Knapham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Knapham is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived one of several places named Knapp in England. The word knapp comes from the Old English "cnoepp," meaning a hilltop or summit. 
Early Origins of the Knapham family
The surname Knapham 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.  The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Johannes Knape and Johannes Knaype. 
William atte Kneppe was listed in Place Names of Surrey in 1294, Henry de Cnappe was listed in Place Names of Devon in 1301. 
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." 
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." 
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. 
Early History of the Knapham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knapham 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 Knapham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Knapham Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Knapham were recorded, including Knapp, Knappe, Knap, Knapper, Knapp, Knapman, Knappen, Kneppe, Knape, Knappen, Cnape, Cnappe and many more.
Early Notables of the Knapham 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...
Migration of the Knapham family to Ireland
Some of the Knapham 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.
Migration of the Knapham family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Knapham family emigrate to North America: Nicholas Knapp who settled with William and his wife and eight children in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Thomas Knap, who settled in Virginia in 1653; P. Knappe, who settled in Philadelphia in 1820.