Family  Association

                                    Director:  Robert B. Noles





Edmund  "Old Silverhead"  KNOWLES
(1685 - 1762)

Knowles Progenitor:  DE - 01 (Sussex Co.)
By Robert B. Noles

(based on research by Joan G. Knowles, David & Jolene Abrahams, Bob & Delores Knowles,
Theodore M. McClellan, John & Jean Watson, et al)


Y-DNA Profile (Allele Values) for
Edmund "OSH" Knowles 
&  his Direct Line Male Descendants
(12 Marker Haplotype)  (Haplogroup is R1b1b2)

KNOWLES  DELAWARE  PROGENITOR  #01  (Sussex Co., Delaware)
Edmund "OSH" Knowles  (1685 - 1762)
Marker # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Haplo


DYS # 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389-1 392 389-2
Modal Haplotype 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 11 13 12 29 R1b1b2

Note:  The Haplotype for Edmund "OSH" Knowles has been firmly established
 via Y-DNA tests conducted on eighteen (18) known (proven) descendants.

Knowles Surname DNA Project
See the Knowles Surname DNA Project
for more genetic genealogy results

Knowles  Genealogies
Some Knowles Progenitors have
Genealogy Reports for 3 Generations

Edmund Knowles Genealogy

Biographical Sketch for:  Edmund "OSH' Knowles

Edmund "Old Silverhead" Knowles is the Knowles Progenitor for a significant percentage of the Knowles (and Noles) families living in the U.S. today.  Much is known about "Old Silverhead" and his descendants, but much is also unknown; so the research continues.   For example, other than his children, all of the known descendants of "OSH" are via his oldest son, Richard Knowles, Sr. (1715 - 1791).   Many of the descendants of his other children, particularly the sons, may be known, but are not known to be "OSH" descendants.  Perhaps genetic genealogical testing of living Knowles men will assist us in the determination of the other "OSH" lines where traditional paper trails have lead to dead ends.

Edmund's nickname, "Old Silverhead", has been widely used to identify his Knowles line and descendants.  There are two very different credible old family stories (stories not verified) as to how Edmund earned such a moniker.   The first is that he was wounded as a young man by an Indian who fractured Edmund's skull with a tomahawk.  As the story goes, someone fashioned a plate from a silver coin, which was inserted in his scalp to cover the head wound.   The other story, a more practical one, is that Edmund had a full head of silver colored hair.  You may choose the family story that you believe.

Edmund "Old Silverhead" Knowles was born in Quarlton, Lancashire, England in early 1685.  He was baptized on 6 March 1685 in Bolton, Lancashire, England parish church.  According to the church records, his father was Thomas Knowles of Quarlton and his mother was probably named Ruth.

The Edmund "Old Silverhead" Knowles line has been proven by the research of Jean and John Watson back to Richard Knowles born 18 March 1573 in Quarlton, Lancashire, England and from him to his son James and to his son Thomas and to his son Edmund.  Edmund was the youngest child of Thomas who died one year after Edmund was born.  The Watson research also indicates that this Knowles line 'originates' even further back with a Harry A. Knowe (or Knowles) (c 1500 - 1574).  It's quite likely that many of the Knowles Progenitors who immigrated to the British Colonies before the American Revolutionary War are also descendants of this Harry A. Knowe.  Genetic testing results and analysis (yet incomplete) will help determine which of the other Knowles lines can be  attributed to Harry A. Knowe.

In November of 1699 (or 1700, depending on the calendar you use), Edmund, at the age of 15, indentured himself to Jonathan Leivsay, a ship captain (and a Virginia plantation owner) who sailed out of Manchester to the colony of Virginia frequently.  Edmund sailed from Liverpool on 19 November 1699 to Virginia aboard the ship, Elizabeth and Judeth.  Edmund apparently served his seven-year indenture in Virginia, and then sometime before 1724, he migrated up the coast and settled in Naticke Hundred of Somerset County, Maryland, where he is shown on the tax rolls in 1724  (Note: in 1775 Somerset County, Maryland became Sussex Co., Delaware).  It appears Edmund spent his indentured years about 25 miles below Richmond on the south side of the James River.

Edmund apparently died in early October, 1762 in Somerset County, Maryland.  The appraisal of his personal estate was made 26 October 1762.  The inventory of the estate was filed for probate 16 March 1763, by Richard Knowles, his son, as administrator.  A copy of Edmund's will has previously been published in a KKNFA Special Edition Newsletter.  After paying the debts of the decedent and other expenses of the estate, the balance was distributed with one-third going to his wife (no name provided), and the balance divided in seven equal shares.  The heirs named were: George Oaks, Thomas Wilson, John Knowles, Ruth Knowles, Richard Knowles, Thomas Knowles and Edmund Knowles.  Edmund's share was apparently for a son, Edmund, Jr.  Edmund, Jr.'s share was held and secured according to the law, probably because he was no longer living in the area.  George Oaks and Thomas Wilson were apparently son-in-laws married to the daughters of Edmund.

Family stories indicate that Edmund married a Swedish woman, but her name has not been seen in any record.

The children of Edmund "Old Silverhead" Knowles and his wife were:

1.  Richard Knowles, Sr., born in Somerset Co., MD, c 1715  m  Patience

2.  UnkFirst Knowles, born in Somerset Co., MD, c 1718  m  George Oaks

3.  UnkFirst Knowles, born in Somerset Co., MD, c 1720 m  Thomas Wilson

4.  John Knowles, born in Somerset Co., MD, c 1722 m  (?)

5.  Ruth Knowles, born in Somerset Co., MD, c 1724 m  Rebecca Blake (?)

6.  Thomas Knowles, born in Somerset Co., MD, c 1727  m  (?)

7.  Edmund Knowles, Jr., born  in  Somerset Co., MD, c 1730 m  (?)

See additional "Old Silverhead" Knowles family history as described in the Covered Wagon Club membership application submitted for Forman Enis Knowles (1853 - 1956).  Forman was a 3rd great grandson of "Old Silverhead" Knowles.

NOTE:  All the known descendants of Edmund "Old Silverhead" Knowles are descendants of his oldest son, Richard Knowles, Sr.  Obviously, if anyone has evidence of Knowles descendants of "Old Silverhead" from his children other than Richard should contact Robert B. Noles as soon as possible.





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 Date of last edit:   Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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