William Knight is the more elusive of my two Knight 4x great grandfathers. There are two possibilities that he was the son of William Knight baptized 6 Jan 1735 at Spetisbury or he was that William Knight and simply waited until he was older to marry Sarah Ellis but indeed William Knight married Sarah Ellis 7 Aug 1775 at Winterborne Stickland. Since he has died before the census of 1841/1851 I do not know for sure where or when he was born/baptized unless he is the William Knight baptized at Spetisbury. I have left the option open even yet.
That William might not be one of these two has also occurred to me but I am unable to discover a reasonable "other William Knight" that resembles this William Knight. Others have said that he is the William Knight baptized 5 Aug 1739 at St James Shaftesbury son of George Knight and Mary Long who married 2 Oct 1735 in Shaftesbury and this record can be found at Ancestry.com. Indeed he does name one of his sons George. My grandfather though did think that his 2 Knight great grandparents were related and I can not find any relationship between these two families. So hovering in the background in my mind is the possibility that he was incorrect.
William and Sarah went on to have eight children (one daughter Sarah 1792) and seven sons William 1776, Elias 1779-1779, Ellis 1783-1851 (and my ancestor), George 1785, Samuel 1788, Stephen 1798 (others have 1790 but this baptism is missing), Joseph 1799. Most of this information I have from Robert Knight a cousin of mine who lives still in Dorset and has ready access to the record office in Dorchester. Hence my having had this information since 2007 or so. I have since verified it with the records on Ancestry. Another cousin of mine lives in Australia (Keith Ford) and he made the trek back to Dorset before I did and photographed the pages of the relevant registers in Turnworth which I also received from him in 2007. Thanks to both of these cousins for sorting out the Knight lines in Winterborne Stickland/Spetisbury for me.
William Knight could either be the William baptized 6 Jan 1735 at Spetisbury or the William baptized at Shaftesbury. No one can say for sure. But William baptized 1735 is the son of Henry Knight and Mary Oliver. They married 25 Dec 1727 at Spetisbury and had 15 children Henry 1729-1788, Sarah 1730-1730, Thomas 1732-1794, Mary 1733-1734, William 1735-, David 1736-aft 1771, John 1738-1738, John 1740-1740, Ann 1741-1741, Mary 1742-1742, John 1744-1744, John 1745-1745, John 1746-1747, John 1748-1750, and Mary 1749-1750. Henry Knight was the Parish Clerk at Spetisbury and he was buried 25 Sep 1778 at Spetisbury. I have not yet found a burial for Mary. The place of birth/baptism for Henry Knight and Mary Oliver is not known to me and they represent the top of my Knight tree. Imagine burying six children all named John. No child survived after David
Many of the men in this family were stone masons. There was a Knight family at Cann who were stone masons and some link this family back to this area. The thought is that they came down to the Blandford area following the great fire in that city to help rebuild it. The fire occurred Friday 4 Jun 1731. One notes that Henry Knight was already at Spetisbury as he married Mary Oliver 25 Dec 1727 so do question this notion. The George Knight at Shaftesbury could be from the Knight family at Cann but I do not know his occupation.
There was a Mary Oliver baptized 12 Oct 1709 at Tarrant Rushton (3 miles from Spetisbury) and the daughter of Thomas Oliver and Sarah his wife. Given the naming in this family Henry first son, Sarah first daughter, then Thomas second son and Mary second daughter one could ponder the possibility that this is Mary Oliver married to Henry Knight 1727 at Spetisbury. I could not find a marriage for Thomas Oliver and Sarah but did find a baptism of William Oliver son of Thomas and Sarah 17 Jun 1705 at Tarrant Rushton. There was also a Mary baptized 1 May 1704 (buried 30 Jul 1704) all at Tarrant Rushton.
There was a Henry Knight son of Thomas Knight junior and Julian baptized 2 Feb 1701 at Mapperton (3 miles from Spetisbury and 5 miles from Tarrant Rushton). Again I did not find a marriage but did find a number of siblings for Henry:
Sarah baptized 15 Nov 1691 at Mapperton
Peter baptized 21 May 1693 at Mapperton
Susanna baptized 10 Feb 1694/95 at Mapperton
Ann baptized 27 Oct 1696 at Mapperton
Anne baptized 29 Jan 1698 at Mapperton
Henry baptized 2 Feb 1701 at Mapperton
Christian baptized 22 Mar 1703 at Mapperton (service 11 Nov 1705 at Mapperton, buried at Netherbury)
Thomas baptized 7 Jul 1706 at Mapperton
John baptized 26 Jun 1709 at Mapperton
Looking at the burials for Mapperton and noting that in some instances (baptisms) Thomas Knight junior is recorded as being from Meith there is a Thomas Knight senior of Meith buried 23 Apr 1723. He was buried from Mapperton at Netherbury. Also buried at Netherbury from Mieth, Henry Knight, clerk of the parish 13 Oct 1714. Also buried from Meith at Netherbury Anne Knight 7 Feb 1724, and Edith Knight 29 Jul 1716. (Henry and Edith were married.) Have I perhaps using Ancestry uncovered my Knight family. This is the first time I have looked at Henry Knight and Mary Oliver in several years.
Netherbury is just south of Beaminster and three miles from another Mapperton. Interesting and must pursue this another time. But for the moment I will list this baptism at Mapperton, as this is the village that is listed on Genuki rather than the one south of Beaminster, as the baptism for Henry with his father Thomas and his possible grandfather Thomas.
I should also list the other possible ancestry but will mention it only in this paragraph because I remain somewhat convinced that my grandfather was right and Eleanor and Ellis were related. George Knight (married to Mary Long), I can not find a baptism for him although other researchers have his father as Richard Knight who married Mary (unknown) and was the father of Henry, George and Ann. One notes the forename Henry in this and the individual who created this family tree does have the family of Henry at Spetisbury descendant of this line. I am not convinced that this is correct although does then give credence to the thought that Eleanor and Ellis would then be related. As records come online it will be easier to determine the correct Knight line for my two 4x great grandfathers Knight!.
Ancestry of William Knight:
1. Elizabeth BLAKE
2. Ernest Edward George BLAKE (b 20 Aug 1904) - Eastleigh Hampshire England
3. Samuel George Blake (b 10 Feb 1875) - Upper Clatford Hampshire England
4. Maria Jane KNIGHT (b 27 Jan 1849) - Turnworth Dorset England
5. Samuel KNIGHT (b 25 May 1828) - Turnworth Dorset England
6. Ellis KNIGHT (b 17 Jan 1783) - Winterborne Stickland Dorset England
7. William KNIGHT
8. William KNIGHT (b 6 Jan 1734/35) - Spetisbury Dorset England
9. Henry KNIGHT ( possibly b 2 Feb 1701) - Mapperton Dorset England
10. Thomas KNIGHT (junior)
11. Thomas KNIGHT (senior)
It has certainly been an interesting tour through the records for the Knight family and I shall repeat it once again when I look at John Knight my other Knight 4x great grandfather. Perhaps I will be right after all that this Knight family, although some were stone masons, were not descendant of the Knight family at Cann unless they traveled southward earlier than the Blandford fire of 1731. Some have the father of William as George as mentioned. George is not a name found in the Knight family (other than William) until much much later so have always felt that that direction lacked credence but on the other hand Henry does occur 15 times in the Knight family although in a later time period there are 16 Georges. The Henry forename is used on a regular basis from 1700 on.