Fernando and Emma Knowles
Compiled By Great-Great-Grandson Edward K. Hine, Jr. ("Ted") - July, 2004 and April 2012


   Fernando Gerome Knowles

 Born: January 23, 1836 in or near Weedsport, NY
 Died:  March 10,1905 in Highland, IL (home of a son)
 Cause of Death:   "stomach troubles"
 
Age at Death:  69 
 Buried:  Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, MO
(GPS N 39 25.176, W 092 25.189  17 feet - WGS84 Datum)

 Father:   Isaac Knowles (1811-?)
 Mother:  Charlotte L. Dickenson-Knowles (1811-?)
 
 Siblings:  George Henry Knowles (1843-1865)
                  Charles Denzil Knowles (1846-?)
                  Julius Gilbert Knowles (1849-?)
 

Emma Moore-Knowles

Born:   April 7, 1844 in or near Weedsport, NY
Died:    March 31, 1902 in Moberly, MO
Cause of Death:   Unknown
Age at Death:  Almost 59
Buried: 
Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, MO
(GPS N 39 25.176, W 092 25.189  17 feet - WGS84 Datum)

Father:   John L. Moore (1808-1895)
Mother:  Emeline Chittenden-Moore (1823-?)

Siblings:  Eugene W. Moore (about 1848-?)
                 Charles Moore (about 1850-?)
                 George Moore (about 1852-?)
                 Harriet Moore (about 1855-?)

 

       A Tin-Type image labeled by my mother as
              "Fernando and George Knowles".


        Married:    Mid 1860's (likely in
                            or near Weedsport, NY)


        Children:
  Ella Knowles-Hulburd
                          (1868-1943)
                          Clarence Knowles
                          Harry Knowles

          


 

 

 


Source Material

In addition to census records, what little I know about my great-great grandparents, Fernando and Emma Knowles and their siblings and parents, comes from only a few sources.

"The Knowles Papers"

Much of what know about Fernando comes from what my mother (Elizabeth Hulburd-Hine-Alderson) always referred to as "The Knowles Papers".  This small collection of papers and other artifacts from around the time of the American Civil War was passed down from generation to generation and I recently came upon then.  Much of the information contained in them is about Fernando's brother George who died in Weedsport, NY during the Civil War apparently as a result of his service in the Union army.

"The Knowles Papers" contain a genealogical "family record" listing Fernando's parents and siblings including their full names and birthdates.

The Old Brutus Historical Society (OBHS)

After digitizing "The Knowles Papers" in 2004 I mailed both digital and paper copies to the Old Brutus Historical Society (OBHS) in Weedsport, New York hoping that they may have more information about my Knowles ancestors.  They were in fact able to provide limited but valuable information.  (Brutus is the name of the "town" in Cayuga County, New York in which Weedsport is the only "village".)  In 2008 I spent a day in Weedsport and visited the OBHS (which has a great little museum), the Weedsport Rural Cemetery, and the local War Veterans memorial.  During my visit I obtained more information regarding my ancestors there and subsequently again exchanged letters with the OBHS.

View OBHS Correspondence (PDF)


About Fernando and Emma Knowles

My mother had always indicated, both verbally and in notes found after her death, that Ella Knowles (the daughter of Fernando and Emma) was born in Weedsport, Cayuga County, New York.  In the 1800's Weedsport was a small port town on the Erie Canal between Syracuse and Rochester in upstate New York.  She also believe that Emma Knowles' maiden name was likely Moore but in some references to this she apparently was not positive.   The Knowles Papers show that Fernando was a resident of Weedsport around the time of the Civil War and OBHS census records show that Fernando was born in Cayuga County, New York (likely Weedsport).  The OBHS census records also show an Emma Moore born in Weedsport the year shown on her Moberly, MO grave stone.  This strongly suggests that the Emma Moore shown in the census records is in fact Fernando's future wife as Cayuga County and the town of Weedsport were not heavily populated in those days and the odds of two Emma Moore's being born there in the same year is small.

Little more is known about Emma Moore-Knowles as an individual however more is known about Fernando and his family.

In the Knowles Papers, a "Discharge by Disbandment" document dated August 8, 1868 at Weedsport indicates that Fernando served in "Company B of the 109th Regiment Infantry, National Guard of the State of New York".  It shows that he joined on October 18, 1864 when he would have been 28 years old.  There is no indication as to whether he saw action in the Civil War but given his relatively advanced age at the time that he joined the National Guard and the fact that the war was almost over by then,  I suspect that he did not.  The OBHS also suspects that he did not see service in the Civil War though his younger brothers George and Charles did.  (George apparently died of injuries or illness sustained during the conflict.  More below.)

It is not known what Fernando's occupation was in Weedsport however his brother George is listed on a military furlough as being a Weedsport "blacksmith" prior to joining the army.  Surviving dues payment receipts indicate that Fernando was a member of the "Weedsport Lodge, No 385, F & A.M." (Mason) from at least 1866 through 1871 and the OBHS confirms this membership from documents they have.

 

Emma Moore-Knowles around 1853

View Information About This Picture

Fernando married Emma Moore in or near Weedsport sometime prior to 1868 when their daughter, Ella Knowles-Hulburd (my great grandmother), was born there.  Shortly thereafter, and for unknown reasons, Fernando and Emma apparently left Weedsport and headed west with their daughter.

The OBHS came upon 1870 census records that show them in Clinton, Iowa.   Fernando is listed as being a "carpenter" and two children are indicated, "Lena", age 2 and born in New York, and "John", age 1 and born in Iowa.   Neither the names "Lena" or "John" are among the known children of Fernando and Emma however I'm confident that this 1870 census record is correct for the Knowles family as both Fernando and Emma's census record ages are correct and I find it hard to believe that there would have been more than one Fernando and Emma Knowles family,  Fernando being such an uncommon name.  I suspect that "Lena" was Ella (perhaps an error on the part of the census taker) as her age and birthplace are correct.  John may have been a first or middle name for Clarence or Harry, the other known children of Fernando and Emma. 

Sometime around 1875 Fernando and Emma ended up in Moberly, a mid Missouri railroad town, where they would spend most of the rest of their lives and where their daughter Ella would eventually meet and marry Henry E. Hulburd (my great grandfather) shortly prior to 1888 when the Hulburd's son Clarence Earl Hulburd was born.

Fernando's 1905 Moberly obituary reads in part:  "Mr. Knowles for 20 years was foreman here of the Wabash Car Shops and for ten years conducted a grocery business.  He is one of the best known men in Moberly and Randolph county."   If it can be assumed that his occupations of foreman and grocer ran consecutively (not concurrently) he spent a total of about 30 years in Moberly prior to his 1905 death.  This suggests that he and his family may have arrived in Moberly around 1875, plus or minus a few of years.

(In 2003 I obtained obituaries for all my ancestors known to be buried in Moberly, Missouri from the Randolph County Historical Society.  One was available for Fernando (see below)  however apparently none was published for Emma or, if published, it could not be found.)

Additional information contained in his obituary indicates that Fernando moved from Moberly to Ferguson, MO (a suburb of St. Louis) to live with his daughter Ella Knowles-Hulburd about a year prior to his death which would have been a year or two after his wife Emma had passed away in 1902.  He passed away March 10, 1905 in Highland, Illinois while visiting his son Clarence and was buried in the Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, MO next to his wife Emma who had passed away 3 years earlier.   Fernando and Emma's cemetery plot would eventually be the final resting place for 3 additional generations of their Hulburd descendents.

Fernando's gravestone reads "Ferd Knowles" suggesting  that "Ferd" was his nickname.  The Old Brutus Historical Society in Weedsport, NY has provided me with copies of 1864 property tax records showing that in that year "Ferd Knowles" owned a quarter acre of land there right next to his mother's (Charlotte Knowles') land.  This confirms that Ferd was Fernando's nick name.  His obituary refers to him as only "F. Knowles".

View Fernando's Obituary


The Knowles-Hulburd Plot (foreground above), Oakland Cemetery, Moberly, Missouri (3rd Addition, Block 21, Lot 13A).
Final resting place of:  Fernando and Emma Knowles, Henry E. and Ella Knowles-Hulburd (daughter),
 Clarence Earl Hulburd (grandson), Earl Seward Hulburd (great-grandson),
 and Elizabeth Seward Hulburd-Hine-Alderson (great-granddaughter).
(GPS N 39 25.176, W 092 25.189  17 feet - WGS84 Datum)

In December of 2004 when I visited the Oakland Cemetery I found that the upper portion of Ferd Knowles' gravestone had come loose from its base, possibly due to aging or perhaps from being hit by a lawn mower.  While the top portion sat fine on the base, it was just not permanently attached.  On my return in June of 2005 I brought some concrete cement and re-attached the two pieces.  In the process of making the repair I noticed that both Ferd and Emma's gravestones had previously become unattached at the same location and that both had been repaired with a silicon based adhesive.   Emma's silicon fix was still holding but Ferd's had failed.  I have no idea how long ago the fixes were made (though I believe silicon adhesives did not become widely available till the late 1960's) or who performed them, possibly the cemetery caretakers or perhaps another descendent of the Knowles' who I am not aware of.


About Fernando and Emma's Parents and Siblings

Fernando's Parents

Isaac and Charlotte Dickenson-Knowles (Fernando's parents) apparently lived for quite sometime in and/or near Weedsport, Cayuga County, NY.   Their son George's military papers (included in "The Knowles Papers") show that he was born there in 1843 and records regarding George's military death benefits suggest that his parents were still living in the area in 1868, 25 years after Georges birth.    OBHS census records show an "I. Knowles" in the 1840 Weedsport census but not in the 1830 one suggesting that he perhaps arrived in the area between 1830 and 1840.

Charlotte L. Dickenson-Knowles is shown in the 1855 Weedsport census as "head of household", age 44, and a "widow" who was born in Connecticut.    She is shown to have been a local resident for 17 years placing her there starting about 1837 or 1838.    All of her and Isaac's children (Fernando, George, Charles, and Julius) are shown in this census record with the correct ages for their known birthdates and all are shown to have been born in Cayuga County (probably Weedsport).   Charlotte's indicated status as a widow must have been in error as other census records show that Isaac continued to live in nearby towns for a number of years to come.   Isaac appears as living alone in the town of Cato in an 1850 census so apparently by then Charlotte and Isaac were either divorced or separated though they apparently continued to stay in contact, at least occasionally, as in the 1860 census their son George is shown living with Isaac in the nearby town of Tyre and the government death benefit payment for George's Civil War related death was paid to both Isaac and Charlotte in 1868 suggesting that they split the money after it was received as one payment to both parents.  Isaac is shown in the 1850 census for the nearby town of Cato as being born in New York but the town or county was not specified.  There is no reason to believe that Isaac did not pass away in the Weedsport area but the OBHS could find no records of his death or where he is buried.

The OBHS also found no death or specific cemetery records for Charlotte Knowles so death date and burial location is not known.   Local cemetery records are very incomplete and hard to read but the plot map drawing for son George Knowles' cemetery plot in Weedsport Rural Cemetery (Section 3, Lot 134) could be interpreted as showing 2 graves there even though only George's name is indicated and his tombstone is the only one physically present.   This is pretty slim evidence but I suppose it possible that this is Charlotte's final resting place and that records were just not accurately updated.     Another minor mystery regarding George's cemetery plot:  There is another cemetery record, a listing of those interred there handwritten in alphabetical order and thus likely put together from other records at some point in time which, while again incomplete and confusing, suggests that "Fernando Knowles" is interred in the same plot (Section 3, Lot 134) as his brother George, but which leaves all the other usual line information provided for others blank.  There are no birth and death dates and locations, etc. given.   Since Fernando is known for a fact to be buried in Moberly, MO as evidenced by both his tombstone and obituary, I suspect that this reference to Fernando in the Weedsport cemetery records may have been an indication that perhaps Fernando purchased the cemetery plot for his brother and was thus the plot's owner.  Another possibility is that another Knowles brother had a son with the name Fernando (after his uncle) who is buried there.

George, Charles, and Julius Knowles

The Knowles Papers along with the OBHS provide quiet a bit of information about Fernando's brother George, a little about brother Charles, and substantially nothing about Julius.

George H. Knowles fought in the Civil War and apparently died as a result of either injuries sustained or a sickness contracted while serving in the Union Army.   The Knowles Papers show that George enlisted on August 25, 1862 and served in Battery K of the 3rd Regiment of the New York Light Artillery.   By December of 1862 he was stationed in North Carolina and a letter written home to his mother tells of the battles he was involved in at the time in and around Newbern, NC.   (The letter was dated only "Dec. 21" however information provided by a Civil War historian through the OBHS dates the battles described as having taken place in December of 1862.)   An express mail receipt shows that George was still stationed in the Newbern area of North Carolina a year latter in the fall of 1863 when he apparently sent some of his pay home to his mother.

A furlough was granted on November 4, 1864 which allowed George to return home to Weedsport for 15 days, apparently to recuperate from an unspecified medical condition.   His condition evidently only got worse as evidenced by notes written by his home town doctor explaining why he did not return to his military unit on schedule.  George died in Weedsport on January 3, 1865.   It is not known whether Georges death was caused by battle wounds or disease.  The OBHS Civil War historian indicated that there was a yellow fever epidemic starting in August of 1864 which killed 60 men in George's unit so it's possible that this causes his death but the exact cause will likely never be known.

George is buried in the Weedsport Rural Cemetery about a mile east of Weedsport on Rt. 31B.   When I visited his gravesite in October of 2008 I discovered a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic ) medallion next to his tombstone.   The GAR was a  fraternal organization started just after the Civil War which required service in the Union army for membership and which ceased to exist in 1956 when the last of it's members passed away.  I asked the OBHS about the GAR marker and their records showed that George was not a member which makes sense since he passed away shortly before the GAR was formed.  The OBHS additionally indicated that at some point "years ago" the cemetery put a GAR marker next to every Civil War veteran since they didn't know who was a member and who was not.

The OBHS indicated (and my 2008 visit to Weedsport confirmed) that George is listed on the "Veterans Civil War section of the War Veterans monument" near the now defunct old Erie Canal in Weedsport.  OBHS also indicated that "he also gets a flag Memorial Day" each year (which I assume is probably placed at his gravestone).

According to the OBHS Civil War historian George's younger brother Charles D. Knowles also served in George's military unit.  Charles evidently survived the Civil War and is shown in the 1865 Weedsport (Brutus) census as being still in the army, apparently finishing his enlistment.

Fernando Knowles' 1905 Moberly, MO obituary mentions a surviving brother living in Chicago but does not specify whether it was Charles or Julius.

Click here for a Knowles descendants list as I show in my genealogy database as of 2012.    Knowles Descendants

George Knowles' final resting place in the Weedsport Rural Cemetery (Section 3, Lot 134)
(GPS N 43 02.686, W 076 32.507  24 feet - WGS84 Datum)
While it is very hard to read, the semi-circle inscription reads "George H Knowles".  The 5 point metal star is a Grand Army
of the Republic (GAR) medallion to honor his Civil War service.    (2008 Photo by the author.)

     

The War Veterans Memorial near the old Erie Canal in Weedsport, NY honoring those locally who served in conflicts from the Revolutionary
War onward.  George Knowles is listed in the Civil War section.  (2008 Photo by the author.)

 

Emma's Parents and Siblings

An 1855 OBHS census record shows that Emma Moore-Knowles' parents were John Moore, a mechanic, age 43 and his wife Emeline age 34, and that they had four children including Emma age 11, Ugene (Eugene) age 7, Charles age 3 and Harriet age 2 months.  Living with the Moore's at the time were Elizabeth Chittenden (age 19) and Rebecca Chittenden (age 23) both listed as "sisters" of the head-of-household which would have been John Moore and which is thus a little confusing.  The space on the census form in which to indicate the "relationship to head of household" is only large enough to contain one short word so the logical assumption is that the "sister" entry was short for "sister-in-law".  Had Elizabeth and Rebecca Chittenden been unmarried sisters of John, their surname would have been Moore.  Also it is not likely that both of them would have the same married name (Chittenden) and be living with the Moore's.  This suggests that they were sisters of Emeline (sister-in-laws of John) and that Chittenden was thus Emeline's maiden name.

All members of the Moore family listed in this 1855 census record including Emeline Moore and presumed sisters Elizabeth and Rebecca Chittenden are shown as being born in Cayuga County, NY.

Information obtained via the Internet after communicating with the OBHS show an "Emeline Chittenden, b. 1823 in Newark, NY".  This is more than likely the same person as Emeline Moore.  The birth date is within one year of that in the census record and Newark, NY is not far from Weedsport where the Moore's lived.  The OBHS census records suggest the spelling was "Emuline" but the census taker could easily have misspelled the name.  The population of the area in the mid 1800's was not great and it's thus not likely that there would have been two individuals born about the same time in the same general location with the same uncommon first and last names (Emeline and Chittenden).

Through online internet sources I have been able to trace the Chittenden line back to Robert Chittenden born about 1570 in England.  Click here for my descendents list as of July 2008.   Chittenden Descendents

Cemetery records show that there is a John L. Moore buried in the Weedsport Rural Cemetery (the same cemetery as George Knowles and not far from him) in Section 7, Lot 342.  While the records are somewhat sketchy and incomplete, I strongly believe this to be Emma Moore-Knowles' father (who would be my 3rd great grandfather).   Cemetery records show that this plot contains John L. Moore (born and died in Brutus/Weedsport), William Moore, and "unknown".  Photos of the plot (confirmed as being Section 7, Lot 342 by cemetery employees) taken by me in Oct. 2008 show 3 gravestones (see below) inscribed "Eugene W. Moore", "Father", and William D. Moore.  Census records clearly indicate that Emma's father was John Moore and that he had a son named Eugene born about 1848 (a brother of Emma).  The inscription on the tombstone indicates that Eugene died in 1872 at the age of 25 making him the right age to be John's son (and Emma's brother).  While "John" is not inscribed on any tombstone I believe that the stone inscribed "Father" is in fact John, father of Eugene (as it's clear from the plot records that a John is in fact buried there).  While Moore is a common name, I think it unlikely that a John and Eugene Moore in tiny Weedsport, NY in the mid 1800's aren't the same ones as shown in the census data.  It is unclear how William D. Moore (1862-1939) was related but I suspect he's a grandson of John (perhaps a child of Eugene or one of his brothers Charles or George).  One final thought regarding something left unclear by the cemetery records.  One would expect John's wife, Emeline Chittenden-Moore, to be buried with him yet there is no mention of her either in cemetery records nor a gravestone for her physically present in the cemetery plot.   The cemetery records do mention an "unknown" buried in the plot yet don't mention Eugene who is clearly buried there (something which would be obvious to anyone keeping the records who actually looked at the plot).  If "unknown" isn't the obvious Eugene, I think it quit possible that it is John's wife Emeline.   And another twist...... the plot map drawing shows 4 marks for the locations of grave sites even though only 3 interments are listed (Eugene, "Father", and "unknown").  This could suggest that Emeline (or someone else) is also buried there.  And I note that there is plenty of space for another grave on the plot and that there could have been a long gone tombstone between "Father" and William.

     

The Moore Plot in the Weedsport Rural Cemetery (Section 7, Lot 342)
(GPS N 43 02.689, W 076 32.455 11 feet -  WGS84 Datum)
Left to Right:  Eugene W. Moore (abt. 1848-1872), "Father" (believe to be John L. Moore, father of Eugene) and William D. Moore (1862-1939,
possibly a grandson of John).  Cemetery records show an "unknown" buried in the plot and these photos suggest that there is certainly plenty of
room  for another grave and even suggest that there could have at one time been an additional tombstone located between "Father" and
William which could possibly been that of John's wife Emeline.    (2008 Photos by the author.)