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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German


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.

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The surname Knapp was first found in Cambridgeshire. However, 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.

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Another 151 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knapp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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


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


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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  • 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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  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  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 1 February 2016 at 11:22.

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