Cornelius James KNIBBS, son of James J KNIBBS and Edith Florence TALADA , was born 22 July 1886 in Athens, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA. He married Ruth Marguerite SHAY 20 February 1915 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA. He died 26 October 1951. Ruth Marguerite SHAY was born 26 September 1895 in Jenks Township, Forest County, Pennsylvania, USA. She died UNKNOWN.

Marriage Notes for Cornelius James KNIBBS\Ruth Marguerite SHAY:

NY Marriage Certificate #1799

From the Buffalo Courier, 21 Feb 1915:
Marriage Licenses
Cornelius Knibbs, No. 172 Sprint Street - Ruth Shay, Truemans, Pa.

Other Marriages/Unions for Cornelius James KNIBBS:
See Cornelius James KNIBBS & Dorothy MESMER OR Cornelius James KNIBBS & Dorothy A CAMPBELL

Notes for Cornelius James KNIBBS:

A sample of Cornelius' signature taken from his military registration card, 1917.

See Cornelius' Military Registration Card from 1917

We can see from from his Military Registration Card that he was claiming exemption from draft on the grounds that he was supporting his mother and his wife, but I'm not sure if he was successful.

The Military Registration Card tells us that Cornelius was a Boilermaker working for the Oldman Boiler Company which I now see was situated at 32 Illinois Street, Erie County, Buffalo, NY. The building was erected in 1907 as the permanent location of the business which begun in 1863. It is associated with the growth of Buffalo as a national industrial centre and major Great Lakes port. In addition to its boiler repairs and manufacturing capabilities, Oldman also serviced lake vessels.

We can see Cornelius at the 1920 US Census at Collins Town, Erie, New York. He was working and living in at the Gowanda State Homeopathic Hospital.
Cornelius J KNIBBS Employee 34 Widower Pennsylvania Attendant

It's strange to note that the census states that he was widowed at that time because we can see his wife Ruth, living with her sister Twilla at Lynch Village, Howe, Forest County, Pennsylvania.
Ray Dunhaur Head M 24 Pennsylvania
Twila Dunhaur Wife F 21 Pennsylvania
Ray Dunhaur Son M 0 Pennsylvania
Ruth Knibbs Boarder F 24 Pennsylvania

From the Gowanda Enterprise, 10 September, 1925:
Hamburg Fair Excursions and 0. T. Exhibit
For many years the Hamburg Fair has been a holiday occasion for patients who have acquired merit by good conduct and special industry during the preceeding twelve-month. The new auto-bus was requisitioned last week and on Wednesday seventeen men patients from the farm, on Thursday six-teen men patients from the wards and on Friday fifteen women patients enjoyed a fine ride and a fine day at the fair. The men were in charge of attendants Sandwick and Knibbs and Miss Olson and Mrs. Miskie chaperoned the women. The three Hospital parties, including chauffeur and attendants, fifty-seven persons in all, were admitted entirely without charge, thanks to the much appreciated courtesy of President Willett of the Fair Association. The patients were allowed to roam around, at will without supervision, and this trust was not abused as they all assembled promptly at the time for leaving and also at noontime to do justice to a bountiful lunch of sandwiches, eggs, tomatoes, cheese and chocolate cake from the Hospital kitchen, and also each day a case of soft drinks obligingly contributed by the Employees Association. To complete their holiday happiness, each pa-tient recieved a modest amount of spending money and one of them picked up a job and earned a little more on his own account. The fair was of special interest not only to the visiting patients but also to the Hospital occupational therapy workers who conducted a booth handsomely filled with articles made by the patients in the various 0. T. classes. These included especially toys, rugs, baskets, painted lamp shades and a great variety of attractive embroideries. The eight 0. T. workers. Messrs. Smith. Knihbs, Erick-son, and Sweet. Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Sandwick, Mrs. Flogus and Mrs. Carroll, took turns, two or three of them at a time, in attending the booth. The exhibit proved highly interesting to passing visitors. some of whom were merely curious while others were decidedly practical, the sales during the week amounting to about two hundred dollars.

Nite: The Gowanda State Hospital was originally called the Homeopathic State Hospital, but later became known as the Gowanda Psychiatric Center. It was located at Taylor Hollow Road

From the Gowanda Enterprise, 12 August, 1926:
Hospital Firemen at the Cuba Convention.
Five delegates from the Hospital Fire Department Messrs. Andrus, Witherel, Lyon, Knibbs and Smith attended the Firemen's Convention at Cuba last week Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday, seventeen more attended to take part in the parade. In uniforms of white duck with white straw hats and black neckties, the twenty two Hospital fire-fighters made a very creditable appearance and would have stood an excellent
chance for a prize if the entire department could have been spared from duty to attend.


We can also see him in 1930, living at Buffalo, Erie, New York with a wife named Dorothy.
Cornelius J Knibbs Head 43 Pennsylvania Mechanic Iron Foundry
Dorothy Knibbs Wife 35 New York
Caroline Mesmer Mother-in-law 70 New York

It states that Caroline Mesmer was a widow, and that her father was from France.
It also states that Cornelius first married aged 34, Dorothy aged 26, and Caroline aged 18.

It all get's a little confusing here but I believe it confirms that Cornelius was indeed married three times, and twice to wives named Dorothy. We know from the marriage certificate to Dorothy Campbell, that her mother was named Ida. I'm therefore assuming that Caroline Mesmer must have been the mother of his other wife Dorothy and have speculated he married a Dorothy Mesmer.

In 1940, Cornelius was living at Ward 8, Buffalo, Buffalo City, Erie, New York:
John F Lang Head 43 Mar Clerk New York
Winifred M Lang Wife 47 Mar Private Housekeeper Illinois
Herman Laege Lodger 78 Mar Germany
Corneliuis Knibbs Lodger 53 Div Pennsylvania

Clearly, Cornelius was then divorced from Dorothy.

From the Buffalo Evening News, 29 Oct 1951:
KNIBBS - Cornelius J. Knibbs in Bufdfalo M.Y. Oct. 28, 1951, husband of the late Dortothy (nee Campbell), brother of Mrs. William Steen and Leon E. Knibbs. Services from the Ernest Wedekindt Funeral Home, 5 Walden Ave., at Genesee. Tuesday at 12.30. Friends invited.

Sadly, I haven't figured out who Mrs William Steen was. It may have been Gertrude, remarried after her husband died,or perhaps the other sister, Emma.

Cornelius is buried at Lakeside Memorial Cemetery, Hamburg, New York, USA, Block B - lot 642 -B- grave #3

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

Sources for Cornelius James KNIBBS:

  1. Personal Contact with Kim Knibbs, NY,
  2. Military Registration Card, gave us his middle name of James 
  3. 1900 US Federal Census,
  4. 1910 US Federal Census,
  5. 1920 Federal Census New York State,
  6. 1920 US Federal Census,
  7. Marriage Licence,

Notes for Ruth Marguerite SHAY:

Ruth was the daughter of George Washington Shay and his wife Rosella Alfereta Smith Shay. We see them in 1900 at Cherry Grove Township, Warren, Pennsylvania:
George W Shay Head 45 Pennsylvania Log Cutter
Rosa Shay Wife 41 Pennsylvania
Richard Shay Son 18 Pennsylvania Day Labour
Mable Shay Daur 17 Pennsylvania
William Shay Son 15 Pennsylvania At School
Almyra Shay Daur 12 Pennsylvania At School
Elen E Shay Daur 10 Pennsylvania At School
Ada G Shay Daur 7 Pennsylvania At School
Ruth M Shay Daur 4 Pennsylvania
Twila Shay Daur 2 Pennsylvania

We see the family again in 1910, living at Jenks, Forest County, Pennsylvania:
George W Shay Head Mar 56 Laburer Pennsylvania
Rosa E Shay Wife Mar 51 Pennsylvania
William C Shay Son UnM 24 Labopurer Pennsylvania
Ada G Shay Daur 16 Pennsylvania
Ruth M Shay Daur 14 Pennsylvania
Twila L Shay Daur 11 Pennsylvania

The census states that by 1910, they'd had 9 children, all of whom survived.

Ruth married Cornelius in 1915.

We can see Ruth Knibbs living at Lynch Village, Forest, Pennsylvania at the time of the 1920 census, living with the family of Ray Dunhaur:
Ray Dunhaur 24y Pennsylvania
Twila Dunhaur 21y Pennsylvania
Ray Dunhaur 0y Pennsylvanoia
Ruth Knibbs Boarder 24 Pennsylvania No Employment

Twila Dunhaur is Ruth's younger sister. There's no indication of why Ruth was uding her aiden name of Knibbs, and living with her sister-in-law, Twila.
We know that her husband. Cornelius Knibbs married his second wife between 1920-21, so It's assumed the marriage had broken down at this time.

In 1930, we see Ruth's parents living at Clarendon, Warren, Pennsylvania:
George W Shay Head M 76 Pennsylvania
Rosella E Shay Wife F 71 Pennsylvania

Sources for Ruth Marguerite SHAY:

  1. 1920 US Federal Census, gave Pennsylvania abt 1896 
  2. 1900 US Federal Census, gave month/year of birth 
  3. LDS - Pennsylvania Births and Christenings 1709-1950,