Skip to main content

KNIGHT, Joseph – emigrated 1850s

Joseph Knight (1845-1921), the second of five children of Joseph Knight and his first wife, Sarah (née Cotterill), was born at Conderton, Worcestershire, on 6th March 1845.  He was baptised in St James’ Church, Badsey, on 18th April 1847, together with his new-born sister.  They had moved back to his father’s home village of Badsey shortly after the birth of Sarah Sophia and the death of his grandfather in February 1847.

At the time of the 1851 census they were living in a house on the High Street (present-day No 11A), Badsey, which had previously been owned by his grandfather.  His mother died in October 1851, and his father married again a year later to a widow, Esther Cook (née Crump).  They went to live at the house now known as The Wheatsheaf Inn, Badsey, where Esther ran a grocer’s shop.

At some stage in the 1850s, Joseph emigrated to Ontario, Canada, with his father, step-mother and siblings (Ann Elizabeth, Sarah Sophia and Charles Frederic, his youngest brother having died as a baby).  Shipping records for this period are not available but 20th century census returns have a column for emigration date – his brother, Charles, stated 1854 whilst Joseph stated 1859. 

Joseph married Mary Ann Dawson on 19th August 1865 at Essex County, Ontario.  They had three sons and three daughters, all born at Gosfield Township, Essex County:  Lilian (1866-1913), Edward George (1868-1961), Mary (1870), Ernest Otto (1873-1961), Francis Thomas (1876) and Jessie Adelia Medora (1880).  At the time of the Canadian census in 1871 and 1881, they lived at Gosfield North West district, Essex, Ontario; Joseph was a farmer in 1871 and a merchant by 1880.

Around 1887-1888, the Knights left Canada to live in America (the date of immigration to the US varies in later census returns).  They settled at Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, where they remained for the rest of their lives.  In the 1900 census Joseph was described as a grocer and in 1910 he was a broker of merchandise.

According to the 1920 census for Detroit, Joseph was naturalised as a US citizen in 1893.  Joseph died at Detroit on 20th March 1921.  The cause of death was cerebral apoplexy with embolism, with arterio sclerosis being a contributory factor.  Mary Ann died a year later in March 1922.