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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Kneebone, Knebone and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat early in their history.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kneebone research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1469, 1623, 1642, 1681, 1692, and 1796 are included under the topic Early Kneebone History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Kneebone Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Kneebone:

Kneebone Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Joseph Kneebone, who sailed to Barbados in 1684

Kneebone Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Kneebone came to America in 1753

Kneebone Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John and Elizabeth Kneebone, who arrived in New York in 1842
  • Elizabeth Kneebone, aged 20, arrived in New York, NY in 1842
  • John Kneebone, aged 23, landed in New York, NY in 1842

Kneebone Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • F. Kneebone arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Balaklava" in 1864


  • Rachel Kneebone (b. 1973), English artist
  • Henry "Harry" Kneebone (1876-1933), Australian journalist, author, editor and politician
  • Ron Kneebone, former Australian rules footballer
  • Alfred Francis Kneebone (1905-2004), Australian politician in the South Australian Legislative Council, Minister of Railways in 1965, Labour and Industry and Minister of Transport 1965-1968
  • Sean Kneebone, Australian actor, known for Rush (2008), Tangle (2009) and Carla Cametti PD (2009)
  • Tom Kneebone CM OOnt (1932-2003), New Zealand-born, Canadian actor, known for Counterstrike (1990), A Judgment in Stone (1986) and The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1964)
  • Nova Peris- Kneebone (b. 1971), Australian Olympic athlete


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  1. 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).
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. 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.
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Kneebone Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Kneebone 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 22 October 2015 at 08:24.

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