The origin of the name Knowlton is from the old English,
"cnoll" (middle English, "knolle"), meaning a small rounded hill or mound
and the old English "tun", meaning an enclosed place, homestead or village;
so Knowlton means town, village or place on the hill.
Genealogy information and descendants of
William Knowlton, b. 1584, in Kent, England
The reference numbers after each Knowlton were assigned by genealogist, Rev. Stocking in his 1897 book.
Stocking shows descent of William from Richard Knowlton and Elizabeth Candize which is contested by modern genealogists.
William Knowlton (1) b 1584 Kent, England m. Ann Elizabeth Smith
The link will take you to a 4th grade report written by Chris Gibson.
John Knowlton (2) b 1610, Kent, England m. Marjery Wilson
John Knowlton (5) b 1633, Ipswich, MA m. Deborah Grant 1665
Nathaniel Knowlton (19) b 29 June 1658, Ipswich, MA m Deborah Jewett 3 Dec 1664
Nathaniel Knowlton (74) b 3 May 1683, Ipswich, MA m Reform Trescott his second wife.
His first wife was Marry Bennett, the mother of William.
A list of siblings and detailed information follows on this page.
Captain Samuel Knowlton (121) m. Anna Fellows
Brother of William Knowlton who was the father of Colonel Thomas Knowlton
Samuel was a decorated Captain in the Revolutionary War.
Jeremiah Knowlton (285) m. Anna Pierce
He was a first cousin to Colonel Thomas Knowlton
John Knowlton (605) m. Sally Knowlton (706)
Sally's Father, Captain Joseph Knowlton was a cousin to Jeremiah and uncle of Colonel Thomas Knowlton
whom he fought with in the Revolutionary war.
Captain Joseph is also a direct descendant of Richard More, through the family of daughter Susan More.
Freeman Knowlton (1608) m. Abigail Hatch
John Watson Knowlton (3848) m. Aseneth Brown
(3850) b. 1838 J. Watson was a railroad mail agent.
Frank Adams Knowlton m.6 May,1889, Isabel Nellie Swett b.1868
b. July 9, 1865 d. Feb 1929 Frank was a dentist in Fairfield, ME
The Swett Family descends from a significant line of European Royalty and Nobility through the Mayhew family.
Thomas Mayhew Sr. and Thomas Mayhew Jr. were both early Governors of Martha's Vinyard Island.
Frank Watson Knowlton m. Letha Pearl Metzger
Early Bell Telephone employee and supervisor in Albany, NY
b. May 28, 1900 d. May 1928
Letha Pearl Metzger is descended from these early American colonial families:
James Williamson, Johannes Von Tschudi, Cornelius Janse Vanderveer, Hendrick Hendricksen Kip, Wolfert Gerretse Couwenhoven,
Giles Jason De Mandeville, Pieter Monfoort, Claes Cornelissen Van Schouwen, Johannes Theodorus Polhemius and Pieter Claesen Wyckoff.
Many descend from European royalty and are "first arrivals" (1625) of New Amsterdam and Long Island.
Sarah Jane Knowlton b. 1926
Only child of Frank Watson Knowlton and Letha Pearl Metzger, she was Raised in Norristown, PA by her Stepfather, Theodore Andreas Wiedemann.
m. Thomas Cushman Gibson b. 7/8/25-1996
Third son of Joseph Whitton Gibson, Raised in Norristown, PA,
Machine Tool Engineer, Designed aircraft carrier elevator lifting gears at Newark Gear
Thomas Knowlton b. 1948
Philip Cook b. 1950
David Cushman b. 11/20/1952-2/5/1987
Andrea Whitton b. 1956
Thomas Knowlton Gibson b. 1948
First son of Thomas Cushman, Husband and Father, College Administrator and Professor,
Summer Camp Director and Radio Engineer.
m. Cathy Ann Smith b.1960- Divorced November, 1999.
Christopher Thomas Gibson b.1990- High School Student,
Webelos Scout Award
with Arrow of Light Award
Jonathan Knowlton Gibson b.1993- Junior High Student,
Webelos Scout Award
with Arrow of Light Award
m. Kelly Beth Shealer 1959 - Wife and Mother, Registered Graduate Pediatric Nurse,
Wellspan Inc, Raising six children.
Col. Thomas Knowlton information from the Sons of the American Revolution.
Thomas Knowlton Gibson Genealogy Page.
CIA information on Captain Thomas Knowlton.
Biography of Lt. Thomas Knowlton.
225 Anniversary Ceremony of the deaths of Col. Knowlton and Captain Nathan Hale.
Information on the MIA Knowlton Award.
Background information on Nathan Hale.
A description of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
MICA, Military Intelligence information.
A short history of the U.S. ARMY Rangers.
A few interesting facts about the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Information on General Israel Putnam.
Significant Portraits from the 1910 Journal of American History.
Bunker Hill Report
Knowlton Family Genealogy
A directory of Knowlton related pictures.
There is quite a family history from the Swett side of the family.
Connecticut US ARMY ROTC Knowlton Company
Additional family information that I have not
categorized yet. Please browse.
There are more pages, just update the page number in your URL window. I think the total is up to 70 pages now.
Volunteers from Nixon’s brigade, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Crary, boldly charged down Hollow Way viciously tempting the British troops on the Claremont Slope to meet them head-on in a salt marsh called Martje David’s Fly. The British rushed down into the marsh salivating over the sweetness of the coming victory. Suddenly musket shots were fired into their right flank. Startled, the British quickly re-grouped and attacked the encircling force on their right. By the end of the day, the exhausted colonists claimed victory at what would be called the Battle of Harlem Heights. But something had gone terribly wrong. The flanking troops had fired too soon, probably from the enthusiasm of an excited officer. Once this occurred, they could not reach the rear of the British as intended, but met the British force straight on. Over one hundred of General George Washington’s soldiers had died in the battle. Among them, was Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton the hero of Breed’s Hill (Bunker Hill).
Descending from a long line of honorable military men, Thomas Knowlton was destined to serve and become a hero. Born in November, 1740, he accompanied his brother Daniel, a famous scout and revered military officer himself, on several scouting missions during the French and Indian War. A sure ancestor of Achilles, Knowlton’s aura of a military hero was as much physical as it was tactical. Over six feet tall and quite handsome, his presence demanded attention and respect. His care for soldiers and military knowledge earned him that attention and respect from all.
Settling down to a quiet farm life after the French and Indian War, Knowlton became prominent in civil affairs. His peaceful life, however, turned to the military once again in the fall of 1774. Chosen by acclamation, Knowlton assumed command of a company of the Ashford, Connecticut, Volunteers, and by June 1775, Knowlton commanded two hundred men. On the 16th of that month, his soldiers followed him onto Breed’s Hill where they were assigned to defend a seemingly impossible position. Exposed to the enemy and vulnerable from both land and sea, Knowlton quickly assessed the situation and began to improve the odds.
Calculating that the British Commander, General Howe, would attack the inexperienced, under-equipped Americans, Knowlton formulated a plan which used a series of fences and other obstacles to slow the British advance and give the Americans a chance to survive the oncoming slaughter.
By the day’s end, British casualties were over 1000, compared to the total American casualties of 449. Only three men from Knowlton’s company died in the battle.Gaining the trust and admiration of General George Washington, Knowlton was soon given a group of select men from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts who were known as "Knowlton’s Rangers." Under the direct control of Washington, Knowlton’s Rangers performed tasks similar to those of Roger’s Rangers in the French and Indian War and the United States Army Rangers of today. Unlike Roger’s Rangers, however, Knowlton’s Rangers were the first of their kind to be formally organized.
On the morning of the fateful battle of Harlem Heights, Knowlton’s Rangers patrolled a small field near the British camp. Spotted by a British outpost, the Rangers soon found themselves in a firefight with the Black Watch. A hand picked unit for height and composed mostly of Highlanders, the Black Watch carried an assortment of weapons and was known for its unusual dress. To the ragtag group of Americans, even Knowlton’s Rangers, this uniquely dressed, physically impressive unit instilled fear in all who fought against them. Lightly armed for the ease of conducting reconnaissance, Knowlton’s Rangers fought valiantly and were able to stall the Black Watch assault. When the attackers began to try to encircle Knowlton, he ordered a retreat and brought his troops back to safety with few casualties.
Eager for a victory over the British, Washington concocted the plan to cut off a section of the British troops’ rear with Knowlton’s Rangers. Once the premature shots had been fired into the right flank of the British, Knowlton quickly tried to rally his troops to carry on the attack. Shot in the small of his back, Knowlton fell, mortally wounded, within minutes of the failed attack. The following day, General Reed wrote, "All his inquiry was whether we had driven in the enemy."
In 1995, Colonel Thomas Knowlton became the hero of the Military Intelligence Corps and the Military Intelligence Corps Association (MICA) created an award for Military Intelligence Corps’ soldiers and civilians named after him.
Knowlton’s Rangers were the first of their kind. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton was a one of a kind. He epitomizes the Military Intelligence Corps’ Motto: "Always Out Front!" In every engagement with the enemy, Knowlton was on the front line encouraging, leading, and showing his troops where to go. The admiration he earned from his peers and superiors, the military genius displayed at Breed’s Hill and Harlem Heights, the love and respect he gained from his soldiers, and the honor with which he served should be a model for all Military Intelligence Corps’ soldiers to emulate.
If intelligence is information, and military intelligence is information that helps a commander deal with an enemy, than no less a commander than George Washington underscored best why the black art of the spy has been an essential part of American foreign policy since before the Revolution: "The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged," he observed to one of his lieutenants in July of 1777.
The Father of our Country spoke from bitter experience. He lost his very first battle of the American Revolution because of a massive intelligence failure.
Washington had assumed command of the Continental Army in Cambridge on July 2, 1775. His military experience was limited to his role as a lieutenant colonel during the French and Indian War some sixteen years previously. He had never attended a military academy and in fact he'd had little formal education at all. He was forty-three years old.
The military situation at Boston was a stalemate: Washington's tiny army was sufficient to lay siege to the city, but not to capture it from General Thomas Gage, who had commanded a three thousand man advance guard in a bloody battle against the French and Indians in a ravine near the Monongahela River twenty years previously. As aide-de-camp to General Edward Braddock in that campaign, Washington had his horse shot out from under him, and had seen Braddock killed in a classic surprise attack. Nearly a thousand British had died that day—as opposed to less than fifty of the French. It had been the worst British military debacle on the American continent, and Gage was in no mood to give the enemy a chance for a second victory in the Americas.
Gage had three choices: attack Washington's army and attempt to lift the siege, evacuate Boston by sea, or do nothing but sit and wait for reinforcements from England. Gage chose to wait the Americans out, primarily because he had a network of spies and informants in place, and their reports assured him of Washington's troop strength and position. With fair winds and continued good intelligence, it seemed a certainty that the British would eventually prevail.
Significantly, at this time, General George Washington had but a single spy in action against the British. According to his accounts record, on July 15, 1775, less than two weeks after he took command, Washington paid $333.33 to someone whose name is lost to history "to go into the town of Boston to establish secret correspondence for the purpose of conveying intelligence of the Enemys movements and designs."
In October of that year, Gage was relieved by General William Howe. By January of 1776, with more spies finally in place, Washington had reason to believe that Howe's deputy, General Henry Clinton, would attack New York with an expeditionary force of fifteen hundred men. Both Howe and Washington understood that New York was crucial to control of the Hudson River, the means whereby the southern arm of the British forces would eventually meet up with those moving down the river from Canada, along the shores of Lake Champlain.
By February, the battle lines had somewhat changed. General Clinton sailed instead to South Carolina and failed to capture Charleston. Howe's New York plans were disrupted by the arrival of more than fifty pieces of heavy artillery that had been captured by the patriots at Fort Ticonderoga. Washington eagerly placed the cannon on Dorchester Heights where they threatened Boston, the harbor, and an end to the stalemate that had been in effect for almost nine months.
Howe gave the order to evacuate Boston on March 7th. Convinced that New York was Howe's strategic destination, Washington fatefully moved his army to New York, discovering in the process how difficult the island was to defend, even with an army ten times the size of his own. Surrounded by easily navigable waterways beyond which lay the shores of Long Island, Staten Island, and New Jersey—from which attacks could easily be staged—the island of Manhattan also contained a large proportion of Tories loyal to England and an enormous number of British spies.
Howe's actual battle plan would be revealed to Washington as an unhappy surprise. Instead of marching to New York, Howe repaired to Nova Scotia, and—regrouped and reinforced—arrived off Sandy Hook, New Jersey in June of 1776 in an enormous flotilla of 130 vessels. British spies immediately boarded the ships, flush with news of Washington's disposition of forces in New York. On July 2nd, Admiral Lord Richard Howe, the General's brother, arrived with another 150 ships. Additionally German mercenaries arrived in yet another flotilla, and on August 12th General Clinton and his force arrived from Charleston.
More than thirty-one thousand troops, ten ships of the line, twenty frigates, and hundreds of small transports manned by over ten thousand British seamen stood poised to destroy the Continental Army.
Between August 24th and 29th in the year 1776, the British inflicted more than 1400 casualties on the Americans. If George Washington had not been able to retreat across the East River under the cover of fog and darkness, the American war for independence would have been lost before it had truly begun.
Fully aware that it was a matter of failed intelligence that had cost so many lives, one of Washington's first acts subsequent to the battle of New York was to commission Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton to form a company of hand-picked volunteers in order to carry out reconnaissance missions and special operations "either by water or by land, by night or by day."
Knowlton's Rangers, as they were known, marked the birth of United States Army Intelligence, and the year of their formation is memorialized on the U.S. Army Military Intelligence emblem to this day.
Thomas Knowlton was born into a military family on November 22, 1740 in West Boxford, Massachusetts. When he was eight, his family moved to a four hundred acre farm in Ashford, Connecticut. Like all American boys in those days, he grew up with an enormous knowledge of and respect for the wilderness. Fate and circumstance would determine that the forests and fields of his childhood would become the battlefields and cemeteries of his country's war for independence.
At the start of the French and Indian War in 1755, at the tender age of fifteen, Thomas Knowlton enlisted in Captain John Durkee's company, and by all accounts served admirably. On several occasions he accompanied his famous older brother Daniel on scouting missions into enemy territory. It was on these missions that he must have honed his youthful senses and problem-solving abilities. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1760.
By 1762 he was one of only twenty men out of 107 in Israel Putnam's Company to return home from the Battle of Havana, Cuba. Knowlton married Anna Keyes and settled down happily, virtually for all the world like Mel Gibson's character in The Patriot. He and his wife raised nine children.
At the comparatively young age of 33, Knowlton was appointed a Selectman of Ashford Connecticut. Life was good.
And then came April 18, 1775. General Thomas Gage dispatched a contingent of British troops to Lexington and Concord, about fifteen miles from Boston. His intention was to destroy the military stores there, and to seize the Rebel American leaders, Samuel Adams and John Hancock. A third rebel, Paul Revere reached Lexington at midnight, in an effort to warn Adams and Hancock.
Units under the command of Major John Pitcairn arrived at Lexington at dawn on the 19th. A group of seventy armed townsmen, led by John Parker, were gathered on the commons, and they were ordered to disperse. As they did, shots rang out. Eight colonials were killed, and Hancock and Adams escaped as the colonial militia took to the forests and fields. The British pressed forward to the town of Concord.
Dr. Samuel Prescott rode ahead of the British column, and the townsmen of Concord were better-prepared to counter the wrath of the redcoats. They killed nearly 300 British soldiers, and the American Revolution had begun.
On perceiving "the shot heard run the world," Thomas Knowlton grabbed musket and powder horn and rushed to join his militia. The Ashford Company was part of the Fifth Regiment, along with the towns of Windham, Mansfield, and Coventry, Connecticut. They had no leader, and it was with a hearty vote of confidence that Knowlton was chosen unanimously.
Captain Thomas Knowlton led his men to Massachusetts, the first unit from a neighboring colony to enter the brand new war.
In June of 1775, for his bravery at the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he accomplished his mission without losing a man, Knowlton was promoted to Major by Congress. He was considered "the first officer of his grade in the army," and Colonel Aaron Burr said years later "I had a full account of the Battle from Knowlton's own lips, and I believe if the chief command had been entrusted to him, the issue would have proved more fortunate. It was impossible to promote such a man too rapidly."
General of the Army George Washington agreed, for on August 12, 1776, he promoted Knowlton to Lieutenant Colonel and gave him what he considered to be the most important job of the war. He was ordered to select an elite group of men, wise and industrious, from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts in order to carry out reconnaissance missions and special operations "either by water or by land, by night or by day."
"Knowlton's Rangers" were the first organized American elite troops, analogous to our men in Afghanistan today, the Special Forces, Army Rangers, and Marine Force Recon.
In historical deed, Knowlton's Rangers were America's first official
spies, and the first American spy to die in the Revolution, Captain Nathan Hale, was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton.
On September 16, 1776 Knowlton's Rangers were scouting in advance of
Washington's Army at Harlem Heights, New York, when they stumbled upon
the Black Watch,
an elite British unit picked for size and ferocity and composed mostly
of Highlanders in traditional attire. With his sixteen-year-old son at
his side, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton was killed in action.
The Knowlton Award was established in 1995 by the Military Intelligence Corps Association. It is given to individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Intelligence in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipients' superiors, their subordinates, and their peers; men and women, brave and true, who have performed honorably, with diligence and integrity, as did Colonel Thomas Knowlton, America's first Intelligence Professional.
Genealogy information and descendants of
William Knowlton b. 1584, in Kent, England
following information, which has been corrected in certain instances in
accordance with information gathered from public records and other
sources, was taken from
The History and Genealogy of the Knowltons of England and America, by the Rev. Charles Henry Wright Stocking, D.D., The Knickerbocker Press (1897).
The work was dedicated to our Lt. Daniel Knowlton, hero of the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. The dedication reads as follows:
"In Reverent and loving Memory of Lieutenant Daniel Knowlton of the Continental Army, The Resolute Patriot, The Fearless Scout, The Intrepid Soldier, The Upright Man,
whose eminent services to his Imperiled State and Country amply merit this his first Public Memorial, This Volume is humbly dedicated, by the Author."
The reference numbers after each Knowlton were assigned by Rev. Stocking in his book.
comes from the old English, "cnoll" (middle English, "knolle"), meaning a small rounded hill or mound and the old English "tun",
meaning an enclosed place, homestead or village; so Knowlton means town, village or place on the hill.
As no record of Captain William appears in the Customs Department in London, it must be inferred that he was independent in political action and a non-conformist in religious matters. A record was kept of only those emigrants who, upon leaving England, took an oath of loyalty to the Crown and promised conformity to the Established Church. William was at least part owner of the vessel in which he sailed for America.
Stocking surmises that William died on the voyage to America, probably off the coast of Nova Scotia. In 1839, a headstone was found by a surveyor in Shelburne, N. S. reflecting "William Knowlton, 1632". Tradition says his widow and children proceeded to Hingham, MA, where it is said she remarried. Ann Elizabeth d. Hingham 10/8/1675.
In his correction of Stocking’s work (Errata and Addenda to the Knowlton Ancestry, 1903), George H. Knowlton informs the reader that the town records of Hingham, MA reflect grants of land and a house lot in 1635 to one William "Nolton". Probate records show that the estate of William Nolton was appraised 9/18/1661 and that his widow, Ann, and grand-daughter, Susanna, were appointed administrators thereof on 10/23/1667. On 9/26/1668, "Ann Tucker, late wife of William Nolton" presented an inventory of the estate of "the late William Nolton, her former husband". Widow Ann Tucker died 10/8/1675. A Susanna Gilford was grand-daughter of Ann Tucker. Knowlton concludes that the facts strongly favor that this William Nolton was one and the same person as Capt. William Knowlton.
John (2) and Marjery Wilson:
John was a shoemaker, settled in Ipswich in 1639, became freeman 6/2/1641, and died abt. 1654. Before a member of society (male only, of course!) could exercise the right of suffrage or hold public office, he had to be made a "freeman" by the general or quarterly court. To become such, he was required to produce evidence that he was a respectable member of the Congregational Church and take an oath. In 1652, John was appointed to "search and scale leather", that no unmarketable leather might be sold by any tanner of hides. Marjery also died abt. 1654 (both of their wills were dated 1653 and proved in 1654).
John (5) and (1st) Deborah Grant?, (2nd) Sarah _________:
John was a shoemaker, also residing in Ipswich, and, during King Philip’s War, was drafted into the Narragansett Winter Campaign (Major Samuel Appleton’s Company) on 11/30/1675. According to Stocking he was a man of substance, being a public official and involved in many real estate transactions. Admitted freeman 10/13/1680.
John removed from Ipswich to Wenham probably abt. 1666; he had a seat in the meetinghouse there in 1669 and d. 10/8/1684. Deborah d. after 1666 and Sarah d. 2/3/1679. John and his second wife, Sarah, must have moved back to Ipswich, as they both died there.
Nathaniel (19) and Deborah Jewett:
Nathaniel was a shoemaker and, according to Stocking, was "a man of consequence in Ipswich". He was made Commoner 2/18/1678, became freeman 5/16/1683, was Deacon of the First Congregational Church in 1697 and Deputy to the General Court in 1700, ’02, ’03, ’05, ’09, ’14, ’15 and ’20. Nathaniel was chosen by the town in December, 1700 to serve on a committee "To appoint all persons where they should sitt in ye new meetinghouse – and also to grant pues in ye places reserved joining to ye walls and sides of ye meetinghouse – not to extend above 5 foot & ½ from ye sides of ye house into ye allies". It was said of him, "Though honored by men, he did not forget to honor his God".
Deborah was b. 12/3/1664 in Rowley, MA, the daughter of Abraham and Ann (Allen) Jewett. Nathaniel died 9/24/1726. Deborah died 4/25/1743.
Nathaniel (74) and Mary Bennett:
Mary was b. 3/3/1685, the daughter of Henry and Frances (Burr) Bennett. Nathaniel and Mary resided in Ipswich, MA. After Mary’s death (bef. 1717), Nathaniel m. (2nd) Reforme (Trescott) Jewett, the widow of Benjamin Jewett of Rowley, MA. Benjamin d. 1/22/1716, having been killed by falling timber at a house raising. Nathaniel d. after 1760.
Nathaniel and Reforme Jewett had the following children.
Especially due to the 1736 great smallpox epidemic, it is sadly apparent that Nathaniel and Reforme had great difficulty in raising a family.
Freeman Knowlton (1608) m. Abigail Hatch
William was a "housewright" and was born in Ipswich where he married Martha. They removed to Ashford, Windham County, CT in May, 1748 where William purchased a 400 acre farm which he later divided among his sons.
Martha was the grand daughter of John Pynder who, at the age of 8, in 1635 arrived with his mother Mary on the "Susan and Ellen", the same ship which brought the Rev. Peter Bulkeley of Odell, County Bedfordshire, wife Grace and children to the New World. Our cousins, Martha, Deborah and Judith Bulkley are direct descendants of Peter Bulkeley. According to Stocking, the Pynders were lineal descendents of the Pynders of County Lincoln, England to whom arms were granted in 1538 (registered in Herald’s College, London).
William d. 3/13/1753 in Ashford, CT and Martha m. (2nd) Colonel Dean of Taunton, MA and moved there. She d. 5/25/1775 in Taunton.
Daniel served with distinction in the French and Indian War. He was "distinguished for bravery and daring, particularly as a scout". He fought in northern New York in the vicinity of Forts Edward and Ticonderoga. During Lord Loudon’s expedition to Fort Edward (3/15 - 10/17/1757), he saved the life of Israel Putnam (later a Revolutionary War General, noted for his command of our troops at Bunker Hill) who had been attacked by Indians. Daniel arrived at the defining moment. An Indian was about to remove Putnam’s head with his tomahawk. Daniel came to his friend’s relief and "brought down the redskin by a timely shot from his musket". In June, 1758, Daniel served at Crown Point. Here he captured three men "belonging to a gang of bloodthirsty desperadoes, whose numerous atrocities made them as odious as they were terrible". Deciding it unsafe either to retain or dismiss the prisoners, the captives were hung with "halters", made from the bark of hickory saplings.
Daniel’s first wife, Elizabeth was the daughter of Manassah Farnham of Windham, CT. According to Stocking, she is descended on her father’s side from Sir John Farnham of Quorndon, County Leicester, England, who lived in the reign of Edward I. His arms are registered in Herald’s College. In St. Bartholomew’s Church, Quorndon, there is a Farnham Chapel.
Daniel also served with distinction in the Revolutionary War, initially as an Ensign with Knowlton’s Rangers, commanded by his brother, Thomas. His friend Israel Putnam, before leaving to assist in the relief of Boston, was heard to say, while gazing over to a field in Ashford where Daniel and others were training, "Gad, Zounds, had I only Daniel Knowlton to take with me, I’d lick hell itself". Daniel’s brother, Thomas, fought with General Putnam at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Upon his arrival after the Battle of Lexington, "Old Put" asked Thomas where his older brother was. Thomas responded by telling the General that Daniel had gone in another direction. Putnam remarked "I am sorry that you did not bring him with you; he alone is worth half a company. Such is his courage and lack of fear, I could order him into the mouth of a loaded cannon, and he would go".
In June, 1776, Knowlton’s "Rangers", as part of Chester’s Regiment, were assigned to the 6th Batallion, Wadsworth’s Brigade reinforcing General Washington in the vicinity of New York City. They participated in the Battle of Harlem Heights on 9/16/1776, where Thomas was killed. Upon hearing of his brother’s death, Daniel exclaimed "We will retrieve my brother’s loss". Daniel participated in the Battle of White Plains on 10/28/1776. For bravery in the field, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant by the State Assembly. Daniel was taken prisoner at Ft. Washington on 11/26/1776 and was held captive by the British for almost two years, for part of the time on the prison-ship, "Jersey". Upon being exchanged for other prisoners, he was again taken prisoner at the Battle of Horseneck 12/9/1780. In 1782, he was 1st Lieutenant at Ft. Trumbull, New London, CT. Daniel was discharged from service 7/6/1783.
Primarily due to his treatment by the British while a prisoner, Daniel developed strong anti-British sentiments. While attending services at the Congregational Church at Ashford in later years, Daniel protested the singing of a hymn with the refrain "Give Britain Praise". He never returned!
He has been described as follows: "Bold, stern and intrepid as a lion on the battlefield, he was retiring, non-assertive in private life and inclined to belittle his achievements". Daniel died 5/31/1825 in Ashford from the effects of a fall in his barn. He is buried at Westford Hill Cemetery, Ashford. His gravestone is inscribed as follows:
Lieutenant Daniel Knowlton
A Patriot of the Revolution
Died May 31, 1825, aged 86 yrs.
His first wife, Elizabeth, died 6/1/1786. Daniel married (2nd) Rebecca Fenton 4/24/1788. They had:
Daniel was captain of the militia and died 2/1834, according to Stocking. Betsey was b. 10/11/1768 at Ashford, CT, the daughter of Phineas and Lydia Birchard.
The spelling of Arethusa’s name (she spelled it "Arrathusa") gave Town Clerks problems as it was variously spelled Arethusia, Arthusia, Arathusa, Arathusia and Aretusa! Arethusa was b. 9/25/1805 in Belchertown, MA, the daughter of John and Hannah (Rice) Atwood. Her father was b.at Spencer, MA. Arethusa had eight brothers and sisters:
Arethusa and Gordon were married 11/30/1825 in Belchertown. The name "Arethusa" has its origins in Greek mythology; it is also the name of an orchid. Gordon died 4/7/1857. Arethusa died in Springfield on 1/21/1881, at the age of 75.
Daniel m. (1st) Sophia B. Lawrence of E. Berkshire, VT on 9/16/1855 in Somers, CT. According to the Springfield death records, Sophia died 2/12/1858 aged "24 yr., 3 mo., 23 days". The cause of death was "child birth". She is buried in Wilbraham. Daniel m. (2nd) Caroline Brooks of W. Springfield, MA on 5/14/1860. According to the 1860 Springfield City Directory, Daniel was farming and residing at the "cor. of 16 acres and Boston Rd."
Responding to President Abraham Lincoln’s July 1, 1862 call for 300,000 volunteers, Daniel enlisted in Springfield on August 19th (from July 21st) for 3 years military service (Names of Officers & Soldiers Enlisted from Springfield during the Rebellion Commenced April 12th, 1861, on file in City Hall, Springfield, MA) and collected a $25 bounty. Daniel gave his occupation as "painter". He mustered-in as a Private in Captain Algernon S. Flagg’s Company (later Co. ‘D’) of the 37th Reg’t Mass. Inf. on September 2nd at Camp Briggs, Pittsfield, MA.
Under the command of Col. (later Brig. Gen.) Oliver Edwards, the 37th was composed principally of men (initially, 1,062) from the four Western counties of Massachusetts, Hampden County furnishing 259. The regiment left Pittsfield for the front on September 7th, and after a short encampment on Arlington Heights (nr. Washington, D. C.) joined the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, then encamped in Maryland, a few miles from the battlefield of Antietam. The 37th participated in the subsequent movements of that Army, forming a part of the VI Corps. The Regiment’s first battlefield experience came at Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862), where the 37th formed a part of the 3rd Division (Brig. Gen John Newton), VI Corps (Brig. Gen William T.H. Brooks), Left Grand Division (Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin) of the Army of the Potomac then under the command of Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside (for whom the "sideburn" was named).
They fought with distinction at the Battle of Chancellorsville (May 1-4, 1863) where the Corps stormed the supposedly impregnable Marye’s Heights (the same Heights which had defied the Union Army at the Battle of Fredericksburg less than five months earlier and which were defended by six Brigades under the command of Confederate Maj. Gen. Jubal Early, with artillery support) and fought at Salem Church.
After a prodigious 19 hour, 34 mile march, the Corps reached Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. See the Appendices for excerpts describing the VI Corps’ involvement at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The 37th, along with others, was rushed to New York City on July 31st to assist in quelling the draft riots. During their time in NewYork, 47 members of the 37th deserted ("confined almost entirely to the foreign-born element", according to the History of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment Mass. Volunteers in the Civil War of 1861-1865, by James L. Bowen, 1884). "Foreign-born" meant Irish. The 37th returned to the front on October 14, 1863.
Daniel also participated in engagements at Franklin’s Crossing (6/5/1863), Rappahannock Station (11/7/1863) and Mine Run (11/30/1863).
On April 13, 1864, Daniel transferred to the Navy by Special Order No. 98 of the Army of the Potomac. He was assigned to the U.S.S. (Bark) "Gem of the Sea", a wooden sailing vessel of 371 tons, 116’ in length, which had been purchased by the government for $15,000 in 1861. On 4/14/1864, the "Gem of the Sea" shipped out of Baltimore bound for Charlotte Harbor, Florida (where Daniel was stationed) to participate in blockade duties as part of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. On April 27th, the "Gem" was off Charleston, South Carolina. On February 1, 1865, it was "ordered north for repairs".
During his Naval service, Daniel was to contract chronic diarrhea. He was discharged at New York on 5/12/1865 and was awarded a pension of $4/month. According to the medical report of S. W. Leach, Surgeon, U.S.N., Daniel "……has been afflicted with diarrhea chronica for the last four months. I am of the opinion that it was caused by the weakening influence of intermittent fever combined with the action of malaria atmospheric, vicissitudes to which he was exposed to in the line of duty." He was muster-out at Hall’s Hill, VA on 6/21/1865 and awarded the remainder on his bounty, being $75. Daniel died 3/31/1866 in Springfield of the foregoing malady. The April 2nd Daily Republican carried a notice of Daniel’s death with the following: "Funeral from his late residence today (Monday) at 1 o’clock p.m."
At the time of the 1880 Census, Caroline Knowlton was residing on Boston Rd., five houses removed from William L. Keyes, his children, daughter-in-law (Emma), etc., with her daughter Addie L. Adams and grandson, Clarence. Daniel was Caroline’s second husband.
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