Knapp History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Knapp family

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] 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 Knapp family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knapp 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 Knapp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knapp Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Knapp 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 Knapp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Knapp family to Ireland

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.


United States Knapp migration to the United States +

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 [8]
Knapp Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Knapp, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • Frederick Knapp, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1763 [8]
  • Philip Henrich Knapp, who settled in Philadelphia in 1771
  • Philip Henrich Knapp, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1771 [8]
  • Jacob Knapp, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1792 [8]
Knapp Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Knapp, who landed in America in 1800 [8]
  • Samuel Knapp, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [8]
  • Christian Knapp, who arrived in New York, NY in 1846 [8]
  • Carl Knapp, aged 26, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [8]
  • Catherine Knapp, aged 23, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Knapp migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [9]
  • 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 [9]
  • 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 [9]
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

Australia Knapp migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Knapp Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Georgina Knapp, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Hartley" in 1837 [10]
  • Thomas James Knapp, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [11]
  • Georgian Knapp, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [11]
  • George Knapp, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [11]
  • Eliza Alldin Knapp, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Knapp migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Knapp Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Knapp, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Olympus
  • James Knapp, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842
  • Ellen Knapp, aged 17, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842
  • Mr. George Knapp, (b. 1833), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [12]
  • Mr. Charles E. Knapp, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gypsy" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th October 1856 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Knapp (post 1700) +

  • Wilmot E. Knapp, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chemung County, 1914 [13]
  • William R. Knapp, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rockland County, 1861 [13]
  • William F. Knapp, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1908 [13]
  • William C. Knapp, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1912 [13]
  • William Knapp, American Republican politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives 4th District, 1964 [13]
  • Walter W. Knapp, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1928, 1932; Candidate for Michigan State Senate 14th District, 1932 [13]
  • W. J. H. Knapp, American Democrat politician, Mayor of St. Albans, West Virginia, 1941-42 [13]
  • V. K. Knapp (b. 1913), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State Senate 4th District, 1963-72 [13]
  • W. E. Knapp, American politician, Representative from Oklahoma 8th District, 1932 [13]
  • U. D. Knapp, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1888 [13]
  • ... (Another 90 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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 and died in the sinking [14]


Suggested Readings for the name Knapp +

  • 707 Family History and Genealogy of James McEvers, 1775-1829, Abraham Knapp, Jr., 1759-1809, the Children and Grandchildren by Harry B. Zabriskie.

  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)
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARTLEY 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Hartley.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN from London 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840John.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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