Knell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Knell family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Knell comes from when the family lived in Kneela, in Devon, or at Knell House in Sussex, or in Knill, in Herefordshire. The place-names described above are all derived from the Old English word cnylle, which meant knoll. The name means "dweller at the knoll." It seems likely that the name originated at Knill, in Herefordshire, as this is the oldest place that bears that name. Knill appears in the Domesday Book as Chenille. Knell House derives its name directly from the family name.

Early Origins of the Knell family

The surname Knell was first found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from early times.

Early History of the Knell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knell research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1220, 1296, 1273, 1327, 1571, 1600, 1656, 1570, 1569, 1560, 1581, 1615, 1664, 1646 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Knell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knell Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Knell has appeared include Knell, Kneller, Knill, Knille, Knelle and others.

Early Notables of the Knell family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Knell ( fl. 1570), an English divine, rector of Dorset in 1569; and his son Thomas Knell (fl. 1560-1581), an English clergyman; Paul Knell (1615-1664), an English divine from Clire Hall, Cambridge; the renowned 19th century marine painter, William...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Knell migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Knell arrived in North America very early:

Knell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Knell, who settled in Virginia in 1654
Knell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Knell, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1840 [1]
  • John Henry Knell, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]
  • Christopher Knell, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1847
  • Adam Knell, aged 22, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1848 [1]
  • Charles V Knell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1880 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Knell migration to Australia +

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

Knell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Knell, aged 22, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" in 1849 [2]
  • Ann Knell, aged 22, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" in 1849 [2]
  • Henry Knell, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Taymouth Castle" [3]

New Zealand Knell 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:

Knell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Emma Knell, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Inverness" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Knell (post 1700) +

  • William R. Knell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1908 [4]
  • Derek P. Knell, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2008 [4]
  • Charles E. Knell, American politician, Mayor of Massapequa Park, New York; elected 1937 [4]
  • William Adolphus Knell (d. 1875), English marine painter who first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1826

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from
  3. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 26th June 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Taymouth Castle 1855. Retrieved
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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