Harold James KNIBBS, son of William Harold KNIBBS and Cora Leah FERGUSON , was born 19 July 1896 in Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, USA. He married Pearl Nancy PALMATIER 09 December 1932 in Stillwater, Rensselear County, New York, USA. He died 05 November 1954 in New York, USA. Pearl Nancy PALMATIER was born 10 August 1913 in Truman, Poinsett County, Arkansas, USA. She died 20 September 2000 in Mechanicville, Saratoga County, New York, USA.

Children of Harold James KNIBBS and Pearl Nancy PALMATIER are:
1. Sylvia J KNIBBS, b. 05 June 1934 See Harry H EVERETT & Sylvia J KNIBBS OR Robert Jay SMITH & Sylvia J KNIBBS
2. Alice Mae KNIBBS, b. 18 September 1935 See Harry Burton MARTIN & Alice Mae KNIBBS
3. William Harold KNIBBS, b. Private See William Harold KNIBBS & Ana Modesta FERNANDEZ
4. Nancy KNIBBS, b. Private See George Thomas PALMER & Nancy KNIBBS
5. James Harvey KNIBBS, b. Private See James Harvey KNIBBS & Peggy PETROVICH

Marriage Notes for Harold James KNIBBS\Pearl Nancy PALMATIER:

From The Saratogian, 1932.
Miss Pearl M. Palmatier and Harold J. Knibbs of Stillwater were quietly married last evening at the Presbeterian manse in this city by the Rev. James K. Stewart.
They were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Marion Rodriguez, also of Stillwater. After a short wedding trip they will take up their residence in the village of Stillwater.

Notes for Harold James KNIBBS:

A sample of Harold's signature taken from his military registration card, 1918.

See Harold's Military Registration Card from 1918

From the Schenectady Gazette, Friday November 8th, 1918:
The following men have been ordered to Camp Humphreys, Virginia, on November 15:
......Stillwater:- Harold J. Knibbs..............


Photograph of Harold - please click on image to enlarge.

Harold's name is listed on a plaque at the village of Stillwater's water pump station. He is listed as one of the builders.

From The Balston Spa Daily Journal , January 16, 1918:
Harold Knibbs has bought of Henry Smith the old Revolutionary house on North Main Street, which was once the headquarters of Generals Schuyler and Gates at the time of the Battle of Saratoga.

Harold J. Knibbs bought the Dirck Swart House, on Hudson Ave. .Stillwater, NY. He was suffering financial troubles and asked for his sister Bertha to take over payments of the house till he was back on his feet. Harold met Pearl Palmatier and was planning on marrying her. Bertha did not want him to marry her. She felt that Harold would be marrying beneath himself. She refused to turn the house back over to him. Due to this there was a long and standing family feud between Harold, Pearl, and Bertha where neither of them spoke to each other again. Which was rather remarkable considering they both lived in the same very small village. In 1973 Bertha and Ray, due to old age and poor health, decided to move to Tenn. It is also where the son Harold Dyer and his wife Francis live. Bertha and Ray sold the house to William Harold Knibbs and his wife Ana Modesta .The house is an Historical Land Mark. It was built about 1773, with very little changes made to it since then. It was Headquarters Aug.3-14,1777, of Gen. Philip Schuyler. Arnold marched from here to relief of Fort Stanwix. During the American Revolution War.

There is also an old family story about a piano, not sure if it's 100% accurate. She was an accomplished pianist, She was playing a piano at church. Someone heard her playing and was very moved. That person had a piano anonymously delivered to her house as a donation. That piano is still in the Knibbs family house at Stillwater ,NY..

Historic Note:
In the village of Stillwater, the Dirck Swart house was deemed worthy of being engraved for Lossing's "Field-Book of the Revolution." It was erected before the Revolutionary war, and no doubt appears now as it did in the olden time, except that it has been kept painted, and perhaps been newly sided.

The house was used as the Headquarters of General Philip Schuyler, August 3-14, 1777. When the northern army in the campaign of 1777 was on the retreat southward, it encamped for a time on the hill where now the Presbyterian and Catholic churches are situated. Just below, on the southeast, General Schuyler had his headquarters at the house of Dirck Swart for his headquarters in August 1777, shortly before the battles of Bemis Heights that helped towards the defeat of the British on October 7, 1777. It was here that Lieutenant Stockwell and Colonel Willett, escaping from Fort Stanwix and getting through the wilderness, found General Schuyler and asked for help. In this same house was held the council of war, at which Schuyler favored sending reinforcements and his officers opposed.

Dirk Swart, after whom the house was named, was a leader of Stillwater and served as an Anti Federalist delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention. He was to become the first County Clerk of the newly formed Saratoga County in 1791 and the first meeting of the county Board of Supervisors was held in Stillwater. Dirk Swart was a leader of Stillwater and served as an Anti Federalist delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention.

From the Mechanicville Saturday Mercury., November 16, 1918:
Called to the Colors
The following men from the first district of Saratoga county were ordered to Camp Humphries, Virginia on Nov. 15.
Stillwater - Harold J. Knibbs


In 1930, Harold was living at Stillwater, Saratoga, New York with his sister Bertha and brother-in-law Raymond Dyer:
Raymond Dyer Head Mar 41 New York
Bertha Dyer Wife Mar 38 New York
Harold O Dyer Son 6 New York
Harold J Knibbs Brother-in-Law 33 New York

From The Saratogian, Friday September 20, 1935:
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Knibbs, North Main Street, are parents of a daughter born at their home. Dr. George Wilson and Mrs. Bessie Crandall are in attendance.

In 1940, we see Harold living at Stillwater, Saratoga, New York:
Harold J Knibbs Head Mar 49 Labourer (Roads) New York
Pearl Knibbs Wife Mar 26 Arkansas
Sylvia Knibbs Daur 5 New York
Alice Knibbs Daur 4 New York
William Knibbs Son 1 New York
William Palmeter Father-in-Law 83 Wid Pennsylvania

From the Saratogian, Wednesday Dec 8, 1943.
Stillwater-Collins C Becker was reelected president of the Stillwater Cemetery Association at a meeting Monday night with Mrs. Helen T. Scot, Hudson Ave.
Other officers reelected are: vice president, Harvey H Powell; treasurer, W. E. Deyoe, and secretary, Mrs. Helen T. Scott. Harold Knibbs of this village was named superintendent of the cemetery.
The motion was made and seconded that the secretary record in her book the names of those buried in this cemetery whose bodies have been transferred from other cemeteries. No record had been made before.


From the Saratogian, Saturday, Nov 6, 1954:
Harold J. Knibbs
Stillwater - Harold J. Knibbs, a former resident of Stillwater, died at his home in Park Ave., Mechanicville last night following a long illness. Mr. Knibbs, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Knibbs was born in Stillwater 57 years ago and has always resided here until about three years ago when he moved with his family to Mechanicville.
He was a member of the former Schoonmaker Memorial Presbyterian Church, Stillwater. He has been employed on the Delaware and Hudson Railroad for several years..
Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Pearl Knibbs; three daughters, Mrs. Harry Everett and Miss Nancy Knibbs, Mechanicville; Mrs. Harry Martin, East Greenwich; two sons, William and James, Mechanicville; one sister, Mrs. Raymond Dyer, Stillwater, and two granddaughters, Marlene Everett, Mechanicville, and Carol Martin, East Greenwich.
Funeral services will be held at the A.F. Perry Funeral Home, Stillwater, At a time to be announced. friends may call at the funeral home at any time.


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

Sources for Harold James KNIBBS:

  1. Personal Contact with Ana Knibbs Rizzo,
  2. 1920 Federal Census New York State,
  3. National Archive Center, Pittsfeild Massachusetts,
  4. Ancestry.com, Military Registration Card 
  5. Times Union (Albany) New York Obit.,
  6. The Chenectady Gazette, Friday 8 Nov, 1918 

Notes for Pearl Nancy PALMATIER:

Pearl holding her great-granddaughter Adriana. Click to enlarge.

I understand from Sylvia, Pearl's daughter, that Pearl's parents were William Henry Palmatier (born c.1861) and his second wife Nancy Hawks of Truman, Arkansas, USA. Pearl was one of two children. The other was a boy who died c.1916 aged about 18 months with infuenza. Pearl's mother also died aged 25, just a few days later in the same flu epidemic.

In 1920, we see Pearl living at River Street, Roulette, Potter County, Pennsylvania with her father, William:
William H Palmater Head Wid 59 Pennsylvania
Pearl H Palmeter Daughter Arkansas 5y4m

In 1930, they were living at Stillwater, Saratoga, New York:
William H Palmatier Head Wid 69 Pennsylvania
Pearl N Palmatier Daughter 16 Arkansas

The census shows that William's father was from Canada, and his mother from New York.

Pearl married Harold Knibbs in 1932.

From the Salamanca Press, 21 September 2000:
Body found in river, no foul play
MECHANICVILLE (AP) — Police believe an 87-year-old woman fell to her death in the Hudson River late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Pearl Knibbs was last seen at dinner Tuesday at the senior citizens' apartment complex where she lived, 17 miles north of Albany. Her body was found Wednesday about 10 feet from shore directly behind the apartment complex.
Police said Knibbs was discovered with her glasses on, clothes intact and no visible signs of a struggle or foul play. An autopsy conducted Wednesday evening found no evidence that Knibbs was assaulted.
The investigation is continuing.


From the Times Union Albany, NY, Publication Date: September 23, 2000.
Obituary: MECHANICVILLE -- Mrs. Pearl N. Knibbs, 87, of North Main Street, died Wednesday, being found in the Hudson River, behind her residence. Born in Truman, Ark, Mrs. Knibbs lived in Mechanicville since 1988 and previously lived most of her life in the Mechanicville - Stillwater area. She was a homemaker, who enjoyed reading. Her greatest joy was the company of her large family, neighbors and friends. She was an active member of the Mechanicville Area Senior Citizens, the Mid-Rise Tenants Association and the United Methodist Church of Mechanicville. Her husband, Harold J. Knibbs died in 1954.
Survivors include three daughters, Sylvia J. Smith of Stillwater, Alice Martin of Trenton, FL and Nancy Palmer of Clearwater, FL; two sons, William Knibbs of Stillwater and James Knibbs of Elton, WV; also survived by 20 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; 3 great- great-grandchildren. A Funeral Service will be conducted on Monday at 10 a.m. at the DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home, 39 South Main Street, Mechanicville, with Rev. Gerald Kauffman, Pastor of the United Methodist Church officiating. Burial in Stillwater Union Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Ahearn Rescue Squad, PO Box 669, Mechanicville, NY 12118.


From the Daily Gazette, Schenectady, 23 Sep 2000.
MECHANICVILLE - Mrs. Pearl N. Knibbs, 87, of North Main Street, died Wednesday.
Born in Truman, Ark., lived most of her life in the Mechanicville-Stillwater area, in Mechanicville since 1988.
Her husband, Harold J. Knibbs, died in 1954.
Survivors include three daughters, Sylvia J. Smith of Stillwater, Alice Martin of Trenton, Fla., and Nancy Palmer of Clearwater, Fla.; two sons, William Knibbs of Stillwater and James Knibbs of Elton, W. Va.; 20 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home. Burial in Stillwater Union Cemetery.


The Article from the Saratogian Newspaper, 09/21/2000, by Jim Kinney
87-year-old woman found in Hudson River

MECHANICVILLE -- The body of an 87-year-old Mechanicville woman was found floating in the Hudson River near her home at the Mid-Rise Apartments Wednesday afternoon.
Pearl Knibbs had been missing since at least 9:30 Wednesday morning when her daughter had trouble trying to contact her, said Mechanicville police Investigator Vince Lavazzo.
''We're not finding any signs of foul play,'' Lavazzo said. ''We just want to be very careful with the investigation.''
Dr. Jack Paston was performing the autopsy Wednesday night, Lavazzo said. The cause of death wasn't known Wednesday evening and toxicology test results -- which could show what, if any, drugs were in her system -- might take two weeks.
Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III walked through the crime scene with Mechanicville and state police investigators after nightfall Wednesday. A grassy, terraced area behind the senior building on North Main Street and the river was cordoned off with police tape.
The area has park benches and a gazebo. A view from the area includes the Route 67 bridge and forests on the Schaghticoke side. A steep bank leads from the lawn to the river.
Lavazzo said some other residents of the apartment building reported last seeing Knibbs Tuesday evening. Mid-Rise is an apartment building, not a nursing home, and no roll-call or bed checks are conducted.

Murphy said Knibbs' daughter tried to contact her mother at 9:30 a.m., then called every 15 minutes until noon, when she drove to Mid-Rise and let herself into her mother's apartment.
Pearl Knibbs' purse and coat were in her apartment, Murphy said. Someone -- police were trying Wednesday night to find out who -- turned in her cane at the front desk. Murphy didn't know exactly where it was foun
The group started to search the area. Her daughter found Knibbs around 2 p.m. She was wearing a sweater and her keys were in a pocket, Murphy sai

''We're not ruling anything in or out at this point,'' Murphy said.

The investigation will continue today as police officers go door to door both in Mid-Rise and the surrounding neighborhood.
''We need to be very careful to correctly identify what happened to this woman,'' Murphy said. ''Hopefully, it was not foul play, but it's too early to say.

©The Saratogian 2004

I've also received lots of information from a researcher of the Palmatier family, Dan Stifflear. Dan gave me the followng information:

William Henry Palmatier's parentage isn't known as of May 2007, but he was born about 1861 in Pennsylvania. His second wife was named Nancy Hanks, but at this time, the name of his first wife isn't known.

The Arkansas Death Index lists Nancy "Polmeter" with a death date of 24 October 1918 in Poinsett County, Arkansas.

In the 1920 US census, William was enumerated on River Street in Roulette, Potter County, PA, in ED 128, page 14A. William stated his father had been born in "US" and his mother in NY. It was stated that Pearl's father had been born in PA and her mother in Arkansas:
William Palmeter Head 59 Widow Born PA Shoemaker, own shop
Pearl Palmeter Dau Age 5-4/12 Born AR

At the time of the 1930 US census, William was enumerated in the Town of Stillwater, Saratoga County, NY. This information was obtained from the census

Index at Ancestry.com and the index does not list an age - only an approximate year of birth based upon the stated age in the census:
William H. Palmatier Head Born abt 1861 in Pennsylvania
Pearl N. Palmatier Dau Born abt 1913

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

Sources for Pearl Nancy PALMATIER:

  1. Times Union (Albany) New York Obit.,
  2. Schenectady Daily Gazette,