NO DEAD ENDS
Moses Knight - David Britt Connections
Contributed by: Brenda Knight Smith
Myrtle Bridges March 11, 2006
I became interested in genealogy in about 1975, and of course, started with my father's line. With
the help of my great grandmother's Bible, I traced the family back to the death of my 3rd great
grandfather, David Britt Knight. The records showed that Britt, as he was called, had been killed
at a battle near Richmond, Va, in 1862. He left a widow and four young children, living near her
family on a farm in Georgia.
I was moving right along, ordering his military records, and his wife's pension application and records.
Just dig around and I should discover his parents name. Right? Well, I have been fighting that Civil
War for 30 years, looking for Britt's parents.
When I first saw his name, I announced to my family that Britt must be a surname. After all, the name
had been handed down through my family to my grandfather, John Britt Knight, and on to my uncle and cousin .
"Oh No!" said my parents, "there are no Britt's related to us. They just liked the name!" Yeah, right.
I was determined to prove them wrong.
For the last 30 years, I have investigated every Knight family in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
and Alabama. Sifting through the clues in the war and census records, I felt I knew the migration trail
they had taken. David Britt Knight said he was born in NC, on the census. Using the history of his in-laws,
I narrowed the search to Richmond Co., NC. From there, the family came through Ga and on west, stopping,
at least for awhile in Alabama. The question was, when did they leave NC, how long were they in each place,
did they keep moving and what was their name?
In Richmond Co. NC, I found Moses Knight and David Britt living as neighbors, and the right age to be David's
grandfathers. These two men haunted me for years, and I looked at them as my ancestors, even though I had no
link to them other than their names. I was convinced they were mine. Eventually, I ordered records for Moses
Knight, and lo and behold he listed his children. Daughter Elizabeth Knight married Caleb Curtis. Wait a
minute!! These were Britt's in-laws! Moses Knight may not be Britt's grandfather, but he was the grand
father of his wife. He was my ancestor after all, even if I had to go through a different line. Maybe
Britt married a cousin, but I still could not fit him into the family. There was a link missing, and
the records were just not there.
Many times, over the years, I have vowed to give up the search, stop thinking about it, just go on to
something else. But the obsession was too strong, and at every research opportunity, I ended up looking
for that Knight family. Every family looked like the perfect fit, except in the end, I would have to admit
that there was simply no evidence Britt belonged.
Thirty years of letters, court records, traveling to the locales, local histories, libraries and every
Internet site and e-mails to every Knight researcher, came up with nothing. I have felt for many years,
that the only way I would ever find David Britt Knight's family was to find someone with a Bible like
mine, that listed him. A needle in the haystack.
I have spent a great of effort to keep the same e-mail address, all these years, so that everyone would
be able to find me, just in case! On Nov 8, 2005, I opened this e-mail;
I read your query on Richmond, NC website. I think we are researching the same family. My husband is
related to the Knights, in fact that is his middle name. We have the Knight bible that was passed down
through his great grandmother. That would make Moses his 4great grandfather. It documents the marriage
and death of your David Britt Knight
To say the least, I was stunned, but didn't get my hopes up. But when, the transcript from the Bible
came, it not only contained Britt's name and dates, but the whole family, including his parents and all
their children, with birth, death and marriages for each, and the names of Britt's grandparents Moses
Knight and David Britt! These men have been calling to me for at least 15 years and the Bible has been
in Florida since before Britt's death in the war. My grandfather had settled his family in Tampa, and
the family Bible ended up in Sun City, just a few miles south.
The Moral of the story is: There is someone, somewhere that has the exact information you need. You
just need to find them. And Never Give Up.
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