Knapp/Knopp in Puritan Great Migration -- can we get these profiles sorted out once and for all?

+5 votes

The Knopps and Knapps of Bures St. Mary, Suffolk (early immigrants to New England) are a family that I find confusing. Generations and cousins are easily confused. 

Immigrant William Knopp (1580) is in ''The Great Migration Begins'' and his profile is project-protected and looks to be consistent with GMB, but that's not true for some of the others.

There are a number of duplicate profiles that have been here for a long time, in some cases because the same person is linked to two different sets of parents. Today, I noticed that a number of children had been switched from one set of parents to another set of parents with the same names and dates, and there were some new merge proposals. Before we do more merges, can we please lock the profiles down with PPP and work out an agreed-upon genealogy here in G2G?

Profiles affected include, but aren't limited to:

WikiTree profile: Elizabeth Philbrick
in Genealogy Help by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Ellen Smith
Hi Ellen,

I'm familiar with the Nicholas Knapp-43 family and can begin working on that side of things.  Unfortunately I have limited Wiki time right now though, so can't commit to the Knopp side.  Hope this helps.

Glad to hear that we have a Nicholas Knapp expert in the house. This is a season when many of us are preoccupied with holiday activities, and we're talking about people who have been dead for more than four centuries, so I think we can wait for a few weeks. 

Since Nicholas Knapp's family is separate and distinct (at least after immigration to America -- I think it likely that there was a relationship in England in earlier generations, before recordkeeping began), there shouldn't be any overlap with the William Knopp family, but I expect that we'll find some profiles here that indicate an overlap.

Can this g2g post be closed, then? What else, if anything, remains to be done?
Nicholas is taken care of, but there are still issues with some of the other families.

More profiles in this collection:

Could the PGM project please PPP -- the profile that is highlighted in this thread? The Knopp spelling is the appropriate one for her. Someone has proposed a merge of another profile for her that has the Knapp spelling (which ideally will be delayed until all three of her mother's profiles are merged), and I'd hate for the merge to go to the wrong spelling.

Also please protect -- Reade is the spelling in the better sources.
Just coding the loop. Both are protected.

5 Answers

+4 votes
Yes, I sure hope so, Ellen.  They need straightening.

A quick look and I find 4 profiles for William Knapp whose mother was Martha Blois.  Knapp-1940, -75, -24, -1609.  I didn't scrutinize the profiles, but they seem like the same person.

Also looked at John Knapp-1140, -261.  a cursory look and I think they could be merged.  As I recall, neither of these has a PM.

I'm working on Wood/Mitchell now (as you know) but when I am well along with those profiles, I'll assist here.  Oh, by the way, I am curious about your procedure - making profiles PPP before working on them.  Will you explain?  And is this something that would be helpful with all the profiles involved with Wood/Mitchell?

by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
I also am not focused on this at the moment... I posted because this was making me crazy.

My request for PPP is to prevent the profiles from being merged, and from having their parents changed, until we are done discussing them. The main function of PPP is to prevent a profile from being merged away. We use it in the New Netherland Settlers project to prevent merges when there is uncertainty or ongoing discussion regarding the proper LNAB. PPP doesn't necessarily indicate that a profile is an exemplar, only that the profile shouldn't be merged.
Yes, I do understand that PPP will prevent merging.  Thank you.

So I'm just trying to think through this, and reflecting on Wood/Mitchell.  Previously I've not tried to fix several profiles that are mixed up and duplicated.  Usually in the past I've just left the mix-up and gone on to something else.  I've been on WT 13 months and I still have so much to learn.

So here's one question:  I note that several profiles you listed with your Knapp question are not in a project.  Do profiles that are NOT in a project qualify for PPP?

And another question on procedure:  When all these profiles are PPPd, then do you go in and try to connect parents with correct children, wives with correct husbands, birth & death date & place, etc. on all these profiles?  Do you fix as many mistakes as possible, then take off the PPP, and go back in to make all the merges?  My goodness sakes...this is so very complicated.  How does one keep track of it all when you are dealing with so many profiles?

I know I will not reach your level of proficiency, but I do still want to learn more.

My notion is that we can't tackle this kind of mess one profile at a time. Adding sources is generally good, but changing out parents and children might only increase the level of confusion (at least for me!). And sometimes on these early profiles, there's one record (baptism, marriage or burial) that has been attached to two or more completely different people of the same name, so it's even possible to create confusion by citing sources.

I figure that we need to look at the families as a whole, determine which children belong with which parents, which wives belong with which husbands, etc., then revise the profiles to match the conclusions we've reached.

In this group, those profiles that don't meet the criteria of the PGM project should qualify for the England project. Regardless, we probably could talk one Leader or another into adding protection temporarily. And I doubt that all of the affected profiles would get protection, but protecting most of them would help keep us all honest.
"look at the families as a whole" that's also what I thought when I realized all the complicating elements with regard to the Mitchell/Wood family.  I just didn't know how, practically speaking, to make all the correct families distinct from each other.

I think I'll start by putting a comment on each of the profiles I plan to work on (which I see you also did on several Knapp profiles) then do another G2G about Mitchell/Wood (I already did one with no reply), next ask for PPP on those profiles, then see what I can accomplish trying to fix the confusion among them all.

Depending on busy schedule, I may wait until after the holidays!  :-)

Thanks for the information in your reply above, Ellen.
+3 votes
Knapp-21's daughter Judith is a gateway immigrant, through Margaret Poley.  I seem to remember, when I looked, the family was badly gerrymandered, to attach people to it who didn't belong, and there were some "well-sourced" fictions.  In a couple of cases it seemed like the profile was actually somebody else, with the name changed.

I thought they needed a Leader to adopt the whole lot and just fix them.  There didn't seem to be any prospect of getting the merges, lnabs and reconnections done one at a time.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)
+4 votes
I would recommend you use this g2g thread to identify which children belong to which parents, and then use that as a guide to re-connect folks correctly.

Is there a good source (or sources) that documents the correct families?
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)

Yes, Jillaine. That was my intent. My question was essentially a long way of saying "Eeek!!" after I looked at the current state of these profiles. (I saw profiles that were by all appearances duplicates, except they had completely different parents, and a rush of memories came back to me, but I wasn't ready to say anything very intelligent about how to fix the situation.)

There's no single source for these families, but pieces of the story are well documented in at least two very solid sources:

  • The Great Migration Begins
  • Clifford L. Stott, "William and Judith (Tue) Knopp of Watertown, Massachusetts," in NEHGS Register, 147(1993):315-328.

This is one of those PGM family groups that included several immigrants and has numerous descendants. I trace ancestry to two of the women shown as William Knopp's daughters (married names Philbrick and Cady). I've not looked at these families for quite some time, and I recall much confusion related to multiple contemporary people with the same names (multiple Williams, Anns, etc.), both in the Knopp/Knapp families and in the related families like Philbrick and Cady. These families are documented in several venerable publications such as Bond's Watertown Families, so (for the benefit of future contributors who come to these profiles with arms full of content from those sources) the revised profiles should include discussion of any misinterpretations and errors that more recent researchers have identified in these works.

Another source related to Philbrick: NEHGR 81:257

If you want to give me a chunk/thread/piece to work on, please do. I'm down with a cold and can't do much else...
Question:  It seems that (at least in Watertown records), and also in the NEHGS article, the two different families were fairly consistently spelled either with the A or the O. Sometimes there are records with more or less Ps and a few Es on the end - but it seems generally they are either As or Os..

Are we agreed that we are going to organize by spelling - the Nicholas Knapp-43 family with the A and the William Knopp-153 family with the O?

 Is there enough consistency to do a same-spelling throughout the line(s)?  What does everyone think (and maybe we need some time to make this decision)?
As you know, spelling is not the be-all and end-all. And many of the "sources" currently cited on these profiles are the OneWorld Tree, Millennium File, etc., where the overriding logic in connecting parents, children, and siblings, might be based on spelling.

Hi Ellen,

Ooops!  I obviously did not explain what I meant very well.  My apologies.  Let me give it another go.

In regards to the Nicholas Knapp-43, immigrant, family, I was looking at the Watertown records and also what Anderson said about them in his William Knopp profile (p 1145).  Anderson: "Finally, although this would not normally be an important consideration, the town clerks at Watertown were consistent in spelling William's surname as Knopp and Nicholas's as Knapp, suggesting that in Watertown the surnames were seen as distinct."

Then I was reading the NEHGR (147: 327-28) article by Clifford Stott  which, as you know, describes the family of William Knopp-153, immigrant. All the names are spelled with an O (and a few more or less Ps, and a couple of Es on the end), but it is really consistent about only using the Os in Knopp.

I'm wondering, as we go through and arrange these profiles (and the many duplicates), do we want to try and PPP, and use as targets for merges, the lowest numbered A spelling for the Nicholas Knapp family and the lowest numbered O spellings for the William Knopp-153 family?

But, you are correct, we do not want to use the existing profiles' spelling choices (when based on user-contributed) as any kind of hint about who should be attached to whom - or who belongs where. There is a lot of very incorrect information "out there" about these families.  My rule of thumb is to ignore anything based on inappropriate sources, (at least, at this point, and later, some of it might be useful, if it can be sourced)

Thank you! 


* Anderson, Great Migration Begins ...  Vol I-III, Pg 1145

* Stott, "English Origins of William and Judith (Tue) Knopp of Watertown, Massachusetts." NEHGR 147: 315-

Well, since Anderson uses the name Knapp for Nicholas (who first went to Watertown and removed to Stamford) and Knopp for William (who settled in Watertown), it does make sense to standardize on those spellings for LNABs (although the variant spellings also need to be acknowledged), at least for the immigrant generation.

William Knopp's profile is PPP, and it would make sense to protect Nicholas Knapp's profile, too.

I see that profiles and are for a man named Nicholas Knopp who is supposed to have been born in Bures St. Mary in the early 1520s. The only sources cited on the profiles are an abandoned Ancestry Tree and a personal genealogy page that cites the Ancestral File. I've not yet seen reference to this person in other sources. Interestingly, one of these profiles attaches him to a wife named Alice Howlat -- the same name as the mother of William Knopp-153.

Hope you feel better soon. I had a bug that put me out of commission...even off the computer for a week!

Among the immigrants who came over with Sir Richard Saltonstall in 1630 were two men, NICHOLAS KNAPP and WILLIAM KNOPP (KNAPP). These two were possibly brothers, although there is no evidence to support same​1. The two individuals spelled their names differently. The two differ in age by about twenty-five years, a full generation​1. . Nicholas Knapp and William Knopp, were among the first settlers of Watertown, Mass. William and family remained in Watertown, where Nicholas and his children moved to Connecticut​2. . Nicholas and William are NOT one in the same, and should not be merged. The children of Nicholas removed to Connecticut and are the ancestors of the Knapp's of that state, of Western Mass, of New York and states farther west​2. WILLIAM who remained in Watertown, is the ancestor of those of the name in central and eastern Massachusetts, except the southeastern, where they are from Aaron Knapp who was one of the early settlers of Taunton. The Knapp's of New Hampshire and Maine are also descendants of William​2.

There were many different spellings of the name Knapp, throughout Europe. Some of the spellings include Knopp, Knoppe, Knope, Knop, Knap, and Knappe. It wasn't until this family migrated to America that the name was " Americanized" to KNAPP. The name Knapp is of Teutonic origin, and comes from the Anglo-Saxon ​cnapa, which corresponds to the German Knappe, an esquire to a knight or noble​2  or from ​cnaep,  a hill, which, in the forms of Knap, Knop, Knob, nap, etc., occurs as a place-name  in midland and southern England2.

== source ==

(2) The Knapp Family In America : A Genealogy Of The Descendants Of William Knapp Who Settled In Watertown, Mass., In 1630 : Including Also A Tabulated Pedigree, Paternal And Maternal, Of Hiram Knapp. By Arthur Mason Knapp, The Fort Hill Press, Samuel Usher, 175 to 184 High Street, Boston, Mass.

(1)"The Great Migration Begins" 1620-1635, Vol 2, G-O, Pages 1143-1146. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Study Project, New England Historical Genealogical Society, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116.

Welcome to G2G, David. As you've already noticed, formatting in G2G is not the same as in WikiTree profiles. (Yes, it's confusing!)

Thanks for sharing that bit of lore. Since a year ago when I started this discussion, we've cleared out a lot of problematic content in various Knopp/Knapp profiles. You'll note tha The Great Migration Begins ("GMB") is a principal source for the WikiTree content on these families, together with Clifford Stott's more extensive work, which Anderson cited and commended in GMB. The 1909 book The Knapp Family in America is not so reliable. In particular, that bit about "the immigrants who came over with Sir Richard Saltonstall in 1630" seems to be in the category of folklore. Although both William Knopp and Nicholas Knapp appeared in Watertown at about the same time, and William Knopp seems to have been associated with Saltonstall, I don't believe that the recent research has found any reason to think that Nicholas Knapp was similarly associated.

+3 votes

OK, from GMB and the article by Clifford Stott, I've started to create a "scorecard" for these families. This is focused only on families of England-baptized men named William Knopp.

Clifford Stott reviewed parish records for Burys St. Mary and a number of nearby parishes. He notes that there were three different men named William Knopp having children baptized at Burys St. Mary and its vicinity during the relevant time period. .

William Knopp and Elizabeth Read(e) married 27 Sept. 1584 and had:

  • Margaret - bp. 1585
  • John - bp. 1587
  • Rose - bp. 1589/90; died unmarried
  • Elizabeth - bp. 1593 - Married Thomas Philbrick in 1615. They were PGM immigrants. Their son John Philbrick married Ann Knopp (see below)..
  • William - bp. 1596/7

William Knopp-153 - Parents not named in bapt. record; inferred to be son of Thomas Knopp-100 (1545-1613) and Alice Howlat-1 (they marred 29 Jan. 1569/70). Baptized 1 Jan 1580/1 in Burys St. Mary. Died in Watertown, Mass. on 30 August 1658 (record states 1659, but the inventory was taken on 31 August 1658). First wife Judith Tue-1 (b. 1589, m. 1606/7 in Wormingford, Essex, d. bef. 1651) was the mother of his children:

  • Elizabeth - 1608, Wormingford. Married Mr. Buttery. Did not emigrate.
  • William - 1610/1, Wormingford. Immigrated to Watertown. Married (1) Mary and (2) Margaret.
  • Mary - 1613, Wormingford. Married Thomas Smith in Watertown.
  • Ann(a) - 1618, Wormingford; married John Philbrick in New England.
  • John - 1622/3, Bures St. Mary; married Sarah Young in Watertown.
  • James - 1626, Wormingford; married Elizabeth Warren in Watertown.
  • Judith - 1629, Bures St. Mary; married Nicholas Cady in Watertown.

William Knopp (the son of William Knopp and Elizabeth Reade; listed above) and Margaret Dean (daughter of Henry Dean who died 1638) married 6 June 1620 and had:

  • Elizabeth - bp. 31 March 1622
  • William - baptism record not found.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Ellen Smith

I've been disconnecting the profiles for the William Knopp who married Elizabeth Read(e) from the parents he was attached to -- no evidence to support a connection to parents. Knopp is the preferred spelling, so I think that Knopp-24 should be the destination profile for a merge -- and should be project-protected.

+1 vote

Picking up the subject again. Philip Smith is hoping to untangle some early John Knopp/Knapp profiles in Suffolk (either Ipswich or Bures St Mary).

In Bures St Mary there are two John Knopps (bp. 1687 and bp. 1622/3)  named in my discussion of William Knopp. The Burys St Mary register began in 1538, but there are gaps. Here is what I am finding relevant to  John Knopp:

According to Clifford Stott, Thomas Knopp (born say 1545, died at Bures St. Mary on 18 May 1613) married Alice Howlat on 10 January 1569/70 and had the following (baptized at Bures St. Mary):

  1. Elizabeth Knope, baptized 9 March 1571/2
  2. Jeames (James) Knoppe, baptized 19 Sept 1574
  3. John Knopp, baptized 13 July 1578 - This is the earliest baptism of a John Knopp (of any spelling) in Bures St. Mary. This is
  4. William Knope, baptized 1 Jan. 1580/1; married Judith Tue (see earlier "answer")
  5. Thomas, bp. 15 March 1583/4
  6. Margaret, bp. 7 Nov 1586; either this Margaret or a cousin of the same name married Joseph Suttler in 1609
  7. Ann, bp. 13 Jan 1590/1
  8. Robert, bp. 3 Feb 1593/4

A John Knope married Marye in Burys St Mary on 22 June 1641.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Ellen Smith

Digging farther back in time, I've not been able to find any credible evidence for the existence of the John Knapp/Knopp represented by profile Knopp-138 and/or Knapp-21. This is the man who is supposed to have married Martha Blois-1.  

Apparently that John Knapp and Martha Blois have been identified as the parents of New England settler Nicholas Knapp. A webpage about Myths and Mistakes relating to the Nicholas Knapp family states (in part): 

There DEFINITELY is no connection of any sort to the oft claimed ancestry of Nicholas Knapp and that being that John Knapp and Martha Blois were his parents, and/or Robert Knapp & Margaret Poling. As previously stated no supporting evidence has ever been found to establish an ancestry of ANY VALIDITY for Nicholas, or his wives!!!!!

I've not found records for Martha Blois. However, she does appear in Collins' 1741 book The English Baronetage: Volume 4, which states (page 10):

Richard Blois of Grundfburgh in com Suff son of Thomas Blois died 1559. His first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Hill of Needham, by whom he had one son, William. His second wife was daughter of ____ Fisher, by whom he had one daughter, Martha, who married John Knapp of New Place in Stoke near Ipswich.

The 1803 work The Baronetage of England, Or the History of the English Baronets, and Such Baronets of Scotland, as are of English Families, vol. 3, has(page 74)  a family tree that shows essentially that same information about this family, except it gives Martha's mother's full name as Rose Fisher.

I don't know if these Ehglish Baronetage books are decent sources, so I don't know if they substantiate the existence of Martha Blois. However, I do know that I've seen no evidence that she was the mother of the New England immigrants who are connected to her profile.

Richardson has this line here.  Judith is a Gateway.

Note there were two brothers called John, and it was the younger brother who married Martha Blois.  The elder may have been illegitimate.

They're mentioned in their father's will, which I've seen on a website but I can't find the site now.


The two Johns had a sister Mirabel who married Robert Hovel alias Smith, but Richardson doesn't connect any immigrants to them either.

I think this is the site I remembered, though it's not as I remembered it


Thanks. I've also seen Judith Knapp Hubbard as a Gateway. There is at least one other Judith who isn't a Gateway.

Related questions

+2 votes
1 answer
118 views asked Apr 17, 2017 in Genealogy Help by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+3 votes
1 answer
+5 votes
0 answers
193 views asked Aug 20, 2016 in Genealogy Help by John Knopp G2G Rookie (280 points)
+3 votes
4 answers
+7 votes
1 answer
238 views asked Apr 30, 2017 in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)
+7 votes
1 answer
72 views asked Dec 24, 2020 in Appreciation by T H Martin G2G5 (5.2k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright