Archiver > REYNOLDS > 2002-05 > 1020364533

Subject: [Reynolds] William Reynolds and Mary "Polly" Knapp
Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 14:35:33 EDT

Dear Cousins:

Several years ago I came to the conclusion that Mary "Polly" Knapp, wife of
William Reynolds was not the daughter of Joshua and Eunice Knapp. I wrote an
article and it was published in "Reynolds Recollections." Recently I was
able to see a study by Nelson A. Close of Darien, CT which was published in
the December 1963 issue of Connecticut Ancestry. This was a study of the
abstract of the will of Sarah (Mills) Mead on which I based some of my
conclusions. While the purpose of the study was different from my own, he
came to the same conclusion regarding the parentage of Mary (Knapp) Reynolds,
many years before I came to my own conclusions.

Here again, are those conclusions:

In the Reynolds Genealogy, Mary "Polly" Knapp, wife of William Reynolds, is
called "Perhaps the daughter of Joshua and Eunice Knapp." Joshua and Eunice
(Peck) Mead did have a daughter named Mary, but she married Ambrose Reynolds,
not Williams Reynolds.

Polly was the daughter of Caleb and Clemence (Mills) Knapp. According to
her head stone, Polly's maiden name was definitely Knapp. In 1786, Sarah
(Mills) Mead made her will in which she states that all of the nieces and
nephews in the will are either the children of her brother Samuel Mills or
those of her sister Clemence (Mills) Knapp. Polly is mentioned in the will
of Sarah (Mills) Mead as "my niece, Mary, wife of William Reynolds." Later
in the will Sarah mentions some of the children of her nieces and nephews.
One of those mentioned is Clemence Reynolds, wife of Thomas Hitchcock.
Clemence (Reynolds) Hitchcock was the daughter of William and Mary (Knapp)
Reynolds. Mary's sister, Lydia was also named in the will as "my niece,
Lydia, wife of Horton Reynolds." Horton Reynolds and William Reynolds were

While Sarah named over 30 of her relations there were glaring omissions in
the will. Why, for instance, did Sarah name Clemence (Reynolds) Hitchcock,
but not any of the brothers or sisters of Clemence? Even more important, why
did Sarah not name her own sister, Susannah, nor any of Susannah's children.
The were other curious omissions, ones that lead me to conclude that Aunt
Sarah had a mind of her own, and made decisions from her heart, not from her


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