m. 28 Dec 1670
Facts and Events
John was left an orphan before his recollection and apparently was brought up by his uncle, Joshua bangs, for whom his first son, Joshua, seems to have been named. He must have been given a good schooling and evidently from youth up was exceptionally efficient and well regarded. The earliest occurence of his name after he grew up is in the registration of an earmark for his cattle, 24 Apr 1695. The records of the county not destroyed in 1827 contain frequent references to him in trusted capacities. A juryman in 1701, he was chosen as early as 1706 a member of a board of arbitration. In 1715, as Lieut. John Knowles, he was elected one of five townsmen to apportion the remaining common lands. He was for many years coroner and was commander of the Second Barnstable Regiment.
Joshua Sparrow in his will gave to John Knowles the house and land where he was living. The Knowles were a Head-of-Town-Cove family, that is to say, an Orleans rather than an Eastham family, none of them moving down to the north side of Town Cove until the third generation. Probably Deacon Edward (3) Knowles may have been the first to do this and some of the sons of Col John may have thus removed before their father. Col Willard (4) Knowles devised to his son Joseph "the land where the old house stood which he improved," and Joseph very soon sold to Timothy Doane 16 acres located at Stage Land, formerly belonging to Col John Knowles. This was the name for the point south of Nauset harbor. It has not been learned whether this was the first location given by the will of Joshua Sparrow. Late in life Colonel Knowles purchased from the Treat heirs the farm of Rev Samuel Treat and from that time on the senior branch of the Knowles family belonged in what is still the town of Eastham. The junior branch, descendants of the younger son of the first Richard, remained in what is now Orleans.