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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
McKnight

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1402-1403 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The early settlers of the eastern part of the town of Charlton, Saratoga county, New York, were mostly from Freehold, Monmouth county, New Jersey, and they intended to name their new home in the wilderness after their former home by the sea. The town of Charlton was not erected until 1792. The church was organized 1786 and was called "Freehold Church," a name that has never been dropped, although the town did not receive its intended name. Among the ruling elders of this church (Presbyterian) is found the name of John McKnight. The New Jersey McKnights descend from Rev. John McKnight, a Presbyterian minister from the north of Ireland who settled in New Jersey, long before the revolution. A John McKnight married Phoebe Ely of the New Jersey family, and is the progenitor of the family herein recorded; his father was the original settler. These facts would lead to the conclusion that John McKnight, was also from New Jersey and came to Charlton with the early emigration from that state, beginning in 1774. John McKnight is named as an early settler, having a farm in Charlton "north of Sweetman's." Another John McKnight, born about 1712, came from Scotland to America at the age of nineteen years and settled at New Haven, Connecticut, later in Hartford, where he was in business in 1758. Family tradition says that the McKnight family in Scotland were active assistants of Sir William Wallace in his efforts to prevent King Edward from seizing the Scottish crown. This John McKnight married Jerusha Crane, an English woman, whom he met in England while he was in that country buying a cargo of goods to ship to America. There may have been a connection between this Connecticut family and the family later seated in Saratoga county, New York.

(I) John McKnight was a farmer of the town of Charlton where he owned his own land.

(II) John (2), son of John (1) McKnight, was born in Charlton, Saratoga county, New York, about 1788, died there 1864. He was a farmer and a ruling elder of the Freehold church. He married Phoebe Ely, daughter of the Freehold, New Jersey, family of Ely. She was born 1794, died 1870. Children:

  1. Matilda;
  2. John E., married Julia F. Sherwood, of Ballston, he succeeded to the homestead farm settled by his grandfather;
  3. Achsah, married William Cavert;
  4. Horace F., of further mention.

(III) Horace F., son of John (2) and Phoebe (Ely) McKnight, was born in Ballston, Saratoga county, New York, January 26, 1823, died at Ballston, New York, January 15, 1903. He was educated in the public schools, and was always engaged in agriculture and kindred pursuits. He was a commissioned officer of the local military company and a man of substance and influence. He married, November, 1860, Sarah J. Hayes, born in Galway, Saratoga county, July 1, 1834, daughter of James Hayes, born in Galway, 1800, died 1890. Children:

  1. John H., February 23, 1862, at Ballston, New York, married Mary E. Coon, of Malta, New York;
  2. Horace E., of further mention;
  3. Anna, born April 27, 1866, married October 4, 1910, Duncan K. McNaughton, of Detroit, Michigan;
  4. Charles S., born October 31, 1873, married Helen E. Wood, of Middletown, New York.

(IV) Horace E., second son of Horace F. and Sarah J. (Hayes) McKnight, was born in Ballston, New York, February 5, 1864. He was educated in the public schools of Ballston and after completing his preparatory studies decided upon the profession of law. He entered the office of James W. Verbeck and under his perceptorship thoroughly prepared for his profession. He was admitted to the bar September, 1887. He practiced successfully in Ballston until 1909 when he became a member of the law firm of Rockwood, McKnight & McKelvey, Saratoga Springs, New York, but retains his residence in Ballston. Mr. McKnight is learned in the law and has gained an enviable reputation as a successful attorney. He was justice of the peace, 1889-92, inclusive; assistant district attorney, 1902-04, by appointment of Governor Odell; district attorney 1904-05. In the latter year elected by the people district attorney for Saratoga; re-elected in 1908; resigned in 1909 to become a,member of the present firm of Rockwood, McKnight & McKelvey. He was a trusted and faithful prosecutor for the county and retired from office with an untarnished name. Mr. McKnight is a member of the following organizations: Franklin Lodge, No. 90, Free and Accepted Masons, Ballston; Warren Chapter; No. 23, Ballston; Washington Commandery, No. 33, of Saratoga Springs; Oriental Shrine, A. A. O. N. M. S., Troy. He is a charter member of the Utopian Club; Ballston, New York State Automobile Association; Saratoga Automobile Club, New York State Bar Association; is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of Ballston, New York. He married, March 15, 1893, Lillian R., daughter of Charles and Diana (Doty) Ross, of Ballston Spa, New York. Children:

  1. Horace E. (2), born July 3, 1902.
  2. Marian R., March 13, 1906.

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