Cnot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Cnot surname lived at the knot, the summit of a rocky hill, from the residence near that place.

Early Origins of the Cnot family

The surname Cnot was first found in Derbyshire where traditionally the name was descended from the Scandinavian King Canute, or Cnut.

Drayton sings "The Knot that called was Canutus, bird of old, of that great King of Danes, his name that still doth hold, his appetite to please that far and near was sought, for his, as some have said, from Denmark hither brought."

Cnut or Canute the Great (994?-1035), and by Scandinavian writers the Mighty and the Old, was king of the English, Danes, and Norwegians, and was the younger son of Sweyn, king of Denmark. [1]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. Randulfus filius Cnut was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1191; Knot pater Alani and Alanus filius Knod were both listed in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202; Radulfus filius Knut was found in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1203; Walter and Robert Cnot were in the Pipe Rolls for Suffolk in 1165 and were later Knights Templar in 1185 ; William Cnotte was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Bedfordshire in 1206; William, John Knotte in the Assize Rolls for Worcestershire in 1221; and Stephen le Knotte was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings for the family: Richard Knotte, London; and Peter Cnotte, Salop (Shropshire) while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had the following: Robertus Knotte; Ricardus Notte; Isabella Notte; and Thomas Knot. [3]

Up north in Scotland, "A ship of Knut the wealthy, citizen of Berwick, was carried off by Erlind, earl of Orkney, in 1156 (Orkneyinga Saga, Edinburgh, 1873, p. 161.) Hugo Cnot granted an annual-rent of two shillings to the Priory of Inchcolm, c. 1210-1229. The name also occurs in records of Coldingham Priory as Cnoyt. Richard Knut witnessed resignation of the lands of Langholm and Brakanwra, 1281. Adum Knout and John Knout were burgesses of Roxburgh, 1296, and rendered homage [to King Edward I of England] in that year. " [4]

Early History of the Cnot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cnot research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1730, 1582, 1656, 1626, 1629, 1632, 1633, 1606, 1681, 1621, 1622, 1641, 1708, 1729, 1763, 1777, 1811, 1724, 1763 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Cnot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cnot Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Cnot 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 Cnot include: Cnot, Cnotte, Canute, Cnut, Knot, Knout, Knotte, Knott and many more.

Early Notables of the Cnot family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Knott of Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire. Edward Knott (1582-1656), born with the name of Matthew Wilson, was an English Jesuit controversialist, twice provincial of the Society of Jesus in England. He was born at Catchburn, a township in the parish of Morpeth, Northumberland. During 1626 he was a missioner in the Suffolk district. He was apprehended in 1629, and was committed to the Clink prison in Southwark, but at the instance of the queen he...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cnot Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cnot family to Ireland

Some of the Cnot family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 148 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cnot family

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 Cnot or a variant listed above: James Knott who arrived at Virginia in 1617, three years before the "Mayflower"; another James Knott was on record in Virginia in 1623; Eleanor Knott settled in Virginia in 1637.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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