William Knight (1825-1907) was born at Badsey in May 1825, the seventh of eight children of Thomas Knight, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Read). His family had lived in Badsey since the 17th century.
William was not living and working in Badsey at the time of the 1841 census. On 26th February 1848, William married Elizabeth Hartwell in St James’ Church, Badsey. They had two sons and one daughter: John (1849), Edwin (1855) and Ann Elizabeth (1863). They lived at Sharps Row in 1851. Several of their neighbours at Sharps Row were also to emigrate to America in the 1870s: John Hicks and his daughter, Mary Anne Sears, William and Elizabeth Edgington, John Wheatley.
In 1872, William’s eldest son, John, then aged 22, decided to seek his fortune overseas. Together with his village friend, Owen Joseph Hall, they set off for America. Whereas Owen later returned to Badsey, John settled in America, and the rest of the family emigrated, too.
William and Elizabeth, with their other two children, Edwin and Ann, left Badsey in 1874 for America. At the time of the 1880 census, William was farming in Auburn, Geauga County, Ohio. The household comprised his wife, Elizabeth, their three children, and John’s wife and son. They lived eight houses away from the Edgington family.
In the early 1880s, the Knight family moved to Duplain Township, Clinton County, state of Michigan. William’s wife, Elizabeth, died there in 1885. In 1900 William was living with Edwin and his wife, Emma, in Duplain. Next door was his eldest son, John, and his wife and daughter.
William died at Duplain, Clinton, on 28th May 1907. The cause of death was given as heart disease with acute indigestion given as a contributory factor.