John KNIBBS, son of John KNIBBS and Mary ROAKE , was born February 1852 in Old Windsor District, Berkshire, England. He married Mary Ann SMYTH 01 August 1888 in Parkdale, Ontario, Canada. He died July 1933 in Sunnidale, Simco County, Ontario, Canada. Mary Ann SMYTH was born 27 June 1852 in Normanby, Grey County, Ontario, Canada. She died 26 July 1933 in Barrie, Simco County, Ontario, Canada.


Children of John KNIBBS and Mary Ann SMYTH are:
1. Reginald Edward George KEEN, b. 03 July 1895
2. Infant KNIBBS, b. bef. 1908

Marriage Notes for John KNIBBS\Mary Ann SMYTH:

The marriage record shows that John was the son of John Knibbs and Mary Roake. Reginald Edward George KEEN was an adopted son (see notes under his name below for details of his parents).
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See John and Mary's Marriage Record


Notes for John KNIBBS:

I understand that John emigrated to Ontario, Canada and married a girl named Mary Ann Smyth in Aug 1888.
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His wife's obituary tells us that between approximately 1888-1898, he managed a restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA before returning to Canada.
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We see John in 1911, living at Simcoe North Sub-Districts 1-46, Ontario, Canada:
John Knibbs Head Mar 59 England
Mary Knibbs Wife Mar 59 Ontario
Reginal Keen Adopted Son 16 Ontario
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From the Northern Advance, 25 Feb 1915, p. 3:
King Congratulates
Father Of Six
Sons In The Navy
Mr. John Knibbs of Sunnidale Township has six nephews in the British navy. His brother Mr. James Knibbs, of Trafalgar Place, Old Windsor, received the following letter from H.M. the King, dated at Buckingham Palace, 12th Sept., 1914:
Dear Sir,-- The King has heard with the deepest gratification that you have six gallant sons serving in the Royal navy.
His Majesty sends you his congratulations, and hopes that you will convey the same, together with his best wishes to them for success, health, and happiness in their noble career. Yours faithfully -- W. Carrington, Keeper of His Majesty.s Privy Purse.

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

Sources for John KNIBBS:

  1. 1861 British Census,
  2. 1911 Canadian Census, gave DOB. 
  3. Obituary,

Notes for Mary Ann SMYTH:

Mary was a daughter of William Mark Smyth and Elizabeth Hillts, Hiltz or Hilton.
William was born 22 Nov 1812 at Tipperary, Ireland and died 27 Feb 1902 at Sunnidale Township, Simcoe, Ontario.
Elizabeth was born 5 May 1822 at Markham Township, York, Ontario and died 2 Jan 1902 at Sunnidale Township, Simcoe, Ontario.

William Mark Smyth married Elizabeth Hiltz Jun 1848.

They had 6 children:
Mary Anne SMYTH birth: 1852 Jun 27 Normanby Twp., Grey, Ont. death: 1933 Jul 26
Sarah SMYTH birth: 1849 Jul 15 Normanby Twp., Grey, Ont. death: 1912 Oct 24
Son SMYTH birth: 1854 Abt Normanby Twp., Grey, Ont. death: INFANT
Patience SMYTH birth: 1861 Oct 16 Egremont Twp., Grey, Ont. death: 1947 Oct 31 Barrie, Simcoe, Ont.
Margaret SMYTH birth: 1857 Jan 27 Normanby Twp., Grey, Ont. death: 1910 Sep 17
Daughter SMYTH birth: 1855 Abt Normanby Twp., Grey, Ont. death: INFANT
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Mary died aged 81 years and 29 days.
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From the Ontario Death Register:
KNIBBS, Mary Ann, f, July 26, 1933, 81 years 29 days, Ontario, cause – hemiplegia & senility, burial - Sunnidale Cemetery, d/o Wm Smith born Tipperary Ireland & Elizabeth Hilton born Markham, infm – Mr. Jno Knibbs, husband, Barrie (Simcoe Co.) 030251-33
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From the Barrie Examiner, 3 Aug 1933, p. 8:
Age 81yrs.29dys. Death due to Hemiplegia and senility.
Informant was her husband John. burial Sunnidale Cemetery.
Parents were William Smith b. Tipperary Ireland and Elizabeth Hilton b. Markham Ont.
She married John Knibbs at Parkdale Toronto Aug.1,1888. She was 36 yrs and he was 36 yrs.
His parents were John Knibbs and Mary Roake.
Mary's name was spelled Smyth.
Mrs. John Knibbs.
The death occurred on Wednesday, July 26, 1933, of Mrs. John Knibbs at her home , 61 Owen Street, Barrie. She had been in poor health for several years and her death followed shortly after her third stroke. Born in Mount Forest 82 years ago, her maiden name was Mary Ann Smith. She was married in Toronto to John Knibbs in 1888 and lived in Jersey City for 10 years, when Mr. Knibbs was managing a restaurant in the city. Returning to Canada, Mr. and Mrs. Knibbs settled down on a farm in Sunnidale township for 22 years and then came to Barrie in 1923.
Of a quiet, home loving disposition, Mrs. Knibbs was highly esteemed by all who knew her, although her age since coming to town made it difficult to get around much.
Besides her husband, the only surviving relative is one sister, Mrs. Joseph Mayne of Wasaga Beach. Two sisters predeceased her. Mr. and Mrs, Knibbs had no children.
The funeral was held on Friday July 28 with the Rev. Gordon Channen conducting the service at the residence and also at Trinity Anglican Church.
Interment was in Sunnidale cemetery. The pallbearers being Messers. Piggott, Rainey,Mills, Sweeney, Murphy and Briggs of Barrie.


Sadly, her obituary makes no reference at all to Reginal Keen, identified in the 1911 census as an adopted son, aged 16 at that time.

Her obituary clearly states that she and John had no children. I do however wonder if the Infant Knibbs who died in 1908 and is buried at First Presbyterian Cemetery
Collingwood, Simcoe County, Ontario may in fact have been a child of theirs. I'm not aware of any other Knibbs families living in that area. If the infant was born to Mary and John, it would have been close too the end of Mary's child bearing years.
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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Mary.

Sources for Mary Ann SMYTH:

  1. LDS IGI Records,
  2. Ontario Death Registrations, Rootsweb,

Notes for Reginald Edward George KEEN:

I'm pretty sure this Reginal who appears in the 1911 census as the adopted son of John Knibbs and his wife Mary, was quite probably the son of William George Keen and his wife Sarah Justice.
William George was born in Barrie, Wales in about 1869. He was a bricklayer by trade, and emigrated to Barrie, Ontario some time before 1894. Sarah, his wife, was born in Barrie, Ontario in about 1867, but died in 1901 when Reginald was just 6 years old (see note below), I'm not sure what happened to Reginald's father, William.

Keen - In Toronto, on Sunday, December 8th, 1901, Sarah Keen, wife of George Keen. The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon from the residence of her father, Mr. Edward Justice, Blake street, Barrie.
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See Reginald's parents' Marriage Registration



See Reginald's Birth Registration

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We see Reginald in 1911, living at Simcoe North Sub-Districts 1-46, Ontario, Canada:
John Knibbs Head Mar 59 England
Mary Knibbs Wife Mar 59 Ontario
Reginal Keen Adopted Son 16 Ontario
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Reginald enlisted in the army during WWI, serving in England and France. I was hoping that his attestation paper might have mentioned his adopted parents, John and Mary Knibbs, but his next of kin in all the documents was Ernest Keen, brother, of Sunnidell Corners, Ontario, Canada. Reginald's birth date was given as 3 July 1896, so at variance by exactly a year with the other date I had for him.
He served in England and France. He arrived in England on 11 December, 1915 and was then shipped to France in Aril 1916. He saw active service in 1916 and was admitted to the field hospital in September suffering from Shell Shock.

Much of Reginald's pay whilst serving in the army, was allotted to a lady named Mrs. R Ballatyne of 1067 St Clarens Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. On discharge from sevice, he gave her address as his intended place of residence.

Sources for Reginald Edward George KEEN:

  1. Birth Certificate,
  2. Military Attestation Paper,

Notes for Infant KNIBBS:

I'm not sure if this infant is related at all, but there is an infant named Knibbs who died in 1908 and was buried at the First Presbytarian Cemetery. Collingwood, Simcoe County, Ontario. I'm not aware of any other Knibbs families in Simcoe county at the time, so I suspect it was a child of John and Mary.
Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of the unnamed infant..

Sources for Infant KNIBBS:

  1. FreeBMD,