Descendants of early Mormon Latter-day Saints Joseph Sr. and Polly Peck Knight united in two days of reunion activities in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 13 and 14. Every two years, Knights from around the country meet to exchange family histories, celebrate the family’s rich ancestral heritage, and hear updates on Knight family projects.
Joseph Knight Sr. was a close friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith from
the start of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was instrumental in assisting Joseph Smith’s temporal support during the translation of the Book of Mormon. He and his son Newel Knight are mentioned in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants, Chapters 12 and 23.
Two special events highlighted this year’s reunion. On Friday the Knights met for a full day of classes and three sessions at the Church History Library to see a presentation of Knight artifacts and histories collected by Church historians and Knight members. That evening over 450 Joseph Knight Sr. cousins gathered for a fireside featuring Elder Steven E. Snow and Sister Phyllis Snow, a Knight descendent. Elder Snow brought the cane Joseph Smith Jr. gave to his beloved friend Joseph Knight Sr. on the streets of Nauvoo with the charge to hand it down to only descendants named Joseph as a remembrance of their fidelity as friends and co-workers in the Restoration.
The kickoff to Saturday’s events was a presentation by William G. Hartley, author of the Knight family book, Stand By My Servant Joseph, of his current work in publishing The Newel Knight Journal, slated for 2016 by Brigham Young Press.
Knight family members enjoyed several video presentations, many handouts, CDs and DVDs, and classes on scrapbooking and the Internet. Younger Knights were treated to fun primary activities.
Carolyn Lyman, James Knight, Edi Ulloa, Darrell Knight, Ferral Knight, Gordon Knight, Howard Edwards, Diane and John Mangum, and Cathy and
Boyd Knight headed the reunion committee. John Mangum was elected as the chairman of our next reunion in 2016.
Our thanks to all Knight descendants who attended and supported a successful and inspiring reunion. Our beloved forefathers
and mothers were with us in spirit and love. We extend heartfelt appreciation to Elder Steven E. and Sister Phyllis Snow and
Brother William G. Hartley for their marvelous presentations. Elder Snow was very kind to welcome Knights at the Church Library
and to bring the Knight cane to display Friday night at the fireside. It was an occasion we all will not soon forget. And that is precisely
what Joseph Smith Jr. promised his friend Joseph Knight Sr. that his descendants would ever remember his name as long as
there was a righteous Son of Israel in Zion.
Many requested copies of class presentations. Here are several you can download as a pdf and print
on your computer:
1. (1) pdf file on Knight Women 1st and 2nd Generations: CLICK HERE to download
2. (1) pdf file on The Legacy of the Knight Women: CLICK HERE to download
3. (1) pdf file on Polly Peck Knight: CLICK HERE to download
4. (1) pdf file on Joseph Knight Jr.: CLICK HERE to download
5. (1) pdf file on Joseph Knight Sr.: CLICK HERE to download
6. (2) photos pdf file Joseph Knight Sr. Mt. Pisgah memorial dedication: CLICK HERE to download
Joseph Sr. and Polly Peck Knight descendants met
for two days of reunion activities in St. George, Utah,
June 8 and 9. Every two years, Knights exchange family
histories, celebrate a rich ancestral heritage, and
explore their common roots. This year’s reunion was
the largest in attendance and in the number of special
events and activities.
Preparations were well planned and executed
including a delicious Friday Dutch Oven dinner for over 330 persons. For a good
number of Knight relatives, it was their first Knight reunion. More younger families
attended than in past reunions. All were excited to mingle and share memories.
James Knight and Dilworth Lyman created a spectacular
giant pedigree wall chart of all Joseph Knight’s children
posted in the cultural hall where Knights met for events.
Two special events highlighted this year’s reunion.
After the Friday dinner, nearly 400 Knights met in the
historic St. George Tabernacle for a fireside with Elder
Bruce C. and sister Marie Hafen, president and matron of
the St. George LDS Temple. Both are descendants of Joseph Sr. and Polly
Peck Knight.Their combined address featured the
theme: “Keep your covenants and your covenants will
keep you.”The Hafens wove many spiritual stories of
early Knight family experiences to demonstrate how the
grace of the Lord can be manifested in our own lives, even experiencing similar miracles and answers to
prayers. Obedience to the commandments of God provides
access to God’s mercies—for God always keeps
On a beautiful Saturday morning, Lydia Knight’s
new headstone, located in the St. George cemetery, was
re-dedicated on the exact date of her 200th birthday!
Lydia crossed the Great Plains with seven children as a
single mother after her husband Newel Knight died in
Nebraska in 1847. Her life has been chronicled in several books, articles, and
magazines. Lydia’s motto was, “God Rules!” Special thanks to James Knight, the late Mavon Herring,
and Branton Campbell, who gave an inspiring dedicatory prayer.
Held Friday afternoon, the histories of Joseph Knight
Sr., Joseph Knight Jr., Polly Knight, Samuel Knight and
Joseph Knight’s children were reviewed in a series of workshop
classes, and included other family history instruction
presented by missionaries from the St. George LDS Family
Marla Kirby headed up the service project. Children and youth were treated to
special activities for both days. Knights enjoyed a reader’s theatre, before
Saturday’s lunch, from Vickie Lasswell.
A short business meeting culminated the Saturday
agenda. Gordon Knight presented a lifetime recognition
award to Darrell Knight for his many contributions to the
Joseph Knight family, including organizing the Knight
Family Organization in 1988; assisting with researching and
publishing two Knight family history books, working
closely with the author Bill Hartley; and initiating many
historical projects, such as the current effort to publish
Newel Knight’s personal journal next year.
Saturday afternoon and evening were left open for family tours, shopping, and swimming.
A large volume of Knight DVDs were purchased, along with pre-ordered T-shirts,
which enable the funding of future Knight events and contributing to special
projects, such as the restoration of the Joseph Knight Sr. original farmhouse
at Colesville, New York.
Carolyn Lyman of Highland, Utah chaired the reunion and
supervised an army of volunteers. Her drive and organizing
abilities were seen throughout the entire event. All Knights owe
her special appreciation for more than a year’s effort to put on
Other committee members included James Knight, Edi Ulloa,
Darrell Knight, Ferrel Knight, and Gordon Knight. Edi Ulloa was
not able to attend this year’s reunion, but her work over many years in keeping
a database of reunion and website registrations ensured a successful event. Special
thanks to Kristine Hatch for managing the huge job of keeping us well fed; to
Natalie Johnson for orchestrating the promotion and advertising; and to LuAnn
Abbott and Jennie Murdock, who organized the classes.
And sincere thanks to everyone for attending. It was a joy to meet so many marvelous
descendants. In the end, all the effort to bring Joseph Knight families closer together is a
direct fulfillment of Joseph Smith’s blessing to Joseph Knight Sr., that his name would never
be forgotten among the righteous of the earth and his posterity.
Plan to attend the 2014 Reunion. Have an interest to work on the organizing committee? Simply send us an email at:
General Rules for Reunions:
Meet every two years (even years).
Each branch (children of Joseph & Polly Knight) take turns acting as chairpersons of the reunion.
Hold each meeting near the home of the chairpersons for efficiency.
Establish no formal dues, by-laws, constitution, elected officers to avoid being required reporting as a "non-profit" organization to the State. Funds will come from voluntary donations for souvenirs, artifacts, histories, etc. offered at the reunions. A steering committee comprised of representatives of the branches of the original family will assist the chairpersons in staging each reunion. These committee members should have Email address so they can communicate with each other.
Accept the mission of educating relatives
of our heritage, buidling testimonies in the youth, and fullfil the stated desire
of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., when he wrote on 22 Jan 1842; "Behold he (Joseph
Knight Sr.) is a righteous man...and it shall be said of him, by the sons of
Zion, while there is one of them remaining, that this was a faithful man in Israel;
therefore his name shall never be forgotten." For those planning well ahead,
reunions should be staged in the years of 2014, 2018 etc., with the help of volunteers
from descendents of Newel, Anna, Joseph Jr., Esther, Elizabeth and Polly, and