Kneller History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Kneller comes from the family having resided 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 Kneller family

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

Early History of the Kneller family

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

Kneller Spelling Variations

Kneller has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Knell, Kneller, Knill, Knille, Knelle and others.

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


United States Kneller migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Knellers to arrive on North American shores:

Kneller Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elias Kneller, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [1]
  • William Kneller, who arrived in America in 1764 [1]
Kneller Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Kneller, who landed in Washington, DC in 1809 [1]

Canada Kneller migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kneller Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Elias Kneller, who settled in Halifax in 1751

Australia Kneller migration to Australia +

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

Kneller Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Kneller, British Convict who was convicted in Winchester, Hampshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Corona" on 13th October 1866, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kneller (post 1700) +

  • Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), 1st Baronet, a leading portrait painter in England from Lubeck, North Germany
  • William Kneller, renowned geologist
  • Andreas Kneller, German composer


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/corona


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