Revisiting Reverend Knaggs

I wrote about Filey’s most married man over two years ago, promising to do some of the work necessary to bring his families together on the Shared Tree. There has been some connecting of dots but more needs to be done.

It may just be a temporary FamilySearch glitch that is giving Sophia two of Isabella’s three children.

Row 2 1057 Knaggs D20

In affectionate remembrance of SOPHIA KNAGGS (the beloved wife of James Knaggs), who departed this life at Filey on the 18th of February 1856, aged twenty seven years.

‘She being dead yet speaketh’

Crimlisk Survey 1977

The Four Wives

Sophia MARSHALL Knaggs 1828-1856: MGZM-96K

DEATH: KNAGGS, Sophia, Age at Death (in years): 27. GRO Reference: 1856 M Quarter in SCARBOROUGH Volume 09D Page 164.

Ann REYNOLDS Knaggs 1830-before August 1860: not on FamilySearch?

DEATH: source not found

Isabella BROWN Knaggs 1832-1870: MJP7-8RY, dupe K4P2-GD5, dupe M9MN-WHZ, dupe MMBZ-2X4.

DEATH: KNAGGS, Isabella, Age at Death (in years): 38. GRO Reference: 1870 J Quarter in ROCHFORD Volume 04A Page 139.

Eliza Mary Ann WOOLFE Knaggs 1840-1931: MG4B-PGZ

BIRTH: WOOLFE, Eliza Mary Ann, Mother’s Maiden Surname: BUTTERFIELD. GRO Reference: 1840 S Quarter in POPLAR UNION Volume 02 Page 312.

DEATH: KNAGGS, Eliza Mary Ann, Age at Death (in years): 91. GRO Reference: 1931 S Quarter in HAMPSTEAD Volume 01A Page 562.

There are photographic portraits of James and Isabella here.

Eliza lived for 24 years in some comfort after her husband died. It wasn’t that James raked it in as a Congregationalist Minister – he married a wealthy woman. Eliza’s father was a London shipping agent and whatever the portion he bequeathed to her, the value of what remained at her death was about £1.5 million in today’s money.

The 1901 census recorded the presence of two granddaughters in James and Eliza’s Hampstead home. In 1911 Marjorie and Isabel Ellie were described as widow Eliza’s step-granddaughters. I had wondered about their births in South Africa and, because Ellie made a name for herself, I now have a rough idea of the girls’ circumstances. I can’t offer supporting sources but I think their father was James and Isabella’s only son Cornelius. He went to South Africa for health reasons and lived long enough to have two daughters. His wife died giving birth to Ellie (presumably) and the infants were sent to England to be raised by the respected Reverend and his wealthy wife. Marjorie and Ellie’s new guardians ‘really were ahead of their time in terms of education’, (Elaine Mayer). Ellie particularly benefited from their support and encouragement. Andy Extance has written an article about her life and career for Chemistry World.

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