Origins of the New Jersey Kanouse Family,
from Munsell's History of Morris County (New Jersey)
The Kanouse family were of German origin, the name being originally spelled "Knauss." All of that name in this
vicinity and in the vicinity of Newfoundland are traceable to two brothers who came from Wurttemburg, Germany, about
1750. One, Jacob, settled in Rockaway Valley, near Powerville, and the other, called "Honiery," settled in Bergen County
(now Passaic), near John P. Brown's hotel at Newfoundland; his old homestead farm is now the property of John P.
Brown, who is his great-grandson.
There is a well-authenticated tradition pertaining to these two brothers that they emigrated to America before they
had attained to full age, and were accompanied by a half-brother who was older, a son of their mother by her first
marriage; that they were provided with a moderate amount of means, enough to give them a start in the world and pay
their expenses. When the vessel arrived in New York their half-brother, in whose keeping the funds had been placed,
under some plausible excuse, but possibly in collusion withe the captain, went ashore first, and failed to return. They
were then told that their passage had not been paid, and that they would have to be sold to service to pay their
expenses, which the captain proceeded to do. Such it appears was the practice with captains of ships in those days.
The brother Honiery was sold to Luke Ryerson, who resided on the east side of Pequannock River near Pompton
Plains. While serving there he became acquainted with a German girl working with the same family, and who had been
bought by Ryerson under like circumstances. Honiery after serving out his term also served for the balance of the girls'
term, and took her for his wife. There are descendants of Luke Ryerson living, who distinctly recollect hearing their
ancestors speak of this circumstance of young "Knauss" and the German girl, and that after they were married they went
away and settled near Newfoundland, where in after years he became the owner of a nice farm.
Jacob after serving his term settled prior to 1766 at Rockaway Valley, near Powerville, in Pequannock township. The
records of Pequannock township show that in 1766 a stray heifer was posted by him, and the county records show that
he bought land in 1768, in the description of which mention is made of a brook running near the house of Jacob
Kanouse, thus warranting the inference that he had previously bought land and built a house. That homestead, an old-
fashioned frame building, is standing and occupied by the widow and children of Daniel Kanouse, who was a grandson.
Jacob Kanouse died in 1821, at an advanced age.