The Knappers

wantingcaution !! this is an initial draft ... these notes are on my server for safe keeping !!





The Knappers

Congleton MillsLyndon Murgatroyd in his wonderful book about the mills of Congleton records - Edward & George Knapper occupied Bridge Mill, Royal Street from 1896 to 1906 as fustian cutters. Nathaniel Barton built Salford Mill, a silk mill at the bottom of Rood Hill around 1848. Salford Mill was used for fustian cutting by Edward Knapper from 1890 to 1893 ...

Who was Edward Knapper?

Phil Walton's superb website details everything about the Knappers!

William Knapper (1735-) married 2 girls from Audley, Jane Hancock in 1757 and Mary Adjett in 1761, and he managed extraordinary issues, 2 from Jane and 11 from Mary, 13 kids, what a man!

Jane Hancock's 2 children were Edward (1757-1847) & John (1759-). Edward was the one to note, he was the g-grandfather of the fustian cutter brothers Edward (1853-1902) & George (1856-1921) of Congleton.

Edward senior had married Elizabeth Thursfield (1754-1816) from Barthomley in 1781 where the family with 6 children settled. The third born John (1786-1870) married a local girl Hannah Oaks (1783-1850) in 1810.

The 1841 census identified John, Hannah and family at Mill Street, Astbury, Buglawton, Congleton. John and Hannah's fifth born Charles (1822-89) who married Mary Pace(1822-74) in 1849 was the father of the fustian cutting brothers Edward & George.

Phil Walton has traced this migration of Knappers to Congleton on his website ... a story of large families and a search for lucrative work in collieries and in silk & fustian mills ...

Mary Adjett's  11 children were John (1765-), Thomas (1768-), Isaac (1770-), Charles (1774-1841), James (1780-), George (1782-), Harry (1784-) & Barbara (1784-). Charles (1774-1841) was also prolific, he followed the example of his dad William (1735-) ... he married Mary Knapper (1775-) in 1795 and they had 9 children - Charles (1797-) William (1801-), George (1802-), Barbara (1805-), Mary (1807-), Sarah (1807-), Levi (1811-), Maria (1815-) & Joseph (1821-) all from Talke, Newchapel, Wolstanton, Kidsgrove & Goldenhill in Staffordshire ... but this production was hardly surprising, it ran in the family!

The 1841 census was revealing, Maria Knapper (1815-) married Isaac Hall (1816-), they were living at Gater's Bank Windmill Row, Wolstanton with their 3 children Mary Hall (1836-), Joseph Hall (1838-) & Eliza (1840-). However also in the family home were Daniel Knapper (1826-92) & Samuel Knapper (1833-)?

Lodging HouseThe marriage record for Isaac and Maria was at St. Margaret's Church, Wolstanton, 19th September 1835. Isaac Hall bachelor, collier & Maria Knapper spinster.

Samuel Knapper Hall (1833) has been identified in some detail by Keith Hackney. Keith suggests, the Samuel Knapper age 8 from 1841 is his g-g-grandfather, Samuel Knapper Hall. Nobody knows the relationship between Maria and Daniel, but he is too old to be her son.

The Halls ran Lodging House at Nos 103 to 111 Union Street, Hanley. In the photo are Samuel Knapper Hall's son & grandson.

Daniel Knapper (1827-92) has proved more difficult to nail. Phil Walton has outlined the current position.

In 1851 he was with his wife Eliza Jenkins (1828-95) who he married at Christchurch, Tunstall on the 29th July 1850. His occupation was a 'forge man puddler'. This confirms some family gossip from Harry Knapper. Harry wrote that his g-grandfather was Daniel who lived for sometime in Wheelock. Daniel's son George married Sarah Harriot Davies in 1878 the Davies' were an influential Sandbach family owning many Public Houses, one of Harriot's sisters married a Foden and Harry's father was cousin to the 'Foden boys'. Harry had been told by his long deceased relatives that Daniel Knapper was a specialist Forgeman who moved around due to his specialist work. He eventually settled in Wheelock and worked for the railway company earning a large salary of £20 per week and lived in a fine and large house?

1861 census - Daniel listed as 'Nappier' lodging in Tipton while the rest of the family were in Kidsgrove, aged 33, a Puddler of Iron, born Kidsgrove in the Staffordshire Potteries. Wife Eliza living in Wheelock with children Mary A Knapper (1853-) aged 8, born in Wolstanton, 2 Tunstall, Kidsgrove, George (1854-) & Elizabeth (1855-).

The 1871 census confirmed Daniel & Eliza and the family were living at 16 Wheelock Street, Wheelock, Congleton. 

Daniel Knapper, head, M, 44, Puddler Iron Works, born Kidsgrove.

Eliza Knapper, wife, 43, born Tipton.

Mary A Knapper (1853-), daughter, 18, Silk Winder, born Kidsgrove.

George Knapper, son, 17, Forgeman Iron Works, born Sedgeley.

Elizabeth Knapper, daughter, 16, Silk Winder, born Sedgeley.

In 1881 Daniel was living in High Road, Wheelock with his son in law Henry Steele (24) and daughter Elizabeth Steele (26) and three grandchildren Emily 3, Clara 2 & Annie Eliza 1 also with them is an Aunt (to Henry or Elizabeth) called Fanny Daneill, age 59.

Eliza was also in High Road Wheelock in 1881, with her other daughter. Mary Ann (1853-) married Edward Birchall (1854-1903), age 26, a joiner in 1873. Mary Ann they had 3 children George (1875-1960), age 6, John (1877-), age 4, Edward (1878-), age 3 & Harry (1881-) age 2 months. Eliza Knapper, mother in law, 49, was a nurse/midwife.

In 1891 Daniel was living in Wheelock age 66 with Eliza 61. He was still busy as a Forge Labourer.

Daniel died on 5th of June 1892 in Wheelock, age 66, from an epileptic fit occurring on 29th May last.

Eliza died on 23rd of March 1895 in Cotton Row Wheelock, age 62, from Paralysis Diarrhoea a few days certified. Her granddaughter Alice Steel present at the death.

Harry Knapper's cousin, Frank Knapper, confirms his paternal grandfather was called George Knapper (1854-) who was the son of Daniel. Daniel was a metallurgist who came to Crewe to specialise in steels for railway engine tyres. He was comparatively wealthy and lived in a large house in Wheelock. He was married in Wheelock church.

Frank wrote in 2002, 'I think that I may be related to Christopher Knapper. I believe that his father Harold was my cousin. I had better tell you something about myself. I was born in Swansea in 1931, and have a sister Barbara who lives in Epping. My father married my mother Violet Mary Jones in 1926. I am a chartered engineer (retired) having graduated in mechanical engineering from University College, Swansea in 1954. I have spent most of my working life with the chemical company ICI. I was married in 1955 to Nan Day. We live at 37 Oakdale, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 2LW, and have 3 children. Simon Robert Knapper who lives in Croydon, Ceri Jane Walker who lives in Switzerland and Ian Dennis Knapper who also lives in Harrogate. Ian is married to Sarah and has 2 boys Jack aged 6 and Sam aged 3.
Are you aware of the Burkes Peerage World Book of Knappers, which lists Knappers living in 1995 throughout the world. You can obtain a copy from -
c/o Customer Service Centre
Marlborough Rd
SN8 2HP.
We even have a coat of arms'!


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