Rhineland. In pre-medieval times, the German people used only one name, but as the population increased, hereditary surnames became necessary for people to maintain unique identities. Knaapp is a nickname surname, a style of name based on an eke-name, or added name, that described a characteristic of its original bearer. Knaapp is a name for a young person or for a person who had a youthful appearance. The surname Knaapp was originally derived from the German word "knappe," which means "young."
Early Origins of the Knaapp family
Rhineland, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.
Early History of the Knaapp family
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Knaapp Spelling Variations
Early Notables of the Knaapp family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Knaapp family to the New World and Oceana
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans, including many Rhinelanders, made the voyage to North America between the 17th and 20th centuries. It was an escape from religious persecution and poverty and also an opportunity for people to start over and own their own land. Most landed at Ellis Island, off New York before moving on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, and California. Some also landed in Canada and settled in Ontario, while others headed west to the prairie provinces. A study of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of people bearing the name of Knaapp, or one of its variants, reaching North America shores very early: Michael Knap, who came to Philadelphia in 1738; as did Jacob Knapp in 1753 and Thomas Knap in 1813. Gottfried Knaper arrived in 1753; while Philip Henrich Knapp came in 1771.
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