Knill name in Newfoundland and Origins

A researcher recently pointed out a family group that Eric Neil and I had passed over.

The Knills of Harbour Grace below have been proven to match a family from Exeter, Devon through the YDNA test. This family became the Joseph Neil line of Bryant’s Cove.

The baptismal records from Harbour Grace are here:

8 Jan 1784 child Humphrey & Mary Knill Joseph
8 Jan 1784 child Humphrey & Mary Knill Richard
8 Jan 1784 child Humphrey & Mary Knill Humphrey
8 Jan 1784 child Humphrey & Mary Knill Joanna
8 Jan 1784 child Humphrey & Mary Knill Elizabeth

The question has been raised whether Joseph Knill (Neil) born in Harbour Grace was related to George Neil of Bryant’s Cove. A good question…….

Oral history though, states there is a complete separation of the 2 family lines. Hopefully this can be proved through further DNA testing.

George Neil’s son Bartholomew moved to Spaniard’s Bay where he named his son Humphrey.

Also this burial must be tied-in:

26 Dec 1798 Humphry Neal about 20 yr of Brians Cove

Eric has a record of Joanna marrying William Ryal of St. John’s December 2, 1807.

A return from the Commissioners for the Relief of the Poor of Harbour Grace Division, from 1848.

Humphrey Neal I.M. – 75 lbs, Mol – 2 gal. Lab – 5 dys @ 2s

Some data was gathered on the Knills

A Joseph Knill was recorded in 1709 in Bay Bulls:

Seary also records him in St John’s the same year but I cannot find the record.

In the same area at Renews Thomas Cole discussed the connection of Joanne Knill

of Bishopsteignton to the Whitborn family there:


from that discussion of the firm of William Cole & Thomas Whitborn Jr at Renews 1759 :

Correct – it would not necessarily follow that he was a young man – but I am thinking in terms of the fact that his father was named Thomas [that is Thomas who married Joanne Knill].

Now the father of Thomas [snr] [he who married Joanne] was a son of Richard Whitborne [b] 02 May 1692 and who on 25 Feb 1723 married Katherine Allen.

So there we have the three generations –
Richard/Thomas/Thomas. It is not unlikely of course that Thomas [jnr] was
learning the trade – Sir Richard Whitbourne [his about 4xggf] first learned his
seamanship as a boy with I believe “Master Cotton of Poole”.
Anyway, should you at any time turn up information on that line I would
appreciate same………

………..Good Morning Thomas – and not sure who this particular Thomas may be.

I have Thomas [b] 16 Jan 1725 Bishopsteignton and who married 03 Mar 1746 Joanne Knill. He is a direct descendant of Sir Richard Whitbourn [1561-1635] and who settled the Newfoundland fishing disputes by Admiralty Commission in 1615.

They had a son Thomas [b] 25 Apr 1748 Bishopsteignton and [d] 01 Apr 1802 West Teignmouth. If that is the Thomas Whitborn [jnr] n question he would only have been 11years of age in 1759.

Setttlement record in the Parish of Kingsteighton, Devon:

Richard Knill born in Newfoundland, North America and came to England when he was 21 to spend the winters in West Teignmouth with friends.  He spent the summers in Newfoundland. In the winter of 1801 he married.  He changed his residence to Kingsteighton.

Note  West Teignmouth would border Bishopsteignton

Sworn at Wolbourough.

2565 A/PO 51/24  1802

removal order Devon (not sure if same Richard)
Mary Knill, wife of Richard and Richard, 13, Mary Ann, 10, Elizabeth, 7 and Diana, 3, her children to Ashcombe  2565 A/PO 29/33  1816
Ideford map
1832 Quebec ships
May 23 bark Westmoreland Knill 05 April Hull to D. Fraser / in ballast
Looking for Humphrey Knill in Devon.
2 possibilities were found fairly quickly. One bordering Teignmouth and one in Tawstuck, North Devon.
Based on Richard’s return location the families within 10 km of Teignmouth are worth a closer look. Some records:
Child Parents Christening Date
George Humphery & Ann   Knill 25 oct 1778
Mary Humphery & Ann Knill 22 Apr 1781
Elizabeth Humphery & Ann Knill 13 Jul 1783
Richard Humphery & Ann   Knill 06 Aug 1786
William Humphery & Ann Knill 01 Jan 1789
Susanne Humphery & Ann Knill 03 Mar 1793
Sarah Humphery & Ann Knill 31 Jan 1790
Humphrey Humphery & Mary Knill 15 Oct 1754
Further notes on Knills:
Knill Henry Teington Epi. [Bishopsteignton] DEV 1681 A le ECCE FRYB A.
Knill Henry Teington Epi. [Bishopsteignton] DEV 1682 W? le ECCE FRYB C.
Knill Henry Bishops Steignton [Bishopsteignton?] DEV esq 1770 W le MISC Coleman – vol. 45, Item 472, p. 20 attested copy
Knill Henry Bishopsteignton DEV yeoman 1778 W co PCC PROB 11 1046
Knill John Teington Episcopi [Bishopsteignton] DEV 1731 A le ECCE FRYB A.
Knill Joseph Bishopsteignton DEV 1812 W co IRW K 273
Knill Mary Teington Bishop [Bishopsteignton] DEV 1749 A le ECCE FRYB A.
Knill Mary Bishopsteignton DEV 1833 W co IRW K 274
Knill Sibella Teington Epi. [Bishopsteignton] DEV 1714 W le ECCE FRYB t.
This family is concurrent with the Harbour Grace family (possibly cousins?).
Knills in West Teignmouth
Devon and Exeter Oath Rolls, 1723

Humphrey Knill of Bishopsteignton [Signed]

Henry Knill of Bishopsteignton [Signed

Devon Freeholders 1780

Richard Knill yeoman Exminster Bishopsteignton

 Joseph Knill of Bishopsteignton, Devon. [no title] 1078/IRW/K/274 1833

North Devon Knills:
Thanks to Genforum and David Pike for some digging……
Posted by: David Knill Date: April 14, 2000 at 20:51:26

I am looking for the parents of Humphrey Knill of Tawstock Devonshire England. Married Catherine, Humphrey died on June 7, 1688 Cathrine died on April 8, 1677. they had the following children:
1. Cathrine Knill b.1651 d.1658
2. John Knill b.1654 m.1677 Rachel Gwinup
3. Rachel Knill b.1656
4. Cathrine Knill b.1659 d.1660
5. Humphrey Knill b.1661

Most of the Knills seem to be from that area of North Devon. A good history here by
Peter R. Newcombe :
unfortunately it looks like his branch is not the one with the Humphreys.

About Humphrey Knill on the GENI website

“Anthony, I checked the microfiche for KNILL entries up to about 1670. Records of this age can be very difficult to read. As well, records were poorly kept during the English Civil War and following Commonwealth period. I did, however, find the following:

John s/o Humphrey KNILL bap 22 Apr 1654
Patience KNILL bur 9 Aug 1659
Humphrey s/o Humphrey KNILL bap 13 Feb 1661/62
Richard KNILL bur 16 May 1666
Regards, Bill”
Source: Email from William Cooke, Online Parish Clerk (OPC), for St Giles in the Wood, High Bickington, Atherington, Tawstock, and Yarnscombe, Devon, England. 16 October, 2010. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
“Anthony, I found some additional KNILL burials at Tawstock:
16 Dec 1669 Joane daughter of Mr KNILL
19 Jun 1670 Thomazyne KNILL widdow
7 Jul 1715 Edward KNILL
7 Jun 1733 Nicholas KNILL
12 Jul 1740 George KNILL
The Tawstock registers are rather disjointed. I found burials from 1653 and 1654 recorded after burials from 1670.
Cheers, Bill”
Source: Email from William Cooke, Online Parish Clerk (OPC), for St Giles in the Wood, High Bickington, Atherington, Tawstock, and Yarnscombe, Devon, England. 20 October, 2010.
Charles Knill in New Hampshire:

July 1, 1633. 

This present writing testifieth that Charles Knill doth covenant, 
with Capt. Walter Neale, Governor of Pafcattaquack, in New-England, 
in the behalf of Capt. John Mason of London, Efqr. and company, 
that the said Charles Knill shall serve at the plantation of Pafcatta- 
quack, for the use and benefitt of the said Capt. John Mason and 
company, from the date of this present writing until the first: of 
March next ensuing, during which said time, the said Charles Knill doth 
promise to doe all faithful service to the faid Capt. John Mason or his 
assignes. And the said Capt. Walter Neale doth promise in the be- 
half of the said Capt. John Mason, that the said Charles Knill shall 
well and truely be paid for his service during the said time, the somme 
of five poundes, either here in New-England or in any other place where 
Captain Johnn Mason, 
where the said Charles Knill shall conveniently appoynt, and the said 
Walter Neale doth further promise in the behalfe of the said John 
Mason, Esq. and company, that the said Charles Knill shall have pas- 
sage into England the next yeare after the said terme expires, in any 
such shipp as shall be sent hither for this plantation, provided that 

the said Charles Knill shall serve in the aforesaid plantation untill the 

shipps departure (if it shall be soe required) after the rate aforesaid. 

In testimony whereof the said Charles Knill hath here unto subscribed, 

this first of Julie, 1633. 

This is the true coppie of the covenant between Capt. Walter 
Neale and Charles Knill in the behalfe of the company. 

— New Hampshire Provincial Papers. Vol. I. p. 75. 
From Province Records. Book I. p.
more references here:
another Knill reference 1691 Boston