John KNIBBS, son of John Edward KNIBBS and Frances COLLINS , was born 11 May 1868 in King William's Town, Cape Province, South Africa. He married Jessie Ann SYMONS 14 October 1896 in East London, Cape Province, South Africa. He died 01 January 1951 in East London, Cape Province, South Africa. Jessie Ann SYMONS was born abt. 1870 in South Africa. She died 02 April 1934 in East London, Cape Province, South Africa.

Children of John KNIBBS and Jessie Ann SYMONS are:
1. Cyril Dobson KNIBBS, b. 08 September 1898 See Cyril Dobson KNIBBS & Thelma Ottilie MARAIS
2. Amy Phyllis KNIBBS, b. 03 January 1903
3. Alice Campbell KNIBBS, b. 22 July 1897 See Frederick Carl SCHOLL & Alice Campbell KNIBBS
4. Charlotte Edna KNIBBS, b. 09 February 1901 See Francis Walter AVERY & Charlotte Edna KNIBBS
5. Leslie Frank KNIBBS, b. 10 October 1910 See Leslie Frank KNIBBS & Eileen Winefred Hunter GRACEY

Marriage Notes for John KNIBBS\Jessie Ann SYMONS:

See John and Jessie's Marriage Certificate

Notes for John KNIBBS:

Also known as: Jack

John, taken probably in late 20's or early 30's. (click to enlarge).

It's been confirmed to me by Peter Atterbury, John's great-grandson, that it was John who was the professional photographer in the family.

I know from information given to me by William Jervois Resident Genealogist, Albany Museum, Grahamstown, that there was a J.E. Knibbs, photographer, operating in King William's Town in 1894. It is however quite possible that the photography business was operated from the same premises as his father's business.

The National Archives of South Africa (NASA) makes reference to two photographs taken by "J KNIBBS, King William's Town". One is entitled "Portrait of an Unidentified Man in Uniform" and the other "Young Man - Lexie". Both are held in the Jeffries Collection

There is also reference to two other photographs held at the Albany Museum. One is entitled "Duckles, Mr.; local minister" and the other, "Grelett, Baby". This latter one also contains the words "This baby is feed (sic) only on DW Miles Esqr. cows milk" so I suspect it may well have been used as an advertisement. Both were taken by J KNIBBS, King William's Town.

It's also known that J Knibbs the photographer took landscape photographs which were sold to tourists visiting South Africa. I was fortunate to have been given copies of two photographs taken by him. They were contained in an album created by someone whilst on a cruise in the ship S.Y. THETIS via Gibraltar, Italy, Greece, Corfu, Turkey, Lisbon, Aden, Zanzibar and various places in Africa. The album dates from around 1890 and contains many photographs collected by the original owner whilst on the cruise. The ship stopped at the Cape Province where the two J KNIBBS photographs shown below were purchased and added to the collection.

Above: MORNING MARKET c.1890 by J KNIBBS - PHOTO. Click to enlarge.

Above: BUFFALO HARBOUR c.1890 by J KNIBBS - PHOTO. Click to enlarge.

John took a wide variety of photographs including many portraits. These following photographs are a mystery as the subjects are clearly not Asian, so all the photographs do is to represent the Chinese dress of that time.

Click to enlarge.

In 1895, there was a J Knibbs Alexander Road, King William's Town. I've seen a portrait photograph taken at about that time, with his name, logo and address printed onto the bottom.

In 1951, there was a J Knibbs, Photographer, Tiddys Building, 94 Oxford Street, East London, Cape Province, South Africa. Sadly, at present we aren't sure which J Knibbs this was. I doubt that it would have been this John as by then he would have been at least in his late 70's, so I wonder if perhaps it was one of his sons or daughters who simply carried on the business using his or her father's name.

The following photograph was given to me by a man named Piet Geyer who tells me he's had it in my drawer as long as he can remember. On the back it says Girlie Ross, April 1930. The photographers stamp reads ‘J Knibbs, East London, CP'. Piet doesn't know who Girlie Ross is other than guessing she maybe related to his family somewhere back along the line.

It's the only portrait photograph I've come across from J. Knibbs, so I wanted to display it and with luck, someone may stumble across it on the web site, recognise her, and provide some background information. .

Girleiu Ross, 1930. (click to enlarge).

See John's Death Certificate


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

Sources for John KNIBBS:

  1. John Edward's Death Notice (ref. MOOC 6.9.1672, no 1276),
  2. Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers 1801-2004,
  3. LDS - South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers,
  4. Death Certificate,

Notes for Jessie Ann SYMONS:

Jessie with four of her children, Phyllis, Alice, Charlotte Edna and Cyril (click to enlarge).

Jessie was the daughter of Charlotte Elizabeth (Campbell) who was a British citizen, but born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). She died in East London on 31 October, 1929. Jessie's father was William James Symons. He died on 9 January, 1918.

In addition to Jessie, there were 7 other children:
William Henry Symons
Frederick Henry Symons
Arhur Campbell Symons
Walter Colin Symins
Cyril Symons
Alice Mary Moline (born Symins)
Harold George Symons

Jessie's Death Notice is on file at MOOC 193400006/9/4425 ref: 41379 at the Cape Archives.

KNIBBS Jessie Anne
Occupation: Home Duties
Residence: 11 Jamieson Street
Died: 02 April 1934
Age at death: 63 yrs
Buried: 03 April 1934, 2:15
Additional notes: buried: East Bank Cemetery, section: 9 C , grave no: 672
Marital status: Married
nationality: RSA
Cause of death: Superativie Cystitis
Place of death: East London
Source: East London - East Bank Cemetery, East London, Eastern Cape. burial register, 1904-2007. Repository: East London Municipality.

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

Sources for Jessie Ann SYMONS:

  1. Personal Contact with Natasha Hartlett-Von Aulock,
  2. Cape Archives Death Notice, Index confirms year 
  3. eGGSA, Genealogical Society of South Africa,
  4. South African National Archives (NAAIRS),

Notes for Amy Phyllis KNIBBS:

Amy is buried at East Bank Cemetery, section: 9 C , grave no: 673

Sources for Amy Phyllis KNIBBS:

  1. LDS - South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers,
  2. eGGSA, Genealogical Society of South Africa,