William Joseph Knittle

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Joseph Knittel Jr Archives


Susan Quentine Knittle-Hunteris a member and coordinator of this surname resource center. SURNAMEWEB

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James Thompson

Jim lives in the house originally built by Josef/Joseph Knittel/Knittle Jr.1226 Hollow Road, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426.
I came across your posting of May 26 which I found very interesting. I live in the house (ex log cabin) built by Josef Knittle Jr. He also came over on the Patience and is the older brother of Johann. He married Christina V. Bean in 1773 and died in 1784. He had twin daughters who never married. All are buried in the Methacton Mennonite Churh in Worcester, PA. I have a number of original documents, including a contract in 1770 where Joseph Sr loans Joseph Jr the money to buy the property. It was done in English and this is where Knittel became Knittle. They were cordwainers and shoemakers. Any additional info you have on Knittel Sr would be much appreciated .J. Thompson; (January 8, 2003).
Susan, I apologize for not writing sooner but I have been spending a lot of time abroad. However, that has not diminished my interest in; Knittles. I have attached a transcript of the Indenture or Deed of Joseph Knittle,Jr concerning his purchase of our property on April 1, 1773. I laboriously copied this from the handwritten original that I found in the archives of Montgomery County. I kept all the punctuation, word order, capitalization, etc., which made it even more difficult to transcribe. I think people were paid by the word in those days as the document is very repetitive!! However, I think you will find it interesting.I am still piecing my story together as to how Joseph arrived from Germantown to my property. I have come to the conclusion that his marriage with Christina Van Fossen Bean was probably arranged - because I have come to the conclusion that (a) Joseph was either a Mennonite or converted to one as Chritina and her family were Mennonites, (b) that she was at least 27 when they married on March 29, 1773, which was pretty old back then which also means the family was proably trying to marry her off and (c)the sellers of the property were all Mennonites.Also at the time, the German Protestant sects, as well as the Quakers, tended to inter-marry for both religious and finacial reasons. I really won't be able to complete my sory until I can review the will of Joseph Knittle Sr which is in the Philadelphia archives. Perhaps there will be some mention there.Anyway, I hope you find this interesting and one of these days I will get to the post office to mail you the originals. Kind regards - Jim Thompson (Aug 28, 2003) Knittel Indenture April 1, 1773.
This indenture, made the first day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, Between George Shoemaker of Worcester Township in the County of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania, Weaver and Barbara his wife of the one part, and Joseph Knittle of the same place Cordwainer of the other part. Whereas Joseph Zimmerman, late of Worcester Township aforesaid deceased, by his Indenture dated the fifth day of March AoDi 1751, Did grant release and confirm unto Henry Overholtz then of the same place, Yeoman, One hundred and fifty acres of land situate in Worcester aforesaid. To hold to him the said Overholtz his heirs and assigns forever, as in by the said recited Indenture being there to had more fully and doth appear. And whereas the said Henry Overholtz and Elizabeth his wife by their Indenture dated the ninth day of March AoDi 1754 did grant, realize and confirm 20 acres and eleven perches of land part of the above 150 acres recited unto Peter Kraut to hold to him the said Peter Kraut his Heirs and Assigns for ever, as in and by the last recited Indenture relation being thereto had more fully doth appear. And whereas the said Peter Kraut and Caroline his wife by their Indentures dated the ninth day of March AoDi 1772 did grant release and confirm the said 20 acres and 11 perches of land unto the abovementioned George Shoemaker to hold to him his Heirs and Assigns forever as in and by the last recited Indenture relation being there to had more fully doth appear. And whereas the above said Henry Overholtz and Elizabeth his wife by their Indenture dated the 20th day of February AoDi 1754 did grant and confirm 74 acres of land likewise part of the above reiterated one hundred and fifty acres of land, unto Melchior Wagner of same place, yeoman, to hold to him the said Melchior Wagner his Heirs and Assigns forever as in and by the last reiterated Indenture, relation being there unto had more fully doth appear. And whereas the said Melchior Wagner and Gertraut his wife by their Indenture dated the 27th day of November AoDi 1761. Did grant release and confirm twenty acres of land (part of the said 74 acres of land) unto the above said Peter Kraut to hold likewise to him His Heirs and Assigns forever as in and by the last reiterated Indenture had more fully doth appear. And whereas the said Peter Kraut and Caroline his wife by their Indenture the above reiterated granted the same unto the above mentioned George Shoemaker to hold likewise to him his Heirs and Assigns as on the said above reiterated Indenture more fully doth appear. NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that the said George Shoemaker his wife Barbara for and in consideration for the sum of 212 pounds current lawful money of Pennsylvania unto them in hand by the above said Joseph Knittel at and after the sealing and delivery here of the receipt where of the said George Shoemaker and Barbara his wife do hereby acknowledge and doth acquit forever disengage the said Joseph Knittel his Heirs and Assigns by these presents have granted, sold released and confirmed and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell released and confirmed and by the presents do grant, bargain, sell, release and confirm unto he said Joseph Knilttel two certain small pieces or tracts of land adjoining each of the both situated in Worcester aforesaid. Whereof beginning of a stone set for a corner in a line of land belonging to William Rittenhouse it being also a corner of the following second small tract, these by the same fifty-six perches Northeast to a Chestnut sapling for a corner in a line of Abraham Anders land the same Northwest eleven perches to a stone then by the same William Rittenhouse land Southeast eighty-eight perches to a Hickory sapling then Southwest 31 perches to a stone East 38 perches to the place of the beginning Counting twenty acres being the one and same above recited. Beginning at a Chestnut Sapling in the line of the land belonging to Abraham Anders aforesaid and likewise a corner of the first described tract by the same Southeast sixteen perches to a stone set for a corner it being also a corner by the same land as Abraham Bean Southwest 68 perches to a stone thence by the same South West thirty-nine perches and a half to a stone set for a corner in a line of the said William Rittenhouse and thence by the same Northwest twenty-three perches and six tenths of a perch to a stone set for a corner it being a corner of the above described small tract there by the same North East one hundred and fifty-seven perches and one-half perch to the place of the beginning, containing twenty acres of land it being the same twenty acres above recited. TOGETHER also, with all and singular buildings, Improvements, Ways, Woods, Water, Water Courses, Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Hereditaments and Appartenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in anyways appertaining and the Reversions and Remainder, Rights, Issues and Profits thereof, and all the estate right, title, interest, use possession, property claim and demand whatsoever of him the said George Shoemaker and Barbara his wife of in or to the above delivered two tracts of land and premises. To Have and To Hold the said and described two small tracts of land and Premises containing in the whole forty aces and eleven perches of land, Hereditaments and premises hereby granted or mentioned to be granted with the appartenances unto said Joseph Knittel his Heirs and Assigns to the only proper use benefit thereof Of him the said Joseph Knittel his Heirs and Assigns forever under the proportion able part of the yearly quit rents hereafter assuring for the same to the Chief Lord or Lords thereof and the said George Shoemaker for his Heirs and Administration doth hereby promise and grant the said Joseph Knittel his Heirs and Assigns against him the said George Shoemaker and Barbara His wife their Heirs and Assigns against all and every other Person and Persons whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim by from or under him them or any of them shall and will and forever defend by these presents. In witnesseth thereof the said parties to these present have interchangeably set their hands and seals here unto dated the day and year first above written sealed and delivered in the presence of us.
NOTE: This indenture was signed on April 1, 1773 in Worcester in the county of Philadelphia. In 1784, Philadelphia County was split up and the Knittle property became part of Worcester Township, Montgomery Co., PA. As was common at this time, deeds took a long time to register. This deed was not recorded until October 24, 1868 in Montgomery County. The reason for this was that Joseph died in testate also in 1784. His wife, Christina Van Fossen Bean Knittle and his seven-year-old twin daughters, Mary and Sybilla, survived him. Christina died in 1790 and it wasn't until the death of Mary on December 17, 1867 (Sybilla died August, 26, 1862) that the deed was finally recorded so that the property could be passed on to her cousin, Andrew Bean as stipulated in her will As neither sister married, the line of Joseph Knittle Jr. was extinguished. This document is found in the Montgomery County PA Historical Society Archives, Book 131 on page 66.
Susan, I have attatched the text of two documents which I retrieved from the Philadelphia Archives yesterday. I have photocopies which I will send you.
First of all, there are a number of blank spaces as I could not make the words as this was where the document was folded and had deteriorated over time. You will note that his wife Regena was alive in 1767 and he had 4 living children. There is a Regena Margaret who was not on the original list of descendants - was this a new child born in America? The second document appears to be the registering of the will upon his death.As you are aware, I have a loan document between Jos Sr and Jr dated 1770. It is interesting to note that John Howell, who was the translator of the will, was also the translator of the loan document. The signatures of Joseph are the sam although in the 1770 document his hand appears steadier. Well, it didn't answer all my questions but enough to keep me on looking. Regards - Jim (19 Feb 2004.)
Last Will and Testament of Josef Knittel.
"In the name of God Amen. The twenty first day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred sixty and seven. I Joseph Knittle of Germantown labour in the County of Philadelphia being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God therefore, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appropriate for all once to life do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally ________ _____________ __________ of all to give and commend my soul unto the hand of God that gave it; and for my body I recommend it to the earth to be buried in a Christian like and Decent manner, at the discretion of my Executors, _______but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly state wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this Life, I give and _________? And dispose of the same in the following manner and form & Imprimis, It is my will and I do ordain that in the first place all my debts and funeral charges be paid and settled of my estate and bequeath unto Regena, my dearly beloved wife the whole of my estate both real and performable to her and her assigns forever and the money arising there from to be put upon in _____? For the ____? of my four children after the death of their said mother _____? Whom I likewise appoint constitute make and ordain my only and Sole Executor of this my last will and testament ___? I give unto my four children namly John George Knittle, Christina Freadrick Knittle, Joseph Knittle, Regena Margaret Knittle after the death of their mother Regena the whole of all my Estate and Shares alike to them their heirs and assigns forever and do hereby utterly _____ _____ _____ be my assigns ____ ___ before this time will and be thereafter ____ and confining this and no other to be my last will and testament in witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Joseff Knittel (Seal) Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared by the said Joseph Knittle as his last Will and Testament. In the presence of us the subscribers Jacob Kneck (his mark) August 16 1780 John Howell 10th July. Notification of Death to the Registrar of Wills? Philadelphia, July 10 1780. Personally appeared John Howell one of the witnesses to the within will. And on the 16th August 1780 personally appears Jacob Kneck the other witness of the same. And the said John on his solid affirmation according to the law. And the said Jacob on his solemn Oath did declare that they saw and heard Joseph Knittle the Testator therein named, Sign, Seal, publish and declare the same as and for his last Will and Testament, and that at the doing thereof he was found disposing kind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief. Coram. Sam Morris Regis.
The following is a document in which Josef Knittel Sr loans money to Josef Knittel Jr. It includes the signature of Josef Knittle Sr.

James & Mary Thompson wrote:
Hello Susan, It has been a long time since we corresponded as I had changed email server and lost your address ( I found it on the website). Also, I thought I had basically exhausted my research of the Knittles as they related to my house - until an event last evening took me totally by surprise.I am semi-retired now and am the Treasurer of the Worcester Historical Society. At an executive committee meting last night I mentionned the research I had done on my house and some of the earliest inhabitants. When I mentionned the Knitttles, the lady in charge of archives got up and wandered to a pile of boxes of items not yet catalogued. She pulled out a small bundle and brought it to me - it is was the Knittle Bible !!! Martin Luther's New Testament printed in Germany in 1710 !!
Now, before we get too excited I can definitely confirm that it was the property of my Josef Knittle and I think of his father as well. I need to take it to a restorer as one page is very faint and I cannot read the old German. One page, which is clear is the birth information on the Knittle children. This must be written in the hand of my Josef as Chrisitina could not write. Recall that the information I had before came from the tax records of 1790 and was obviously incomplete. Acording to the Bible, Joseph and Christina had 3 children. A son, Abraham, was born Dec 7, 1774 and died the same day. Although the tax records showed Mary and Sybilla as born the same year (I assumed they were twins) this was not the case. Mary was born August 8, 1777 and died December 17, 1867 - 90 years old. Her sister Sybilla was born May 17, 1779 and died August 26, 1862 - 83 years old.
There is a piece of paper in the Bible which says: "John B. Metz bought this book at Mary Knittels sale, December 28, 1867". I rechecked my records and Mary dictated her will on her deathbed the day of her death and the will was filed on December 20. I guess they didn't waste anytime in those days as they held the sale within 2 weeks of her death. I have checked the burial records and Metz was a common name and this gentleman died in 1900 and is also buried in the Methacton Cemetery. So, my hunt continues. I will keep you up to date on any progress. Warm regards - Jim Jim & Mary Thompson 1226 Hollow Road Collegeville, PA 19426 1-610-584-4145 (Home) 1-610-316-7287 (Mobile) Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006
From: James & Mary Thompson (jimmarythompson@verizon.net)
Subject: Knittle Bible To: Susan Knittlesqknittle@yahoo.com I have been meaning to get back to you earlier on this but I have been busier than expected. I am taking it to Philadelphia next week to a curator to restore. I am particularly interested in seeing what is hidden under the white piece of paper which was pasted on the left side with the translation in English of the 3 Knittle children (Knittle Bible Inside Cover). The second attachment is also interesting as the inscription was when it was bought at the estate sale, two weeks after her death. John Metz was a local collector of German Memorabilia - the bible was given to the Worcester Historical Society by a Metz descendant. The Bible is 7x 21/2wide and is only New Testament. The size allows it to be carried in a ladies cloak. It is well used despite the fact that neither Sybilla or Mary could read! I have enclosed a 3rd document which I am not sure you have. It is the last will and testament of Josef, the family patriarch. I is to be found in the Register of Wills and Deeds in Philadelphia. They allowed me to copy it and I transcribed it on a word document as it was difficult ot read. Best - Jim Jim Mary Thompson 1226 Hollow Road Collegeville, PA 19426 1-610-584-4145 (Home) 1-610-316-7287 (Mobile)
Hi Susan, I can certainly email you a picture(s) of the bible. It belongs to the Worcester Historical Society (it was a donation about 20 years ago) but, I will probably keep it here. I do not know if there are other names - I need to take it to a restorer - there is one page but it needs to be enhanced. I am really excited about this. Trust you are feeling well and you will hear from me shortly. Best - Jim