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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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


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

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.


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.


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


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.


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


  • Brian McKnight (b. 1969), Grammy-nominated American singer
  • Linda McKnight, American double bassist
  • James McKnight (b. 1972), former American NFL football player
  • Chad McKnight (b. 1984), American professional basketball player
  • 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
  • Dennis Neal McKnight (b. 1959), former American NFL football guard who played from 1982 to 1992 and coached from 1981 to 2013
  • Robert McKnight (1820-1885), American Republican United States Representative from Pennsylvania (1859-1863), father of Denny McKnight
  • 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
  • DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight (b. 1954), American guitarist



  • McKnight Genealogy by Imogene Linville Millican.
  • The McKnight Family and their Descendants by Texarado McKnight Peak.

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. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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 9 February 2015 at 09:11.

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