Show ContentsKnaggs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Knaggs family is descended from the ancient Anglo-Saxons who inhabited England during the years before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is derived from the Old Danish and Old Norse "knag," meaning "rugged top of a hill."

Early Origins of the Knaggs family

The surname Knaggs was first found in Yorkshire, where the Knaggs family lived from ancient times. The progenitor of the name was most likely someone who lived near a crag.

Early History of the Knaggs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knaggs research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1442, 1598, 1661, 1720, 1724, 1835, 1838 and 1839 are included under the topic Early Knaggs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knaggs Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Knaggs include Knaggs, Knagges, Knag, Knags, Knagg and others.

Early Notables of the Knaggs family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Thomas Knaggs (1661-1724), a well-known clergyman, sermonist, and lecturer from County Durham, he was Chaplain to Ford Grey, Lord Grey and Vicar of Croft, Lincolnshire from 1720 until his death

Ireland Migration of the Knaggs family to Ireland

Some of the Knaggs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Knaggs migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Knaggs or a variant listed above:

Knaggs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Knaggs, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Knaggs (post 1700) +

  • Whitmore Knaggs (1763-1827), American Indian fighter, interpreter and spy
  • James M. Knaggs (b. 1950), American Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army, USA Western Territory
  • Daniel A. Knaggs (1887-1957), American Republican politician, Mayor of Monroe, Michigan, 1934-39; Michigan Commissioner of Labor and Industry, 1939 [2]
  • Henry Valentine Knaggs (1859-1954), English doctor and author, practitioner of nature cure methods
  • Skelton Barnaby Knaggs (1911-1955), English stage actor who also appeared in horror films
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Knaggs B.E.M., British recipient of Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the Scouts and to the community in Driffield, East Yorkshire [3]
  • Charles Peter Huntley Knaggs OBE, contemporary British Colonel in the British Army
  • Sir Samuel William Knaggs KCMG (1856-1924), British colonial administrator, Acting Commissioner for Tobago in 1897, Colonial Secretary for Barbados in 1903
  • Isabel Ellie Knaggs (b. 1893), well-known British geologist

  1. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from
  3. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook