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The origins of the Knapp name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Knapp was originally derived from a family having lived one of several places named Knapp in England. The word knapp comes from the Old English "cnoepp," meaning a hilltop or summit. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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The surname Knapp 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
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.
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Johannes Knape and Johannes Knaype. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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, 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.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Knapp include Knapp, Knappe, Knap, Knapper, Knapp, Knapman, Knappen, Kneppe, Knape, Knappen, Cnape, Cnappe and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knapp research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1294, 1301, 1648 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Knapp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notables of this surname at this time include William Knapp, an 18th century 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 Knapp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Knapp 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.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Knapp Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Nicholas Knapp who settled with William and his wife and eight children in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Nicholas Knapp, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630

Knapp Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jacob Knapp arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • Frederick Knapp, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1763
  • Philip Henrich Knapp came to Philadelphia in 1771
  • Philip Henrich Knapp, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1771
  • Jacob Knapp, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1792

Knapp Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Knapp, who landed in America in 1800
  • Samuel Knapp, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Christian Knapp, who arrived in New York, NY in 1846
  • Carl Knapp, aged 26, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Catherine Knapp, aged 23, landed in New York, NY in 1847
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Knapp Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Private Knapp Benjamin U.E. (b. 1761) who settled in Western District [The townships of Essex County and Kent County], Ontario c. 1784 he served as Lieutenant in Colonel Butlers Company of the Corps Rangers, married Katherine having 10 children he died in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1823
  • Mr. Knapp Joseph U.E. (b. 1743) born in New York, USA who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 he died in 1836 in Montague Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
  • Mr. Knapp Moses U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John West], New Brunswick, Canada c. 1784 he was a member of the Reading Association

Knapp Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John Knapp, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Ann Knapp, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • Henry Knapp, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • James Knapp, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Knapp Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Georgina Knapp arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Hartley" in 1837
  • Thomas James Knapp arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Georgian Knapp arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • George Knapp arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Eliza Alldin Knapp arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
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Knapp Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Knapp landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Olympus
  • James Knapp, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842
  • Ellen Knapp, aged 17, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842
  • Alban Vincent Knapp, aged 35, a blacksmith, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873
  • Maria Ann Knapp, aged 35, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873
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  • Brigadier-General Robert Duane Knapp (1897-1994), American Commanding Officer 57th Bombardment Wing (1944-1945)
  • Anthony Lausett Knapp (1828-1881), American Democrat politician, Member of Illinois State Senate, 1859; U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1861-65
  • Amelia Knapp, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1936
  • Alfred J. Knapp, American politician, First Selectman of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1920
  • A. R. Knapp, American politician, Delegate to Illinois State Constitutional Convention from Jersey County, 1847
  • Augustus H. Knapp, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brookfield, 1872
  • C. E. Knapp, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1940
  • Charles Knapp (1797-1880), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Delaware County, 1841; U.S. Representative from New York 19th District, 1869-71
  • Charles H. Knapp, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1924
  • Charles J. Knapp, American politician, Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933
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Knapp Historic Events



HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Douglas John Knapp (1923-1941), Australian Stoker 2nd Class from Altona, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
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  • Family History and Genealogy of James McEvers, 1775-1829, Abraham Knapp, Jr., 1759-1809, the Children and Grandchildren by Harry B. Zabriskie.
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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.

Other References

  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Knapp Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Knapp 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 12 July 2016 at 08:54.

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