Daniel Knowlton

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Relationship: Maternal great grandfather to Ephraim Knowlton Hanks
Association: A Patriot of the Revolution

Lt. Daniel Knowlton.jpg




Elizabeth Farnham m. (3 Nov 1763) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)


  1. Daniel Knowlton b. (17 Dec 1765); m. (4 Apr 1793), Betsy Burchard; d. (Feb 1834)
  2. Elizabeth Knowlton b. (24 March 1768) m. Frederick Chaffee of Ashford
  3. Nathaniel Knowlton b. (24 Dec 1770); m. Sarah Leach (25 Nov 1798)
  4. Manassah Knowlton b. (24 Dec 1770) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)
  5. Ephraim Knowlton b. (3 Oct 1773) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)
  6. Martha Knowlton b. (24 Feb 1777); m. Charles W. Brandon of Ashford
  7. Keziah Knowlton b. (9 Feb 1781); m. (3 Jan 1805) Amasa Lyon
  8. Hannah Knowlton b. (19 Apr 1783); m. Daniel Knowlton


Rebecca Fenton m. (24 Apr 1788) (Willington, Tolland, Connecticut, USA)


William Knowlton b. (8 Feb 1705/1706) (Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
Martha Pinder b. ( ) ( )


  1. Mary Knowlton b. (9 May 1729) (Bradford, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  2. William Knowlton b. (10 Oct 1731) (Bradford, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  3. Sarah Knowlton b. (22 Jul 1733 (Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  4. Lucy Knowlton b. (20 Feb 1736) (Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  5. Daniel Knowlton b. (31 Dec 1738) (Boxford, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  6. Thomas Knowlton b. (30 Nov 1740) (Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  7. Priscilla Knowlton b. (20 May 1744) (Boxford, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
  8. Nathaniel Knowlton b. (9 Mar 1745) (Boxford, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)


Daniel Knowlton served with distinction in the French and Indian War. He was "distinguished for bravery and daring, particularly as a scout". He fought in northern New York in the vicinity of Forts Edward and Ticonderoga. During Lord Loudon’s expedition to Fort Edward (3/15 - 10/17/1757), he saved the life of Israel Putnam (later a Revolutionary War General, noted for his command of our troops at Bunker Hill) who had been attacked by Indians. Daniel arrived at the defining moment. An Indian was about to remove Putnam’s head with his tomahawk. Daniel came to his friend’s relief and "brought down the redskin by a timely shot from his musket". In June, 1758, Daniel served at Crown Point. Here he captured three men "belonging to a gang of bloodthirsty desperadoes, whose numerous atrocities made them as odious as they were terrible". Deciding it unsafe either to retain or dismiss the prisoners, the captives were hung with "halters", made from the bark of hickory saplings.

Daniel’s first wife, Elizabeth was the daughter of Manassah Farnham of Windham, CT. According to Stocking, she is descended on her father’s side from Sir John Farnham of Quorndon, County Leicester, England, who lived in the reign of Edward I. His arms are registered in Herald’s College. In St. Bartholomew’s Church, Quorndon, there is a Farnham Chapel.

Daniel also served with distinction in the Revolutionary War, initially as an Ensign with Knowlton’s Rangers, commanded by his brother, Thomas. His friend Israel Putnam, before leaving to assist in the relief of Boston, was heard to say, while gazing over to a field in Ashford where Daniel and others were training, "Gad, Zounds, had I only Daniel Knowlton to take with me, I’d lick hell itself". Daniel’s brother, Thomas Knowlton, fought with General Putnam at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Upon his arrival after the Battle of Lexington, "Old Put" asked Thomas where his older brother was. Thomas responded by telling the General that Daniel had gone in another direction. Putnam remarked "I am sorry that you did not bring him with you; he alone is worth half a company. Such is his courage and lack of fear, I could order him into the mouth of a loaded cannon, and he would go".

In June, 1776, Knowlton’s "Rangers", as part of Chester’s Regiment, were assigned to the 6th Batallion, Wadsworth’s Brigade reinforcing General Washington in the vicinity of New York City. They participated in the Battle of Harlem Heights on 9/16/1776, where Thomas was killed. Upon hearing of his brother’s death, Daniel exclaimed "We will retrieve my brother’s loss". Daniel participated in the Battle of White Plains on 10/28/1776. For bravery in the field, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant by the State Assembly. Daniel was taken prisoner at Ft. Washington on 11/26/1776 and was held captive by the British for almost two years, for part of the time on the prison-ship, "Jersey". Upon being exchanged for other prisoners, he was again taken prisoner at the Battle of Horseneck 12/9/1780. In 1782, he was 1st Lieutenant at Ft. Trumbull, New London, CT. Daniel was discharged from service 7/6/1783.

Primarily due to his treatment by the British while a prisoner, Daniel developed strong anti-British sentiments. While attending services at the Congregational Church at Ashford in later years, Daniel protested the singing of a hymn with the refrain "Give Britain Praise". He never returned!

He has been described as follows: "Bold, stern and intrepid as a lion on the battlefield, he was retiring, non-assertive in private life and inclined to belittle his achievements". Daniel died 5/31/1825 in Ashford from the effects of a fall in his barn. He is buried at Westford Hill Cemetery, Ashford, Windham, Connecticut. His gravestone is inscribed as follows:

Lieutenant Daniel Knowlton
A Patriot of the Revolution
Died May 31, 1825, aged 86 yrs.

{The following information, which has been corrected in certain instances in accordance with information gathered from public records and other sources, was taken from The History and Genealogy of the Knowltons of England and America, by the Rev. Charles Henry Wright Stocking, D.D., The Knickerbocker Press (1897). The work was dedicated to our Lt. Daniel Knowlton, hero of the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. The dedication reads as follows: "In Reverent and loving Memory of Lieutenant Daniel Knowlton of the Continental Army, The Resolute Patriot, The Fearless Scout, The Intrepid Soldier, The Upright Man, whose eminent services to his Imperiled State and Country amply merit this his first Public Memorial, This Volume is humbly dedicated, by the Author." The name comes from the old English, "cnoll" (middle English, "knolle"), meaning a small rounded hill or mound and the old English "tun", meaning an enclosed place, homestead or village; so Knowlton means town, village or place on the hill.)


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