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

Origins Available: English, German

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

The history of the Knapper family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living 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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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Knapper 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 Knapper research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1294, 1301, 1648 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Knapper 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 Knapper Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Knapper 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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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Knapper or a variant listed above:

Knapper Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jacob Knapper, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1752
  • Jacob Knapper arrived in Philadelphia in 1752
  • J. Gottfried Knapper came to Philadelphia in 1753

Knapper Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Barbary Knapper, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1804
  • Barbary Knapper came to Philadelphia in 1804 with her two children
  • Margaret Knapper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Barbary Knapper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Gottlieb Knapper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806


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  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Knapper Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Knapper 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 9 May 2013 at 11:38.

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