abbe, b. July 4, 1686, in Salem Village, m. John Fowler of Lebanon, Conn.

8. Hepzibah Abbe, b. Feb. 14, 1688, in Salem Village, m. Samuel Palmer.

9. Abigail Abbe, b. Nov. 19, 1690, in Salem Village, m. Joseph Ormsby.

10. John Abbe, b. June 4, 1692, in Salem Village, d. 1790.

11. Benjamin Abbe, b. June 4, 1694, in Salem Village, m. Mary Tryon, Jan. 4, 1716. Lived in Glastonbury, Conn. Five Chil.

12 Johnathan Abbe, b. about 1696, in Salem Village, Sett. in Willington, Conn., where he d. 1760. Five Chil.

From my Ahnentafel List

12856 Knowlton, Richard circa 1553 Kent, Eng. Cantize, Elizabeth

12857 Cantize, Elizabeth Knowlton, Richard


6428 Knowlton, William Capt. 1584 Kent, Eng. Smith, Ann Elizabeth 1632 at sea Nova Scotia

6429 Smith, Ann Elizabeth Knowlton, William Capt.


3214. William Knowlton - b. 1615 in England, son of Captain William Knowlton and Ann Elizabeth Smith. Married Elizabeth ____. He was a bricklayer and resided in Ipswich. He was a member of the First Church of Christ (Congregational), and a freeman in 1641/2. He died in 1655 with the estate being inventoried 7/17/1655.

3215. Elizabeth _____ - Died after 1688.

Children: (Knowlton)

1. Thomas - b. 1640; m. Hannah Green, 11/24/1668.

2. Nathaniel - b. 1641; m. Deborah Grant, 5/3/1662.

3. William - b. 1642; m. Susannah ______

4. John - b. 1644; m. Bertha (Bethia) Carter. (this is crossed out and ?edwards, dau. of Rice Edwardsî was written in by some reader.)

5.Benjamin - b. 1646; m. Hannah Mirick, 11/30/1676

6. Samuel - b. 1647; m. Elizabeth Witt, 1669.

7. Mary - (#1607)


802. Jonathan Ormsby - b. 8/20/1678 Rehoboth, Ma., son of John Ormsby and Grace Martin. Married 6/8/1703 in Windham, Ct., Mercy Abbe, dau. of Samuel Abbe and Mary Knowlton of Wenham, Ma. He died in Rehoboth, Ma.

803. Mercy Abbe - b. 3/01/1684-5 in Wendham, Ma. She died 2/12/1741-2 in Rehoboth, Ma.

Children: (Ormsby)

1. Ichabod - b. 3/15/1704 in Windham, Ct.

2. Jonathan - b. 5/1/1705

3. Sarah - (#401)

4. Jacob - b. 2/24/1710-11

5. Mercy - b. 8/28/1713; d. 2/4/1741

6. Abigail - b. 12/6/1715; d. 1720

7. Mary - b. 2/1/1717; m. Joseph Parker of Mansfield, Ct.

8. Abigail - b. 10/19/1722