Home   |   Customer Service   |   Site Map   |   Name Search   |   How To Buy

Shopping Cart
0 Items
100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - no headaches!
An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

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

The ancestors of the name Knowles date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Knowles family lived in the area that was referred to as the knoll. This surname was originally derived from the Old English word cnolle which means one who lived at the top of the hill or the summit.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Knowles are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Knowles include: Knollys, Knoll, Knolle, Knolles, Knowles, Knowlys and others.

First found in Yorkshire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knowles research. Another 205 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1325, 1407, 1588, 1659, 1614, 1621, 1622, 1624, 1626, 1628, 1629, 1599, 1691, 1646, 1668, 1665 and are included under the topic Early Knowles History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 247 words(18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knowles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Knowles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Knowles or a variant listed above:

Knowles Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Isarell Knowles, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Henry Knowles settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1635
  • John Knowles settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Alexander Knowles, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1636
  • Richard Knowles, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1638

Knowles Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Knowles, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Jane Knowles, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Abner Knowles, who arrived in America in 1782

Knowles Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Luke Knowles, aged 33, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1821
  • David Knowles, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1835
  • Saml Knowles, aged 23, landed in Key West, Fla in 1843
  • Edwin Knowles, aged 33, landed in Key West, Fla in 1848
  • George B Knowles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • John Knowles (1926-2001), American author, best known for his novel A Separate Peace (1959)
  • Anthony Carroll "Tony" Knowles (b. 1943), American politician and businessman, Governor of Alaska (1994-2002)
  • William S Knowles (b. 1917), American chemist, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001
  • Warren Perley Knowles (1908-1993), American politician, Governor of Wisconsin from 1965-1971
  • Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (b. 1981), known as Beyoncé, American sixteen-time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress
  • Sir James Knowles (1831-1908), English architect and editor
  • Mr. Thomas Knowles, aged 42, English Firemen's Messman from Lymington, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collaspible C
  • John Knowles (1781-1841), English biographer of Henry Fuseli
  • Stanley Howard Knowles (1908-1997), Canadian politician and Clergyman, member of the Canadian Parliament
  • Sir Richard Marchant "Dick" Knowles (1917-2008), British politician


  • Descendants & Antecedents of Darius Daniel Knowles by Beverly Metzger.
  • Descendants of John Knowles by Virginia Knowles Hufbauer.

Popular Family Crest Products
Knowles Armorial History With Coat of Arms
Knowles Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
Knowles Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage Series
Knowles Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
Knowles Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee Mug
Knowles Armorial History with Frame
Knowles Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms
More Family Crest Products


  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Knowles Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Knowles 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 10 October 2014 at 21:13.

©2000-2014 Swyrich Corporation. See Terms of Use for details.
houseofnames.com is an internet property owned by Swyrich Corporation.

Sign Up

100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - no headaches!