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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Knapp family come from? What is the English Knapp family crest and coat of arms? When did the Knapp family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Knapp family history?

The origins of the Knapp name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Knapp was originally derived from a family having lived one of several places named Knapp in England. The word knapp comes from the Old English "cnoepp," meaning a hilltop or summit.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Knapp include Knapp, Knappe, Knap, Knapper, Knapp, Knapman, Knappen, Kneppe, Knape, Knappen, Cnape, Cnappe and many more.

First found in Cambridgeshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knapp research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1294, 1301, 1648 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Knapp History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 151 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knapp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Knapp family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Knapp Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Nicholas Knapp who settled with William and his wife and eight children in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Nicholas Knapp, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630

Knapp Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jacob Knapp arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • Frederick Knapp, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1763
  • Philip Henrich Knapp came to Philadelphia in 1771
  • Philip Henrich Knapp, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1771
  • Jacob Knapp, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1792

Knapp Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Knapp, who landed in America in 1800
  • Samuel Knapp, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Christian Knapp, who arrived in New York, NY in 1846
  • Carl Knapp, aged 26, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Catherine Knapp, aged 23, landed in New York, NY in 1847


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  • J Burke Knapp (b. 1913), American banker, economic advisor to the American military Government in Germany (1944-45), and director of the World Bank's operations in Latin America
  • Asahel Knapp (1833-1911), American agriculturist and teacher
  • Joseph Knapp (1864-1951), American publisher and philanthropist
  • Brooke Knapp (b. 1940), American aviatrix who set or broke more than 100 world aviation speed records
  • Vice Admiral Harry Shepard Knapp (1856-1928), Military Governor of Santo Domingo, and Military Representative of the United States in Haiti
  • Edward Alan Knapp (b. 1932), American administrator and physicist, director of the National Science Foundation from 1982-1984
  • Brigadier-General Robert Duane Knapp (1897-1994), American Commanding Officer 57th Bombardment Wing (1944-1945)
  • Stefan Knapp (1921-1996), Polish-born, British Artist


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  • Family History and Genealogy of James McEvers, 1775-1829, Abraham Knapp, Jr., 1759-1809, the Children and Grandchildren by Harry B. Zabriskie.
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  1. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Knapp Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Knapp Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 July 2014 at 20:12.

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