Joseph Knight (1818-1871) was born at Badsey in 1818, the third of eight children and eldest son of Joseph Knight, a carpenter, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Pratt). He was baptised in St James' Church, Badsey, on Christmas Day 1818.
Joseph, a master carpenter, married Sarah Cotterill from Cropthorne in 1842. They had three sons and two daughters: Ann Elizabeth (1843-1922), Joseph (1845-1921), Sarah Sophia (1847-1895), Charles Frederic (1849-1929) and Alfred Edmund (1851-1851). They were living in Conderton when the eldest three were born and in Badsey when the youngest two were born. It is probable that they returned to Badsey following the death of Joseph’s father in 1847. They moved into the cottage which had been bought by Joseph’s father in 1842, and possibly Joseph, rather than his father, may have carried out the renovations. They were living there at the time of the 1851 census.
Sarah died at Badsey in October 1851, eight months after the death of her youngest child. Joseph then married widow Esther Cook (née Crump) at Badsey in 1852. Esther was a grocer at what is now known as The Wheatsheaf Inn, Badsey. Two months after his wedding to Esther, Joseph held a housewarming dinner at The Wheatsheaf. Esther’s son, John Cook, a baker, also lived there, as he had come to help with the bakery side of the business.
At some stage in the 1850s, Joseph and Esther and family emigrated to Canada where Joseph took up farming. Shipping records for this period are not available but 20th century census returns have a column for emigration date – Joseph’s son, Charles, stated 1854; his son, Joseph, stated 1859. Esther’s son, John, and his wife, Mary, and two young children, Mary and Edward, also emigrated to Canada. This was in 1858, so whether the Knight and Cook families emigrated together or one family went out first and the other followed is not known.
At the time of the Canadian census of 1871, which took place on 2nd April, Joseph and Esther were living in Gosfield Township, Essex County, Ontario, with their youngest son, Charles, living next door. Just over a month later, Joseph died on 6th May 1871. He had been suffering from cancer of the liver and stomach for two years. His religion was given as Methodist; he was buried at Olinda United Church Cemetery, Olinda, Essex County.