Knap History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Knap begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived one of several places named Knapp in England. The word knapp comes from the Old English "cnoepp," meaning a hilltop or summit. [1]

Early Origins of the Knap family

The surname Knap was first found in Cambridgeshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John Cnape as holding estates there at that time. The same rolls also list John Knapp, Buckinghamshire. Kirby's Quest lists Margaret atte Cnappe in Somerset, temp. Edward I. [2] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Johannes Knape and Johannes Knaype. [3]

William atte Kneppe was listed in Place Names of Surrey in 1294, Henry de Cnappe was listed in Place Names of Devon in 1301. [4]

Another source notes: "Knapp is an old south of England name. In the 14th century an influential family of Bristol citizens bore this name. Knapp was the name of an ancient gentle family of Berkshire, a branch of which two centuries ago came into the possession of the manor of Little Linford, Buckinghamshire." [5]

By way of confirmation of the aforementioned: "About 1658, [Little Linford] was purchased by Messrs. Kilpin and others, by whom it was sold to an ancestor of the Knapp family." The family held the parish since this early entry as in the late 1800's the source notes "The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £66; patron and impropriator, Matthew Knapp, Esq., lord of the manor." [6]

The medieval Knepp Castle is found west of the village of West Grinstead in West Sussex. Built on a mound or "cnoepp," the castle was originally a motte and bailey fortress, built in the 12th century by William de Braose. In 1214, he had it rebuilt as a stone castle with a two-storey keep. Later Royal visitors included kings Henry III in 1218, Edward II in 1324 and Richard II in 1384.

Farther to the south in the parish of St. Winnow, Cornwall, the family of Knapman once held Trevegoe, which later became a farm house. But, the heiress of the family married into the Hawkey family and subsequently passed the manor to them. [7]

Early History of the Knap family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knap research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1294, 1301, 1648, 1698, 1768 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Knap History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knap Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Knap has undergone many spelling variations, including Knapp, Knappe, Knap, Knapper, Knapp, Knapman, Knappen, Kneppe, Knape, Knappen, Cnape, Cnappe and many more.

Early Notables of the Knap family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Knapp, (1698-1768), an English musical composer from Wareham, Dorset; Mary Knep (Knepp, Nepp, Knip, or Knipp) (died 1681), an English actress, one of the first generation of female performers to appear on the...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knap Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Knap family to Ireland

Some of the Knap family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knap migration to the United States

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Knap were among those contributors:

Knap Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nicholas Knap, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1631 [8]
  • William Knap, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1640 [8]
  • Thomas Knap, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [8]
  • Thomas Knap, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Robert Knap, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [8]
Knap Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Nikel Knap, who arrived in New York in 1709 [8]
  • Michael Knap, who settled in Philadelphia in 1738
  • Michael Knap, who arrived in America in 1738 [8]
Knap Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Aquila Knap, who arrived in Connecticut in 1812 [8]
  • Thomas Knap went to Philadelphia in 1813
  • S Knap, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [8]
  • George Knap, aged 37, who landed in Missouri in 1841 [8]
  • Marie Knap, aged 20, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1875 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Knap migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Knap Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Anth Knap, who landed in Canada in 1800

Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  8. ^ 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)
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