John GARNER was born 1874 in Tring, Buckinghamshire, England. He married Fanny KNIBBS 11 December 1897 in Braunston, Northamptonshire, England. He died abt. 1963. Fanny KNIBBS, daughter of Henry KNIBBS and Rosannah DIMMICK , was born abt. 1877 in Braunston, Northamptonshire, England. She died UNKNOWN.

Children of John GARNER and Fanny KNIBBS are:
1. Alfred GARNER, b. bet. April and June, 1904
2. George GARNER, b. bet. October and December, 1907
3. Florence D GARNER, b. bet. January and March, 1922
4. Arthur GARNER, b. bet. October and December, 1902

Marriage Notes for John GARNER\Fanny KNIBBS:

Fanny and John Garner at Brighton in the 1930's (click to enlarge).

See John and Fanny's Marriage Certificate

Notes for John GARNER:

Also known as: Jack

Click to see a larger version of this photograph of Fanny and John Garner aboard the Georgette.

The Milton Keynes Branch of the Inland Wateways Association
provides some fascinating information about the waterways in the area worked by the Knibbs and Garner families.

We learn from the above that "Jack" was employed by Messrs John Walker to deliver coal to the Ovaltine factory which was opened in 1913 at Kings Langley on a site adjacent to the Grand Junction Canal. "Jack's" two sons Alf and George also worked for the same company and Alf even went on to marry Annie Walker who was the daughter of one of the directors.

We know from John's marriage certificate that his father was also John Garner, a boatman, so I suspect the following details from the 1881 census may be him, aged 5, living with his parents and siblings:
John GARNER Head M Male 29 Boatman (Bargeman)
Jane GARNER Wife M Female 32 Boatwoman
Eliza GARNER Daur Female 11
Charles GARNER Son Male 7
John GARNER Son Male 5
Henry GARNER Son Male 2

They were living at Banbury Lane, Wharf Boat "Pegasus" , Gayton, Northampton, England. Their places of birth were entered as "Not Known".

In 1911, John was living aboard the barge "Trixie", Mancetter Wharf, The Canal, Atherstone, Warwickshire:
John Garner Head 35 Married Bargemaster Buchinghamshire Tring
Jane Garner Wife 33 Married (13 years) Northants Braunston
Arthur Garner Son 8 Northants Braunston
Alfred Garner Son 7 Northants Braunston
George Garner Son 5 Northants Braunston

Jane had 3 children, 3 of whom were living in 1911.

Sources for John GARNER:

  1. Marriage Certificate,
  2. Inland Waterways Association Website,
  3. Milton Keynes Inland Waterways Association,

Notes for Fanny KNIBBS:

Sources for Fanny KNIBBS:

  1. 1881 British Census,
  2. Marriage Certificate,

Notes for Alfred GARNER:

In q3/1927 at Northampton & Hardingstone District, Alf married Annie Walker, the daughter of one of the directors of the company he, his dad and his brother George all worked for - Messrs John Walker, of Bugbrooke.

Sources for Alfred GARNER:

  1. Inland Waterways Association Website,
  2. 1911 British Census,

Notes for George GARNER:

Also known as: Henry

In 1927, George Garner was the first of the family to start work on the Ovaltine fleet connected with the Ovaltine factory at Kings Langley on a site adjacent to the Grand Junction Canal. George worked the pair of boats George and Catharine.

His wife was Agnes Dorsett - she and her parents had worked for L B Faulkner of Leighton Buzzard. The following year, Alfred and Annie (George's brother and sister-in-law), and then Jack and Fanny (George's parents) moved over to the Ovaltine fleet. Alf started with the pair of boats Harry and Lily, and Jack took the boats Albert and Georgette.

George and Agnes had two sons - George "Henry" Garner 1929-2004 and John Garner 1939-2010. I am extremely grateful to John's wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Garner (nee Clutton) for allowing me to use some of the photographs from John's private collection. John was himself raised on the famous Ovaltine boat but sadly, he died in April 2010.

Sources for George GARNER:

  1. Inland Waterways Association Website,
  2. Milton Keynes Inland Waterways Association,
  3. 1911 British Census,

Notes for Florence D GARNER:

Sources for Florence D GARNER:

  1. FreeBMD,

Notes for Arthur GARNER:

Sources for Arthur GARNER:

  1. 1911 British Census,