Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Proud "Walton's Mountain" Upbringing

We Came to Kentucky in the Late 1790s

I have been watching the six-part series on EWTN at 6:30 pm Sunday nights, called
"Catholic Beginnings in Maryland." It is the story of my family's coming to the new world.
I thought this would be a good time to post something about my Knott-Mattingly history.


FRANCIS KNOTT (1620-1651) Rebecca Gill (1629-1663) ENGLAND
FRANCIS KNOTT Jr. (1649-1705) Eleanor Cole (1650-1705) ENGLAND
IGNATIUS KNOTT (1686-1765) Elizabeth Skeen (1720-     ) ENGLAND
RICHARD BASIL KNOTT (1745-1817) Mary Drury (1750-1780) ENGLAND to MARYLAND
CLEMENT KNOTT ((1784-1870) born in Maryland, moved to Marion County, Kentucky, then to Breckenridge County, Kentucky. Ann Nancy Hardesty (1800-1860)
RAPHAEL KNOTT (1832-1914) born in Marion County, Kentucky, died in Breckinridge County. Abigail Basham (1826-1915)
FRANCIS MARION (1865-1950) born in Breckinridge County, died in Louisville, buried in Meade County, Kentucky Ida Hardesty (1866-1953)
LEO FRANCIS KNOTT (1892-1973) born in Meade County Lillian Deliah Mills (1890-1971)
JAMES WILLIAM KNOTT (1918-1991) born in Meade County Mary Ethel Mattingly (1917-1976)
    WILLIAM GARY KNOTT (1945-  Linda Pollock (1947-      )
       -WESLEY KNOTT  (1973-                            
              - WESLEY KNOTT, JR         
              - CORY KNOTT
       - DANIEL KNOTT (1978-
              - DILLION KNOTT                    


My great grandfather, Francis Marion Knott on his wedding day.
His father was Raphael. Raphael's father was Clement, who migrated to Kentucky from Maryland.
His father was Richard Basil. Richard Basil's father was Ignatius. Ignatius's father was Francis (born 1649).
I am also related to other Maryland Catholic families: Mattingly, Mills, Hardesty, Basham, Drury and Cole.

Mt great grandfather toward the end of his life.

My grandfather, Leo Francis Knott.

The building in the middle was torn down and most of the horses were gone before I was born. It was a business called Owensboro Wagons. The General Store was still here when I was growing up. I even worked there when I was a high school seminarian. The store is now closed, but the small post office lives on. My brother owns the building today. 
I was born in the house on the right. Almost dying at birth, my country midwife grandmother not only delivered me she baptized me right there in that house. It was actually the "Hotel Rhodelia" (seriously) at one time. The middle building was torn down before I was born, but the store to the left was known to me as Vessel's Store and US Post Office. My grandparents lived across the road from the store in a small house that was originally a saloon. 

Here is a bit of Rhodelia's Vessel's Store history - an egg candler. It is actually made out of an old Gulfspray Insect Killer can with a light bulb inside mounted on a piece of recycled crate wood. When farmers brought in their eggs to sell, they had to be passed over a light to see if they were fresh before the owner bought them. I actually did this when I worked at the store when I was home for the summers from high school seminary. John and Sandy Vessels gave it to me when they closed the store because I remembered it. It has to be over 100 years old because it was very old when I used it.

My baby picture from 1944.

(Lillian Delia Mills), my grandmother and my grandfather (Leo Francis Knott),
my father and my uncles and aunts around 1933.

My mother's family before she was born - Isaac and Mary (Chappell) Mattingly. They were also part of the Mattingly clan that migrated from England to Maryland to Kentucky. A distant aunt of my mother married a distant uncle of my father (about five generations back). 

My mother classmates at the one-room Bunker Hill School. That's her in the front row, left side, third from the end, plaid dress.

My mother, Mary Ethel, on the end at the left side.

My grandparents, Isaac and Mary Mattingly, later in life and as I remember them.

That's my grandmother again, on the right, looking out from behind the dark haired woman in the middle of the front row. She belonged to the Rhodelia Homemakers Club. They quilted, gossiped and ate lunch together at each other's houses once a month.
My grandmother gave me a small section of her garden and taught me how to raise vegetables and churn butter.  
My poor mother about 1949. We lived in the house (picket fence in the background) to the right of the gas pump till I was in the 6th grade when we moved to a house about 1/4 of a mile way - the suburbs. Brenda, Gary, Nancy, Lois and myself on the right. 
Myself about 1948 or 1949

My sister's first grade class at St. Theresa Academy. I would be one year behind her. I would have worn overalls and heavy work shoes to grade school, just like most of these guys. 

My First Communion took place in 1952. I was seven years old. I remember it well. I can remember the very spot where I knelt to receive Communion and being stressed out about the possibility of "breaking my fast," which would have meant that I would have to wait another twenty-four hours and miss receiving it with my class.  

My Confirmation took place in 1956. I was twelve years old and only two years away from entering the seminary.

My 1959 sophomore high school seminary picture with Saint Thomas Seminary in the background. I was fifteen years old. How I survived that place for six years, is still a mystery to me!

I am "John Boy Walton" in my family, a writer and the first to graduate from college.