Updated: Feb 4, 2019
The Knowlton name has been traced back to the time of William the Conqueror, 1066-87. The estate now called Knowlton Court, east of Canterbury, was originally granted to the Conqueror's brother. Knowlton Genealogy states that Richard Knowlton was born in 1553, "probably at Knowlton Manor, which is situated about six miles from the great cathedral at Canterbury, Kent County, England".
A book called Knowlton Ancestry, by C.H.W. Stocking of Freehold, New Jersey, 1897, is full of information about the family, but unfortunately it has recently been proven that Stocking's work has many errors. An errata edition titled Errata and Addenda to the Knowlton Ancestry was published abt. 1903 by George H. Knowlton, but still wasn't completely accurate. Finding the truth in records proves difficult, if not impossible, since parish records of the period were burned by Oliver Cromwell.
In researching the location of Knowlton Manor, I found Knowlton, located nine miles east of Canterbury Cathedral. Knowlton Court's website, claims the great house there was built in 1585 by Sir Thomas Peyton Baronetcy, making no mention of the Knowltons. According to the Domesday Book, the estate was originally granted to a brother of William the Conqueror.
Richard married Elizabeth Cantize on July 17, 1577. It is said that they had four children. Mr. Stocking's book claims their youngest son was Capt. William Knowlton, but recent Y-DNA testing is said to have refuted this claim. The tests also indicate that William and John Knowlton of Ipswich were not brothers. Furthermore, George and Stephen were not William's brothers either.
St. Dunstan's parish registers contain the records of the christening of "John, Son of Rychard Knowlen", born Feb. 21, 1584.
Whether or not William Knowlton was related to the Knowltons of Kent has yet to be determined. Anyone with documentation of the Knowlton family, please comment below.
To learn more about the Harvey/Knowlton connection, see the Harvey page.