George Levi KNIBBS, son of Robert KNIBBS and Elizabeth MARKHAM , was born 22 December 1876 in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. He married Eveline BUTLER 18 August 1903 in Deddington, Oxfordshire, England. He died 25 March 1962 in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. Eveline BUTLER, daughter of Arthur UNKNOWN and Emma BUTLER , was born 12 August 1880 in Leamington, Warwickshire, England. She died 08 March 1961 in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.

Children of George Levi KNIBBS and Eveline BUTLER are:
1. Harold George KNIBBS, b. 21 November 1913 See Harold George KNIBBS & Pearl Louisa Alice NASH
2. Phillys Eveline KNIBBS, b. 11 August 1904 See Alexander STROUD & Phillys Eveline KNIBBS
3. Winifred Amy KNIBBS, b. 10 February 1910 See Sydney George KENDALL & Winifred Amy KNIBBS

Marriage Notes for George Levi KNIBBS\Eveline BUTLER:

George and Evelyn, taken during the mid-1970's outside their home at No.3, Phoenix Park Terrace, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. Click to enlarge.

See George and Eveline's Marriage Certificate

The marriage was witnessed by Ben Isaac Dibden and Amy Knibbs. Amy was George's younger sister, and I suspect that Ben was a work colleague from the Great Western Railway, and probably Best Man at the wedding. In 1911, Ben was living at Norwood, Southall, Middlesex, and gave his occuaption as Goods Guard.

Carole Steele is connected into the same family as Ben, and she tells me that Ben was also a railway porter and in 1901 he was boarding in Hungerford. Hungerford is a stone's throw from Basingstoke and probably just a few stops "down the line" on the old GWR.

Carole also told me that Ben Isaac Dibden was born Dec qtr. 1881 in Wallingford district, Oxfordshire, England, the son of Mark and Eliza (nee Rampling) Dibden. At the 1891 census, he was living in Caversham, Oxfordshire with his parents and siblings, aged 9, born Hagbourne; at the 1901 census, he was aged 19, living at Hungerford, boarding with Elizabeth Bailey. His occupation was that of porter on the railway, the same as George. Ben married in the September qtr, of 1917, in the Gloucester district, to Eva Rose Winfield, and we believe they remained in Gloucester. Ben died 15th January 1938 at the Royal Infirmary Gloucester.

Ben's Dibden family hail from Bramshaw, in the New Forest, Hampshire, England

In George and Ben's days I believe it was not uncommon for workers on the GWR to live quite long distances from where they actually worked. So long as it was somewhere along the railway line, they simply hopped onto a train for free transport to and from work. So, despite living some distance from eachother, they may well have both been employed at the same railway station on the GWR network.

Notes for George Levi KNIBBS:

Also known as: Levi George

See George's Birth Certificate

See George's Death Certificate

The above photo shows George Levi Knibbs with his wife Evelyn and three children Harold, Phillys (centre) and Winifred. It was taken in 1945, shortly after Harold returned from war. Click the image to see a larger version.

Between 1888-1895, George Levi worked for for his uncle Thomas Wright at St. James Farm, Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. Thomas Wright gave him a
glowing reference
when he left his employment.
George is next seen aged 24 years living at Basingstoke, Hampshire at the 1901 census.

George worked for the Great Western Railway as a shunter and finally a porter at Basingstoke railway station. He became a member of the Great Western Railway Servants' Pension Fund on 24th November 1900, so I assume he joined the company at around that time. He was well known for his wit and sense of humor. When asked "When is the next train due?" his favorite reply was "You've missed it - the next train has just gone!". I'm not sure that would go down well with the commuters these days.

His pension fund membership was under the name of Levi Knibbs. I think Levi was his preferred name and it came as a surprise to me when I discovered he was George Levi rather than Levi George.

His Great Western Railway records show that he was reprimanded on 13 Dec 1904 for "slightly damaging a coach". It also shows that in August 1911, he was commended but sadly, no reason is given.

The union register shows that on 7 September, 1906 until 1918, he was employed as a Shunter at Basingstoke.

George can be seen in the 1901 census living at 42 Bunnian Place, Basingstoke, Hampshire, boarding with a man named Ernest Bone and his wife. Bunnian Place was just about 200 yards from where George eventually settled in Phoenix Park Terrace with his wife.
Ernest Bone Head Mar 25 Timber Loader LSWR Hants Basingstoke
Edith Bone Wife Mar 27 Hants Winslade
George Knibbs Boarder UnM 24 Porter on GWR Oxon Clifton

From the Hants and Berks Gazette, 19 November 1904:
An Insufficient Objection.
The mere statement of Mr. G. Knibbs, of 13, Phoenix Park Terrace. that he did not believe in vaccination, without the mention of any specific grounds for that belief, was not regarded as a sufficient reason for granting him a cetertiflcate exempting his child from vaccination.
Two other applicants who mentioned cases in the families of relatives of injurions results, and in one instance a fatal result of the operation, satisfied the magfetratos that they had a conecientious objection and were granted certificates of exemption.

The above will have been related to vaccination given to his daughter Phyllis. They lived at No.3 and not No.13 Phoenix Park Terrace.

We see George and his family in 1911 living at 3 Phoenix Park Terrace, Basingstoke, Hampshire:
Levi George Knibbs Head 34 Married Shunter Oxfordshire Parish of Deddington
Eveline Knibbs Wife 30 Married (7 years) Warwickshire Leamington
Phyllis Knibbs Daughter 6 Hampshire Basingstoke
Winifred Knibbs Daughter 1 Hampshire Basingstoke

They'd had two children before 1911 and both survived.

We see George, Eveline and daughter Winifred, living at 3 Phoenix Park Terrace, Basingstoke, Hampshire, at the time of the 1939 Register.

I'm told by his daughter Winifred that George was a very vain man. One day during a blackout in WWII, he fell off the end of Basingstoke railway station and blacked one of his eyes. Apparently, he wouldn't leave the house until all the bruising had disappeared. More recently, I came across a photograph of George, taken in his mid to late 20's. Close examination of the photograph showed that some of the hair (where he was already thinning on top) had been drawn on with a pencil - another example of his vanity perhaps?

George was a keen gardener into his 80's and tended a large allotment close to his home in Phoenix Park Terrace in Basingstoke. He was a very fit and very smart man. I remember from my childhood that even into his 80's, every Sunday afternoon, he would dress up in his best suit and walk from his home on one side of Basingstoke to my parent's home on the other side - a distance of 5-6 miles. He'd give us kids a bag of sweets, have a cup of tea and piece of cake (or "cayek" as he called it) and then catch the bus back home. Quite often, in the summer months, he and my dad would walk a couple of miles in towards Basingstoke to the Stag & Hounds public house. They'd have a couple of drinks together and would each catch the bus home.

George and his wife Evelyn lived above, at No.3 Phoenix Park Terrace in Basingstoke for all of their married lives. Click the image to see a larger version. Phoenix Park Terrace is just about 200 yards from Basingstoke railway station, so nice and convenient for George's work. In the 1950's the Basingstoke agricultural market was held on the land between Phoenix Park Terrace and the station.

George is buried at Section G No. 626, Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England with his wife Evelyn. The ashes of their granddaughter Elizabeth Joy Knibbs were placed with them in 1975.

Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of George and Evelyn.

Sources for George Levi KNIBBS:

  1. Living memory of me, Don Knibbs,
  2. GRO England & Wales,
  3. 1891 British Census,
  4. 1901 British Census,
  5. GWR Records,
  6. 1911 British Census,
  7. 1939 Register,
  8., England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 
  9. Oxford & Northants Methodist Listing - Brackley Register 1837-1903,

Notes for Eveline BUTLER:

Eveline Knibbs, probably in 1903 at about the time she and George Married. She would have been around 23 years old..

I was told by Sarah Ethel Knibbs' daughter that Evelyn and George Levi Knibbs' sister Sarah Ethel were friends working in service together at Warwick. Sarah Ethel took her home to Clifton one Christmas and that was when she met George Levi.

I remember being told by my mother that Evelyn was illegitimate. My research supports that.

See Evelyn's Baptismal record

Whilst I've been unable to find details of Evelyn's father, it was intersting to find that her record of baptism lists her parents as Arthur and Emma Butler. We know her mother was Emma Butler, and was still unmarried in 1901, so I presume Arthur kept quiet about his surname being different.

Another online source gives Arthur's name as Arthur Harry

Evelyn always suffered from what she described as "the screws" which I believe was rheumatism.

At Christmas 1899, she was presented with a Book of Common Prayer from the Reverend H G Dorre (or Dorne), purchased from a booksellers in Leamington. I wonder if perhaps she was baptised or confirmed into the church at that time.

Eveline can be seen in 1901, age 20 years, working as a General Domestic Servant at 74 Cowley Road, Cowley St John, in the Borough of Oxford.
Walter Brooks Head Mar 44 Coal Merchants Clerk, Draper Warwick Leamington
Sarah Brooks Wife Mar 42 Drapers Assistant Warwick Leamington
Grace L Brooks Daug 11 London Clapham
Eveline Butler Servant UnM 20 General Servant Domestic Warwick Leamington

Evelyn married George Knibbs in 1903.

Evelyn is buried at Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England at Section G, No.626.

Sources for Eveline BUTLER:

  1. 1881 British Census,
  2. Living memory of me, Don Knibbs,
  3. 1911 British Census, gave Leamington as place of birth 
  4. - Warwickshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1910,