Robert KNIBBS, son of Joseph KNIBBS and Elizabeth WEBB , was born bef. 29 February 1852 in Swerford, Oxfordshire, England. He married Ruth SMITH 29 August 1880 in Swerford, Oxfordshire, England. He died bet. April and June, 1910 in Cardiff District, Glamorganshire, Wales. Ruth SMITH was born 01 June 1853 in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, England. She died September 1948 in Glamorgan District East, Glamorganshire, Wales.


Children of Robert KNIBBS and Ruth SMITH are:
1. Annie Elizabeth KNIBBS, b. 26 March 1884 See Walwyn JENKINS & Annie Elizabeth KNIBBS
2. John Richard KNIBBS, b. 1895 See John Richard KNIBBS & Elizabeth May JAMES
3. William Robert KNIBBS, b. December 1896 See William Robert KNIBBS & Kate Eleanor YOXALL OR William Robert KNIBBS & Florence Margaret BOWES
4. Louisa KNIBBS, b. abt. 1890 See Francis Edward PIPER & Louisa KNIBBS
5. Martha KNIBBS, b. 06 April 1886
6. Robert KNIBBS, b. 16 July 1888
7. Benjamin Baden Powell KNIBBS, b. 01 June 1900 See Benjamin Baden Powell KNIBBS & Edith Annie BOWES
8. Minnie Selina KNIBBS, b. March 1893 See John Henry WITCHELL & Minnie Selina KNIBBS
9. Stephen Robert KNIBBS, b. bet. July and September, 1881
10. Thomas Henry KNIBBS, b. bet. July and September, 1899

Marriage Notes for Robert KNIBBS\Ruth SMITH:

Witnesses to the marriage were Stephen Smith and Martha Smith.

Robert was a "full age" bachelor and Ruth a "full age" widow, previously married to a man called Morris (Christian name unknown). Both Robert and Ruth were from the Swerford parish.

Other Marriages/Unions for Ruth SMITH:
See Unknown MORRIS & Ruth SMITH


Notes for Robert KNIBBS:

I don't know the exact circumstances, but I believe it was this Robert Knibbs who deserted from the army on 1 October, 1875. He was serving at Aldershot at the time, in the 23rd Foot Regiment.
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Robert appears in the 1881 census as KNIBB, living at Garret Street, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, England.
Robert Knibb Head M 29 Labourer Swerford Oxfordshire
Ruth Knibb Wife M 24 Hook Norton Oxfordshire
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Robert can be seen again in the 1891 census for Oxfordshire, living at Garrett Street, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire with his wife Ruth and two of his daughters:
Robert Knibbs Head Mar 39 Beerhouse Labourer Oxon Swerford
Ruth Knibbs Wife Mar 34 Oxon Hook Norton
Annie Knibbs Daur 7 Oxon Hook Norton
Louisa Knibbs Daur 1 Oxon Hook Norton
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Robert is seen living in the civil parish of Hook Norton at the 1901 census:
Robert Knibbs Head Mar 48 Brewers Labourer Oxon Swerford
Ruth Knibbs Wife Mar 44 Oxon Hook Norton
Anne E Knibbs Daur 17 Oxon Banbury
Louisa Knibbs Daur 11 South Wales
Minnie Selina Knibbs Daur 8 Hook Norton
John Richard Knibbs Son 6 Oxon Hook Norton
William Robert Knibbs Son 4 Oxon Hook Norton
Baden Powell Knibbs Son 10m Oxon Hook Norton

I don't know the curcumstances behind Louisa being born in Wales. It's especially strange knowing that the family ended up living in South Wales several years later.
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I notice that Robert's trade in 1891 and 1901 was that of Brewers Labourer. Living in Hook Norton as he did, he was almost certainly employed at the Hook Norton Brewery (above) which started brewing beers in 1849, and still produces formidable traditional cask conditioned 'Real' Ales. More to the point it still does it with a steam engine as it's only power source. It was installed in 1899 and is the last stationary steam engine working commercially in the UK other than in the 'leisure industry'.
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We understand from detail provided by John Jenkins (a grandson of Robert Knibbs) that when Robert Knibbs moved from Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, to find work in Wales, he lodged in the village with his (John Jenkin's) grandfather. John also tells us that Robert worked as an Engine Driver at the Llanbradach Colliery for the owners, Cardiff Collieries Ltd., driving a locomotive called "Lundy".

The theory was that Robert moved to Wales with his family at some time between 1901 and 1906. This is based on the simple fact that his daughter Annie Elizabeth married Walwyn Jenkins that year in the Pontypridd District, Glamorganshire, Wales.

We believe that Robert moved to Wales for work but we aren't sure if he found work as an Engine Driver, or whether he found work as a labourer and then progressed.
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Robert is buried at Holy Trinity, Ystrad Mynach, Glamorganshire, Wales.

Sources for Robert KNIBBS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Swerford,
  2. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 1Qtr1852 
  3. 1861 British Census,
  4. 1891 Census for Hook Norton,
  5. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 
  6. Personal Contact with David Jenkins,
  7. 1871 British Census,
  8. 1901 British Census,
  9. Parish Burial Records, GRU,

Notes for Ruth SMITH:

Ruth's father was Richard Smith, a labourer.

I believe it's Ruth we can see in 1871, living at Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, with her parents and siblings:
Richard Smith Head Mar 53 Farm Labourer Oxon Hook Norton
Martha Smith Wife Mar 46 Oxon ????????
Stephen Smith UnM 19 Shepherd Oxon Hook Norton
Thomas Smith Son UnM 17 Farm Labourer Oxon Hook Norton
Ruth Smith Daur 14 Oxon Hook Norton
Martha Smith Daur 9 Oxon Hook Norton
Annie Smith Daur 7 Scholar Oxon Hook Norton
George Smith Son 2 Oxon Hook Norton
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She gave her name as Ruth Morris when she married Robert Knibbs in 1880. There seems to be no sign of her previous marriage to Unknown Morris in Hook Norton or Chipping Norton in particular, or even in the GRO records.

Ruth died aged 94 years.
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I understand from David Jenkins (Ruth's great-great grandson) that family hearsay has it that Ruth worked for some time at Oxford University (quite possibly in the kitchens?) but at some point early in her life, she went to live in Brazil. No-one knows why. Whilst in Brazil she contracted a disease and became very poorly. She lost her hair (which grew back again) and became very deaf.

The theory within the family is that she married her first husband (surname Morris) whilst she was in Brazil, but left him there when she returned to England to recover from her illness. There is also a suspicion that Morris may even have been the doctor who treated her in Brazil.
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Ruth lived with her son John (Jack) and his wife Elizabeth at Llanbradach after her husband died.
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We see Ruth in 1911 living at 22 Church Street, Llanbradach, Glamorganshire:
Ruth Knibbs Wife 56 Widow Hook Norton Oxon
Minnie Selina Knibbs Daughter 18 Single Llanbradach Glam
John Richard Knibbs Son 16 Slag Picking On Colliery Hook Norton Oxon
William Robert Knibbs Son 14 Slag Picking On Colliery Hook Norton Oxon
Benjamin Baden Powel Knibbs Son 11 Hook Norton Oxon
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We see Ruth living at 22 Church Street, Caerphilly, Glamorganshire, at the time of the 1939 Register. Also at the same address were Norman Jackson, 30, Colliery Engine Driver, and Hilda Jackson, 27, his wife.
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Ruth is buried at Holy Trinity, Ystrad Mynach, Glamorganshire, Wales. Her age was given as 94, so her ages as given in the census returns may have been incorrect.

Sources for Ruth SMITH:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Swerford,
  2. 1881 British Census,
  3. 1901 British Census,
  4. 1939 Register,
  5. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 
  6. Parish Burial Records, GRU,

Notes for Martha KNIBBS:

Martha is believed to have been born in the Banbury District and not necessarily Banbury itself.

Sources for Martha KNIBBS:

  1. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 2Qtr1886 
  2. Personal Contact with Fionna Knibbs,
  3. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 

Notes for Robert KNIBBS:

From the Banbury Beacon - Saturday 13 October 1888:
Deaths.
Knibbs-October 8, at Miton Street, Neithrop, Robert, son of Robert Knibbs, aged 2 months.

Sources for Robert KNIBBS:

  1. GRO England & Wales, GRO England & Wales gives 3Qtr1888 
  2. Personal Contact with Fionna Knibbs,
  3. Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 

Notes for Stephen Robert KNIBBS:

From the Banbury Advertiser - 15 September 1881:
DEATHS
Knibbs - September 6, at Hook Norton, Stephen Robert, son of Robnert Knibbs, aged 7 weeks.

Sources for Stephen Robert KNIBBS:

  1. FreeBMD,
  2. Newspaper Article,

Notes for Thomas Henry KNIBBS:

Sources for Thomas Henry KNIBBS:

  1. FreeBMD,