Below is a repeat of a query we read on the Rootsweb Knowlton mailing list almost 16 years ago by a Barbara Whittaker.
If anyone can contact Barbara, please do so. We have not solved the BF Knowlton mystery yet but have been heavily immersed in it for a year now.
BF married three times, but his second wife, Sarah McKinney, did not live to leave surviving children.
His first wife was indeed Elizabeth Heffington, and his third wife was Malinda R. Mathis (widow) Ezell.
A male Knowlton descendant has taken the Y-DNA test, and he descends from the John2 line (as do most if not all the Vermont settlers--thanks, Wendy, for that tip).
We have collected as many of the Lincoln Co., MO, records across the river from Calhoun Co., IL, because an Erasmus Knowlton (ca. 1821 MO - ca. 1853 MO) there is probably BF's brother. An older man, William, aged 50 in 1850, b KY, is possibly their father or uncle. (Also possible he was born as early as 1790 and in VT.) Erasmus settled William's estate in 1852, and BF settled Erasmus' (Lincoln Co. does not seem to have been a very healthy place).
Each young man had four daughters with his first wife. Duplicate names are Sarah and Mary.
Later, with his third wife, BF had four sons: John Leo or Lynard, Daniel Ruff [I think after a local AR physician], Robert Henry, and Thomas Jefferson (b 1877) as well as more daughters in Illinois during the Civil War and in Randolph Co., AR, where he settled afterwards.
Consistently, on the 1880 and 1900 censuses, BF says his father was born in VT and his mother in KY. It is possible his father was William, who seemed to have been boarding out with the Parsons family when he died a widower. His previous (perhaps second) wife was Tabitha Hampton (ca. 1805- ca. 1840), daughter of Thomas Hampton and Rebecca R. Cooke. The Hamptons were an old Southern family who had migrated to Kentucky from the Carolinas and then on to Missouri. It is possible that the census taker in 1850 just assumed William came from Kentucky also. He had about six children with Tabitha in Troy, Lincoln Co., MO, one of whom married a Heffington sister, but the male line seems to have died out in that family.
Early 19th century records for Missouri and Southern Illinois are scarce. We have some land records for Lincoln County, but it seems as if some of the 1850 US census for the county are missing since none of Tabitha's children appear. Lately I have concentrated more on Calhoun Co., IL, and discovered that an Ephraim Knowlton was awarded land there in 1818 for service in the War of 1812. Other Knowltons lived in Adams County, IL, just to the north. [Wendy has shown that our family is not the branch of Knowltons from Woodstock, VT, who lived briefly in Adair Co., MO, in the early 1840s.]
We have too much detail to write it all here. Let me know if you have anything to add. We are especially looking for descendants in Randolph Co., AR, who may hold old Bible records or other papers that link this line with Vermont.
Re: [KNOWLTON] Vermont Knowltons
6/24/2003, 12:26:56 AM
Thank you Darrell, I don't see anything that I can connect to just yet. I did find Benjamin in the 1850 Calhoun County, IL census and his marriage to the first wife. Will keep looking. Thanks again. Barb
KNOWLTON, BENJAMIN MD. HEFFINGTON, ELIZABETH 06/08/1848 1/ 83 373 CALHOUN, IL