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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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The surname McKnight was first found in Kirkcudbright, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacKnight, MacKnyght, MacNaught, MacNaight, MacKnaught, MacKnaight, MacNight and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKnight research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKnight History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McKnight Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McKnight family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 272 words (19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKnight Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John McKnight, who landed in Maryland in 1668

McKnight Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Margaret McKnight, who arrived in South Carolina in 1772
  • Jane McKnight, who arrived in South Carolina in 1772
  • Thomas McKnight, who arrived in America in 1773

McKnight Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William McKnight, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Samuel McKnight, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1825
  • Mary McKnight, who landed in New York, NY in 1849
  • Elizabeth McKnight, aged 21, landed in New York, NY in 1849
  • James McKnight, who landed in Alabama in 1858


McKnight Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George McKnight arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Candahar" in 1851

McKnight Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John McKnight, aged 19, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Constance" in 1862
  • John McKnight arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Excelsior" in 1870
  • John McKnight, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875
  • Johanna McKnight, aged 22, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1875

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  • DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight (b. 1954), American guitarist
  • Harmar Denny McKnight (1848-1900), American founding owner of the Allegheny Baseball Club of Pittsburgh, later known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, son of Robert McKnight
  • Robert McKnight (1820-1885), American Republican United States Representative from Pennsylvania (1859-1863), father of Denny McKnight
  • Dennis Neal McKnight (b. 1959), former American NFL football guard who played from 1982 to 1992 and coached from 1981 to 2013
  • Charles McKnight (1750-1791), American surgeon and physician in the Hospital Department of the Continental Army under General George Washington
  • Joe McKnight (b. 1988), American NFL football tailback
  • Chad McKnight (b. 1984), American professional basketball player
  • James McKnight (b. 1972), former American NFL football player
  • Linda McKnight, American double bassist
  • Brian McKnight (b. 1969), Grammy-nominated American singer

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  • McKnight Genealogy by Imogene Linville Millican.
  • The McKnight Family and their Descendants by Texarado McKnight Peak.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nil durum volenti
Motto Translation: Nothing is difficult for the willing.

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  4. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  9. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  10. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  11. ...

The McKnight Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKnight 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 19 December 2015 at 00:39.

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