James KNIBBS, son of Richard Bignell KNIBBS and Mary NEAL , was born bef. 29 October 1843 in Banbury District, Oxfordshire, England. He married Mary Ann COTTON 05 May 1879 in Odd Rode, Cheshire, England. He died 29 April 1926 in Congleton District, Cheshire, England. Mary Ann COTTON was born abt. 1860 in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. She died UNKNOWN.

Children of James KNIBBS and Mary Ann COTTON are:
1. Emily KNIBBS, b. bef. 29 February 1880 See Bertie Christopher RYDER & Emily KNIBBS
2. James KNIBBS, b. 10 May 1881 See James KNIBBS & Agnes FARR
3. Edward KNIBBS, b. bet. April and June, 1883
4. Beatrice KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1888
5. Sydney KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1891
6. Frederick KNIBBS, b. 25 September 1893 See Frederick KNIBBS & Elsie DALE OR Frederick KNIBBS & Lilian ANTROBUS
7. Elsie KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1895 See Albert Bernard GUNN & Elsie KNIBBS
8. Harold KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1896 See Harold KNIBBS & Jessie LEIGH
9. Leonard KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1898
10. Alice KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1884
11. Percy KNIBBS, b. bet. April and June, 1890
12. Stanley KNIBBS, b. bet. October and December, 1898
13. Kenneth KNIBBS, b. 04 December 1902 See Kenneth KNIBBS & Kate DUNN

Marriage Notes for James KNIBBS\Mary Ann COTTON:

There is a slight conjecture that it may not have been this James who married Mary Ann Cotton.

Witnesses to the marriage were Henry and Harriet Shaw, Mary Ann's sister and brother-in-law who married a few years earlier.

See James and Mary's Marriage Certificate

Other Marriages/Unions for James KNIBBS:
See James KNIBBS & Eliza ASTON

Notes for James KNIBBS:

There is a certain degree of conjecture that these notes apply to this particular James Knibbs, with the age and place of birth fluctuating tremendously between 1851 and 1891. The theory is that James married twice and that his first wife Eliza was unwell after the birth of their son William/Walter. Maybe for this reason, James gave up his life on the canal boats and took alternative employment as a grocer so that he could care for them both.
In q1/1879 his first wife Eliza died and James remarried soon afterwards.

It's frustrating that on both marriage certificates ages weren't specified other than "Full Age" which I believe normally meant over 21 years. However, for mary Ann Cotton, I don't believe that was the case. The other frustration is that James is identified as "Bachelor" on both of them. The fact is that we are fairly confident that there was no other James who was also the son of Richard (deceased) who it could have been.

In 1881, James is recorded as being just 11 years older than his wife Mary Ann, and then in 1901, just 5 years older - yet based on the ages and places of birth of his wife and daughter Emily, this is clearly the same family unit.

So, what links these facts to this James:
1. James was the son of Richard Knibbs, a boatman who died in 1865. The marriage certificates of James Knibs to Eliza Aston in 1867, and James Nibbs to Mary Ann Cotton in 1879, both identify the groom's father as Richard, deceased, and a boatman.
2. James Nibbs was living at Odd Rode, Staffordshire when he married for the second time in 1879. Fanny Wakefield (daughter of Richard Knibbs) was also living at Odd Rode in 1881.

We think it's probably this James Knibbs who married Eliza Aston in 1867 in Wolverhampton District, Staffordshire, England. FreeBMD and Ancestry.com have him transcribed as James Knibe from the marriage register.

The London Canal
web site has the following from St. Mary's Church Marriage Register, Wolverhampton:

190 / 380 April 29 th. 1867
James Knibs F.A. Bach. Boatman on a boat son of Richard Knibs deceased
Eliza Aston F.A. Spin. on a boat dau.of Thomas Goodman Boatman
Witnessed by John Collins and Elizabeth Massey

From Sandbach Petty Sessions, 25 September 1869:
James Knibbs, beerseller of Moston, was committed to the House of Correction for one month, charged with stealing 80lbs weight of coals, at Moston on the 19th instant, the property of Messrs Hemer and Davis, salt proprietors of Wincham. The prisoner was captain of the boat Hugh belonging to Mr Croom, manager for the prosecutors, and on the day in question, he was on his way to Wincham with a boat load of slack, and while he had his boat tied up near to his own house, he was seen by a police officer stealing the coal from the boat and taking it towards his house.

The following newspaper article suggests that James was running a beerhouse for short while prior between 1867 and 1870, but for some reason his licence wasn't renewed.

From the Congleton & Macclesfield Mercury, and Cheshire General Advertiser - 03 September 1870:
Local and District Intelligence.
Middlewich. - On Monday llast the 29th inst., the general annual licensing meeting for the hundred of Northwich, in the county of Chester, was held at the Town Hall, in Middlewich. The Justices present were R. Wilbraham (chairman), G. W. Latham, C. H. France, A. Solly, J. Pearson, F. H. R. Wilbraham, W. R. Court, and E. Moss, Esqrss.
Alehouse licences : The whole of these licences, 139 in number. were. on the application of the parties interested, renewed, except the following, namely: James Charlesworth..........etc.,
Beerhouse Certificates Etc.,
The whole of these certificates, 82 in number, were, on the application of the several parties, renewed. except that of James Knibbs, of Moston, refused. William Burgess, Church Lawton, and Robert Siddall, Wharton, did not apply for a renewal. There were 17 new applications for certificates, which were supported by their respective advocates, all of which were refused except that of Charlas Skelleru, Buglawton (granted). The applications of James Eckersley, Northwich, and James Smallwood, Elton, were adjourned for further consideration until the 12th September next at Sandbach. The other business transacted was of the usual ordinary nature, and calls for no report thereof. The sessions lasted from 11 a. m. unit after 5 p. m.


We then suspect that it's this James who next appears with his wife Eliza living at the Grocer Shop in Moston, Cheshire in 1871 with a son named William. James is aged 27, Eliza 26 and William just 4 months. James' occupation is given as "Grocer".

There is no record of the birth of son William at the GRO, but there is a record of an Eliza Nibbs, born q4/1870 at Congleton District.

During q1/1879, and Eliza Knibbs dies in Walsall District, Staffordshire, aged just 34 years. We believe this is James' wife Eliza.

In q2/1879, a James Nibbs marries a girl named Mary Ann Cotton in Congleton District which sits on the border of Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Then in 1881, we see James Knibbs living at Malkins Bank, Betchton, Cheshire, England:
James KNIBBS Head M Male 32 Tunstall, Stafford, England Chemic Laborer
Mary A. KNIBBS Wife M Female 21 Wolverhampton
Walter KNIBBS Son Male 10 Elton, Cheshire, England Scholar
Emily KNIBBS Daur Female 1 Wheelock, Cheshire, England

Walter aged 10 years is the son of James and his first wife Eliza.

Walter Knibbs died in Congleton District in q2/1887 aged just 16.

In 1891 we see James and family living at Mill House, Wheelock, Cheshire::
James Knibbs Head M 46 Yard Foreman (Chemical) Cheshire Bumbury
Mary A Knibbs Wife M 31 Staffs Wolverhampton
Emily Knibbs Daur 11 Scholar Cheshire Sandbach
James Knibbs Son 10 Scholar Cheshire Sandbach
Edward Knibbs Daur 8 Scholar Cheshire Sandback
Beatrice Knibbs Son 2 Cheshire Sandbach

I note the the genders of Edward and Beatrice are the wrong way round.

In 1901, we see who we believe is James living at Mount Pl;easant, Wheelock, Cheshire.
James Knibbs Head M 47 Chemical Yard Foreman Bilston South Staffordshire
Mary Ann Knibbs wife M 42 Wolverhampton Staffordshire
Emily Knibbs Daur S 21 Wheelock Cheshire
James Knibbs Son S 19 Carter of Farm Malkins Bank Cheshire
Edward Knibbs Son S 18 Cowman oif Farm Malkins Bank Cheshire
Beatrice Knibbs Daur 12 School Girl Malkins Bank Cheshire
Sydney Knibbs Son 9 Wheelock Cheshire
Frederick Knibbs Son 7 Wheelock Cheshire
Elsie Knibbs Daur 5 Wheelock Cheshire
Harold Knibbs Son 4 Wheelock Cheshire
Leonard Knibbs Son 2 Wheelock Cheshire

In addition, I believe there were also the following children:
Alice Ann Knibbs, born Oct-Dec 1884, Congleton District (died Jan-Mar 1890 at Congleton District, age 5)
Percy Knibbs, born Apr-Jun 1890, Congleton District (died Jan-Mar 1891 at Congleton District, age 0)
Stanley Knibbs, born Oct-Dec 1898, Congleton District (I think it was him who died Jan-Mar 1899 at Congleton District, age 0)

From the Directory of Cheshire, 1910:
Knibbs, James, farmer, Malkins' Bank,

We see James and his family in 1911 living at Malkins Bank Farm, Betchton, Sandbach, Cheshire:
James Knibbs Head Married 57 Farmer Oxfordshire
Mary Ann Knibbs Wife Married (32 years) 53 Farmers Wife Staffordshire
Beatrice Knibbs Daughter Single 22 Domestic Duties at Home Betchton
Sydney Knibbs Son Single 19 Farmers Son Working on Farm Wheelock
Fred Knibbs Son Single 17 Apprentice to Smith Wheelock
Elsie Knibbs Daughter Single 15 Domestic Duties at Home
Harold Knibbs Son 14 Farmers Son Working on Farm Wheelock
Leonard Knibbs Son 12 School Wheelock
Kenneth Knibbs Son 8 School Betchton
Jessey Wainwright Man Servant 19 Labourer of Farm

James Knibbs died in Congleton District q2/1926, aged 84.

Read James' Last Will and Testament


Knibbs James of Belchton near Sandbach Cheshire died 29 April 1926 Probate Chester 9 July to Sydney Knibbs and Harold Knibbs farmers Effects £1327 16s. 5d.

Sources for James KNIBBS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Banbury,
  2. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 3Qtr1843 
  3. Ancestry.com,
  4. Ancestry.com. - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966,
  5. LDS IGI Records,
  6. 1871 British Census,
  7. Newspaper Article,
  8. 1911 British Census,

Notes for Mary Ann COTTON:

Sources for Mary Ann COTTON:

  1. Marriage Certificate,
  2. 1881 British Census,
  3. 1911 British Census,

Notes for Edward KNIBBS:

Sources for Edward KNIBBS:

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 
  2. 1901 British Census, 1901 British Census gave location 

Notes for Beatrice KNIBBS:

Sources for Beatrice KNIBBS:

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983 
  2. 1881 British Census,
  3. 1901 British Census, 1901 British Census gave location 
  4. 1911 British Census, gave Betchton 

Notes for Sydney KNIBBS:

Knibbs Sidney of Malkins Bank Sandbach Cheshire died 13 April 1938 Administration Chester 6 December to Harold Knibbs farmer Effects £260 10s. 8d.

I assuime Harold named above is his brother Harold.

Sources for Sydney KNIBBS:

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983 gave Congleton Dist. 
  2. 1901 British Census,
  3. 1911 British Census,
  4. GRO England & Wales,
  5. Ancestry.com. - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966,

Notes for Leonard KNIBBS:

Leonard was born in the Congleton District which straddled the counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire. He was the only Leonard Knibbs in that are at the time, so I presume the following story relates to him:

From Staffordshire Sentinel - 9 September 1920:
Local Police Courts.
Stipendiary Court, Tunstall
Thursday:- Before Mr. W. Boulton (presiding) and Mr. H. Smallman.
DAMAGE TO LOCK.—Leonard Knibbs, a youth living in High street. Talke Pits. was summoned for committing damage to the extent of a shilling to a rabbit pen lock, the property of Thomas Newton, of Talke.—The complainant said about 11 p.m. on the 13th August. he heard noises in the garden, where his boys had a rabbit hutch. He went to see what. was the matter and striking a light found the defendant crouching behind some currant bushes. The rabbit hutch door had been forced open.—Defendant pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £1 in all.


Notice of Probate from The London Gazette, 8th March 1963:

Name of Deceased: Knibbs Leonard.

Address, Description and Date of Death: Malkins Bank Farm, Betchton, Sandbach, Cheshire, Farmer. 10th October 1960.

Notice of Claims to be given to: H. P. & H. C. Rigby, 31 Middlewich Road. Sandbach, Cheshire, Solicitors. (Kenneth Knibbs and Harold Knibbs.)

Date before which Claims are to be made: 10th May 1963


Knibbs Leonard of Malkins Bank Farm Betchton near Sandbach Cheshire died 10 October 1960 Probate Chester 22 August to Kenneth Knibbs and Harold Knibbs farmers. Effects £1605 9s. 11d.

Sources for Leonard KNIBBS:

  1. 1901 British Census,
  2. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983 
  3. GRO England & Wales,
  4. Ancestry.com. - England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966,
  5. London Gazette,

Notes for Alice KNIBBS:

Sources for Alice KNIBBS:

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 

Notes for Percy KNIBBS:

Sources for Percy KNIBBS:

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 

Notes for Stanley KNIBBS:

I believe Stanley and Leonard were twins. The GRO has it that Leonard died as an infant, but the 1901 census shows that Leonard was still alive so I suspect it was Stanley who died.

Sources for Stanley KNIBBS:

  1. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983