WILLIAM KNAPPENBERGER FAMILY
OF OHIO AND INDIANA
with Elizabeth Burchfield (1800-c1825): Henry B. (1817-1884)
with Elizabeth Burchfield (1800-c1825): Walter "Wilson" (1823-1901) > 6 Children
with Elizabeth Burchfield (1800-c1825): John (c1824-c1866)
with Elizabeth Burchfield (1800-c1825): Rebecca (c1825-?) > 4 Children
with Nancy Bales: Michael (c1830-?)
with Nancy Bales: Mary (1832-?)
with Nancy Bales: William P. (1833-1864)
William, the youngest child of Conrad and Barbara Knappenberger, was born after the family moved to Westmoreland County, PA on 6 April 1791 and died in 1839 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He settled on land along Sugar Creek in Tuscarawas County, Ohio given to him by his father, Conrad, in 1816. William was married twice and had seven children. From the History of Tuscarawas County: Lawrence Township we learn, "The first school on the west side of the river was kept in a log cabin on Lot 2, then owned by John Kline, now by John Bender. The house stood near a spring, in the southwest corner of the place. William Knappenberger was the teacher, and his term was taught about 1817."
William first married Elizabeth BURCHFIELD, daughter of Mathias Burchfield and Barbara Overholt, about 1816. [Family history notes that WIlliam married a Miss Burchfield. We are still looking for proof that this Miss Burchfield was Elizabeth.] William and Elizabeth most likely married in Tuscarawas County, Ohio since Elizabeth's mother, Barbara, died there in 1813. Elizabeth was born 21 December 1800 either in Westmoreland County, PA or Tuscarawas County, Ohio and died about 1825 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. William and Elizabeth had three sons and a daughter: Henry, Wilson, John and Rebecca.
William then married Nancy [maiden name unknown at this time] on 14 November 1826 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Nancy was born between 1802 and 1806 in Ohio or PA. Nancy and William Knappenberger had three children: Michael, Mary and William. After the death of William in 1839, she was widowed and head of household as Nancy Knapenberger in the 1840 census for Strasburg, Tuscarawas County, Ohio with 4 males and 1 female in the household besides herself. Nancy Knappenberger moved to Noble County, Indiana about 1848/1849 and remarried 21 October 1849 to the widower, Isaac McDevitt, who had several children still in his household. In the 1850 census, they were living in Perry Township, Noble County, Indiana. Isaac died in 1851 and Nancy McDevitt was widowed. In the 1860, 1870, and 1880 census, Nancy McDevitt continued to live in Noble County, Indiana. In the 1860 census she had her youngest child, William Knappenberger, age 26, living with her. But in 1870 and 1880 census she was living alone. Nancy Knappenberger McDevitt is buried in Oak Park Cemetery, Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana with her son, William Knappenberger, who died in 1864.
CHILDREN OF WILLIAM KNAPPENBERGER AND ELIZABETH BURCHFIELD
HENRY B. KNAPPENBERGER (1817-1884)
Henry B. Knappenberger was born October 1817 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and died April 1884 in Marshall County, Indiana. He married Susan SARBAUGH on 25 May 1847 in Stark County, Ohio. Susan was born 6 April 1818 in York County, PA and died 6 July 1893 in Bourbon Township, Marshall County, Indiana where she is buried with Henry in Sandridge Cemetery. Henry was a farmer. This couple had no children.
Henry fought in the Civil War as a member of the 4th Indiana Cavalry/Company C. His obituary read that Henry "had served his country, honorably, about three years as a cavalry soldier in the war of Rebellion, receiving injuries for which he should have had a pension, but, through the long, tedious delays in obtaining pensions, he passed to his final reward before his pension came." Henry and his wife were listed in the 1860 census for Bourbon Township, Marshall County, Indiana which is only a few miles west of Perry Township, Noble County, Indiana where his younger brother, Wilson, and his family lived according to the 1860 census as well as his widowed, step-mother, Nancy McDevitt and his half brother, William Knappenberger.
WALTER "WILSON" KNAPPENBERGER (1823-1901)
Walter who was known by his middle name of "Wilson" was born 4 July 1823 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and died 24 December 1901 in Noble County, Indiana where he was buried in Oak Park Cemetery. Wilson first married Elizabeth DICKSON on 30 March 1848 in Richland County, Ohio. She was born 8 March 1823 in Ohio and died 18 September 1866 in Noble County, Indiana. This couple lived in Madison Township, Richland County, Ohio in the 1850 census but moved to Noble County, Indiana in the late 1850s. Wilson and Elizabeth had 2 children: William G. Knappenberger and Griselda Belle Knappenberger. Wilson is listed in the 1870 census for Ligonier, Indiana as a horse dealer and is listed with his two children. Wilson's second marriage was to Albina C. McDANIEL, daughter of Eli McDaniel and Sarah Rupp, in 1871. Albina was born 13 April 1851 in Indiana and died 2 February 1938 in Noble County, Indiana. She was buried in Grace Lawn, Elkhart County, Indiana. Wilson and Albina had 4 children: Bert Louis Knappenberger, Teance Jennette Knappenberger, Abbie C. Knappenberger and Ruth Day Knappenberger.
Gravemarker for Elizabeth [Dickson] Knappenberger, first wife of Walter "Wilson" Knappenberger
Gravemarkers for Walter "Wilson" Knappenberger and William Knappenberger, first son of Walter "Wilson" Knappenberger
[photos graciously provided by Mike McCoy]
1. William G. Knappenberger was the son of Wilson and Elizabeth. He was born May 1849 in Richland County, Ohio and died 1926 in South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana. He is buried in Oak Park Cemetery, Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana. It seems that William had a child out-of-wedlock with Rebecca Dulcena FRANCISCO, daughter of Uriah Francisco and Anna Eliza Poyser, about 1869 named Frank W. Knappenberger. Rebecca Dulcena was born 23 March 1849 in Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana and died there on 23 December 1927. Rebecca Dulcena Francisco married John Clawson on 20 June 1871 and after his death, married John W. Goudy on 27 August 1899.
William married Salome A. OGDEN, daughter of Aaron Ogden and Hannah Stites, on 6 October 1878 in Noble County, Indiana. Salome was born November 1859 in Perry Township, Noble County, Indiana and died after 1924; she was listed as a survivor in her mother's obituary of 1924 stating she lived in the "southwest". IF William's first wife, Salome Ogden Knappenberger, was still alive in 1924, then we assume that this first marriage ended in divorce. William and Salome had one daughter. In the 1880 census, William was living in Noble County, Indiana. In the 1910 census he was living in Jackson County, Michigan and was married a second time for four years to Sarah [maiden name unknown] who was born about 1843 in New York. She had been married previously and had given birth to two children who were both alive in 1910. By 1920, William was living in South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana and listed as "single". It seems that his second wife had died between 1910 and 1920. William's occupation was listed as a painter in all the censuses.
a. Frank W. Knappenberger, the son of William and Rebecca Dulcena Francisco, was raised in the Uriah Francisco household and eventually adopted the name of Frank W. Francisco and moved to Portland, Oregon as an adult. We have been unable to locate further information about him. One genealogy record indicates that he died in Oregon and was a professional gambler.
b. Faye Knappenberger, the daughter of William and Salome A. Ogden, was born 27 March 1885 in Noble County, Indiana and died 27 March 1902. Faye was buried in Oak Park Cemetery in Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana along with her father.
2. Griselda Belle Knappenberger known as both "Bell" and "Etta" was the daughter of Wilson and Elizabeth. She was was born February 1851 in Richland County, Ohio and died 1932 in Noble County, Indiana. She married William VONDERSMITH, son of J. and Eve Vondersmith, on 1 April 1871 in Noble County, Indiana. William was born November 1848 in Ohio and died 1914 in Noble County, Indiana. William was the City Marshall of Ligonier City. This couple is buried in Oak Park Cemetery in Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana. William and Bell had three children.
a. Walter "Gary" Vondersmith was born March 1872 in Noble County, Indiana and died 1905 in Noble County, Indiana. He married Marie E. GREEN known as "May" (the marriage ended in divorce). They had one son: Adrian W. Vondersmith (5 August 1895 in Noble County, Indiana - 20 March 1963 in Noble County, Indiana). Adrian married Martha A. HUTCHISON, daughter of Melville A. and Addie M. Hutchison, on 21 March 1935 in Noble County, Indiana. Martha was born October 1891in Noble County, Indiana and died 17 February 1963. Adrian and Martha are buried in Oak Park Cemetery.
b. Frank C. Vondersmith was born 26 May 1880 in Noble County, Indiana and died 13 November 1959 in Noble County, Indiana. Frank married Edith M. YODER, daughter of John L. Yoder and Annetta Gerber, on 2 November 1908 in Noble County, Indiana. Edith was born 21 September 1883 and died October 1980 in Noble County, Indiana. They had one daughter: Muriel L. Vondersmith born 17 January 1920 in Noble County, Indiana and died 25 March 2005 there. She first married Newell H. Cripe, son of Benjamin R. Cripe and Bearl Hall on 8 July 1940 in Noble County, Indiana. The marriage ended in divorce. She married George A. Reed, son of John E. Reed and Eva M. Linn on 25 August 1957 in Noble County, Indiana. George was born 8 June 1918 in Noble County, Indiana and died there on 24 December 2003.
c. Fred George Vondersmith was born 27 May 1882 in Noble County, Indiana and died sometime after 1942. He married Bessie Helen ROCK on 25 October 1909 in St. Joseph County, Indiana. Bessie was born 1890 in Indiana and died after 1942. They had a daughter: Helen Frances Vondersmith born about 1914/1915 in St. Joseph County, Indiana. Fred was a theatre musician in the 1920's. Nothing further is known at this time.
3. Bert Louis Knappenberger was the son of Wilson and Albina. He was born about 1873 in Noble County, Indiana and died 11 February 1907 in Los Angeles, California. Bert seemingly never married. He was living in Chicago in 1901 when his father passed away. A short mention was given in the Ft. Wayne, Indiana newspaper of February 12, 1907 about his death as follows, "Bert Knappenberger of Elkhart, Indiana, one of the foremost jockeys of the country, who won the Chicago Derby in 1898, died last night at Los Angeles, California, aged 33." He was mentioned in his mother's obituary in 1938 as being "the famous jockey Bert Knappenberger who rode racing horses for the former Czar of Russia at one time."
4. Teance Jennette Knappenberger was the daughter of Wilson and Albina. She was born 31 March 1876 in Noble County, Indiana and died 26 November 1966 in San Bernardino, California. She married William Henry LEININGER, son of William Leininger and Ella Guipe, on 5 July 1900 in Elkhart County, Indiana. William was born 28 December 1873 in Indiana and died 14 July 1959 in Orange County, California. William was involved in the confectionary business. They had a daughter.
a. Kathyrn L. Leininger was born 28 October 1908 in Indiana and died 28 November 1982 in Orange County, California. She first married a Mr. PECK about 1927 in Los Angeles County, California when she was 18 years old. This marriage ended in divorce by 1930 when she is listed as divorced and living with her parents. Kathryn later married a Mr. MENGES.
5. Abbie C. Knappenberger was the daughter of Wilson and Albina. She was born 13 October 1885 in Noble County, Indiana and died 8 January 1977 in Los Angeles County, California. She married Ray L. THORNTON, son of Lewis Thornton and Nancy E. Manning, on 10 June 1903 in Michigan. Ray was born 5 June 1882 in Elkhart, Indiana and died 30 August 1948 in Los Angeles County, California. Ray was also involved in the confectionary business with his brother-in-law, William Leininger [see above]. Abbie and Ray had one son.
a. Walter Thornton was born about 1904 in Elkhart County, Indiana. He is listed as 15 years of age in the 1920 census when the family lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is not living with his parents in the 1930 census in Los Angeles County, California.
6. Ruth Day Knappenberger was the daughter of Wilson and Albina. She was born 27 May 1892 in Noble County, Indiana and died 24 December 1982 in Orange County, California. She married George W. BERRY, son of James and Minnie Berry, about 1910 in Indiana. They were living in Indianapolis in 1938 when her mother died. Neither the 1920 or 1930 census indicates that this couple had any children. Later, Ruth moved to Southern California.
JOHN KNAPPENBERGER (c1824-c1866)
John Knappenberger was born about 1824 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and died about 1866 probably in Ohio. John got married in Seneca County, Ohio to Temperance ADAMS in 1855 and then moved to Noble County, Indiana along with his brother, Wilson, in the late 1850s. In 1860, John and Temperance ended their marriage by divorce in Noble County, Ohio. John returned to Seneca County, Ohio in 1860 and enlisted in the Union Army in Sandusky County, Ohio on 12 June 1861 and served three years as private in the 25th Ohio Infantry/Company E. He lost his health and died soon after the close of the Civil War. It seems that John and Temperance had no children.
REBECCA KNAPPENBERGER (1825-?)
Rebecca was born about 1825 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and died sometime after 1880 most likely in Stark County, Ohio. Rebecca most likely is a child from William's first marriage. Rebecca married John McMILLEN about 1845 in Ohio. John was born about 1818 in Ohio and he died sometime after 1880 most likely in Stark County, Ohio. In the 1880 census for Tuscarawas Township, Stark County, Ohio, this family was listed with Rebecca age 55 and John age 61. While her brothers moved onto Indiana, Rebecca stayed in Stark County, Ohio. This couple had four children.
1. Warner McMillen was born about 1846 in Stark County, Ohio and may have married Harriet ORRIS.
2. Dewitt "Howard" McMillen, MD was born October 1848 in Stark County, Ohio and died in 1901 in Wayne County, Ohio. He married Alma Jerusha BRADEN, daughter of John Braden and Eliza Brown. Alma was born 12 September 1854 in Mt. Eaton, Ohio and died 27 April 1942 in Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio. They had one son.
a. Clyde Braden McMillen who was born 28 January 1878 in Ohio and died sometime after 1930. Clyde married Minnie [last name unknown though her parents were from northern Ireland] about 1903. Minnie was born about 1877 in Indiana. They had a daughter named Virginia A. McMillen (15 April 1907 in Illinois - July 1977 in Cook County, Illinois).
3. Hadersah McMillen was born about 1851 in Stark County, Ohio. She married Filmore BROWN who died between 1876-1880. In the 1880 census, Hadersah was listed as 29 years of age and a widow living in her parent's household. She had two children: Lillie Brown (born about 1872) and Harry Brown (born about 1876). Her name was spelled "Hadassa" in the 1880 census. She most likely remarried.
4. Annetta McMillen known as "Etta" was born June 1853 in Stark County, Ohio and died sometime after the 1930 census. She married Archibald.B. CAMPBELL, MD about 1894. She was his third wife. Archibald was the son of John Campbell and Margaret McIntyre. He was born July 1845 in Canada. His parents were born in Scotland. the 1930 census for Orrville, Wayne County, Ohio, Etta is listed as 76 years of age, born in Ohio and a widow. The census indicates that she married when she was 40 years of age. It seems this couple had no children.
CHILDREN OF WILLIAM KNAPPENBERGER AND NANCY BALES
MICHAEL KNAPPENBERGER (1830-?)
Michael was born about 1830 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. We have no further information on him at this time. He may have died prior to 1840.
MARY KNAPPENBERGER (1832-?)
Mary was born 14 May 1832 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She is not listed in the 1840 census.
WILLIAM P. KNAPPENBERGER (1833-1866)
William P. Knappenberger was born January 1833 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and died 8 November 1864 in Noble County, Indiana. William fought in the Union Army during the Civil War enlisting on 24 September 1861 as a member of the 30th Indiana Infantry/Company C as a wagoner and received a disability discharge on 11 March 1863 as a Private. William died in 1864 shortly after his return from the war most likely related to his injuries. He never married. William was buried in Oak Park Cemetery in Noble County, Indiana stating that he was 31 years, 9 months and 22 days old when he died. His mother, Nancy Knappenberger McDevitt, is also buried in the Knappenberger plot.
William P. Knappenberger's gravemarker
[photo graciously provided by Mike McCoy]
We continue to look for new information on this family. If you are a member of this family, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank You!
• Mike McCoy from Noble County, Indiana who is an outstanding researcher. The wealth of information he provided helped us tremendously.