My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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DAVID McKNIGHT. There is no State in the Union where agriculture has attained to a higher dignity than in the State of Ohio. Fortunately its originally rich soil fell into the hands of a people of more than ordinary intelligence and enterprise, and the result has been that it has obtained a prestige extending throughout the entire Union. Prominent among those who first inaugurated this extensive and prosperous industry was the McKnight family, who have made for themselves an admirable record and of whom the subject of this notice is a worthy representative. He is now quite well advanced in years, having been born October 3, 1818, and at the present time lives only one mile south of his father’s old homestead where he first opened his eyes to the light. His own property aggregates two hundred and sixty-two acres in Spring Valley Township, Greene County, which under his management has become highly productive and valuable.

William and Jane (Fulton) McKnight, the immediate progenitors of our subject, were natives of Virginia and spent their last years in Ohio. The father was a lifelong farmer by occupation and an early pioneer of this county. After a well-spent life he rested from his labors, July 16, 1853, passing peacefully away at the homestead which he had built up, amid the regret of many friends. The mother died about August 6, 1825. Their family consisted of six children, three of whom are living. The subject of this notice received careful parental training and a practical education in the common school, which was conducted in a rude log house, with puncheon floor, slabs for seats and desks and the chimney built outside of dirt and sticks. He worked on the farm with his father until his marriage.

The above-mentioned important and interesting event occurred April 23, 1868, the bride being Miss Emma J. Adams. She was born July 19, 1846, in Rappahannock County, Va., to William M. and Mary Jane (White) Adams, who were natives of Fauquier County, Va. Their births occurred respectively September 19, 1802, and September 2, 1812. They were reared and married in their native county. Mr. Adams was given a common-school education and in his younger years followed the profession of a teacher. Later he worked with his father as a millwright. In the fall of 1859, became to Ohio, settling on a tract of land in the southwestern part of Spring Valley Township and followed farming the remainder of his days. He was called hence August 1, 1879. His widow is still living, making her home with her three daughters in Spring Valley.

To the parents of Mrs. McKnight there were born the following children: Marcellus W. is a resident of Kent County, Mich.; Ann Sophia is the widow of J. Buckles and lives in Spring Valley; Susan F. is the wife of Fenton Squires and they live, in the vicinity of Waynesville; William H.; John C. during the Civil War served as a Union soldier in the One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Ohio Infantry; Emma J., James T., Lucy, Alice, Mary Belle and Sarah E. are living in Ohio. The paternal grandfather was John Adams, likewise a native of Virginia who lived in Warren County, that State, and died about 1861. He was a first-class carpenter and a skilled millwright. In religion he belonged to the Old School Baptist Church. His wife bore the maiden name of Susannah McLearn. Her father was a Scotch weaver, who, after coming to this country settled in Virginia and thereafter followed farming. To John Adams and his estimable partner, there was born a family of twelve children, viz: William, Thompson, Charles, Daniel, Joseph, Eveline, Eliza, Lucy, Susan, Sarah, Cordelia and Adeline. John Adams departed this life in Virginia in 1862, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. His wife had passed away many years previously.

To our subject and his good wife there were born four children, namely, Hannah, William, Mary and Robert. Mrs. McKnight belongs to the Old School Baptist Church. Mr. McKnight upon reaching his majority identified himself with the Whig party, casting his first vote for William H. Harrison. Later he became a stanch defender of Republican principles and at the election of 1888, cheerfully voted for the grandson of “old Tippecanoe.” He was a strong Union man during the late Civil War and with his brothers contributed liberally toward its prosecution.

Soon after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. McKnight located where they now reside. In 1880, their first residence was destroyed by fire and the present one was soon afterward erected upon the same site. This latter is a fine modern structure, set in the midst of well-kept grounds and with its surroundings forms one of the most attractive pictures in the landscape of this region. The farm comprises three hundred and forty acres, all of which have been accumulated by the industry, economy and good management of its present proprietor.

Among the portraits* in this volume of representative citizens of Greene County we are pleased to present that of Mr. McKnight.

*Portraits were included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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