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The Kneppe name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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The surname Kneppe 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
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.
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Johannes Knape and Johannes Knaype. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.

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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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.

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Kneppe has undergone many spelling variations, including 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 Kneppe research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1294, 1301, 1648 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Kneppe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notables of this surname at this time include William Knapp, an 18th century 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 Kneppe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Kneppe 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.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kneppe were among those contributors: Nicholas Knapp who settled with William and his wife and eight children in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Thomas Knap, who settled in Virginia in 1653; P. Knappe, who settled in Philadelphia in 1820.

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Citations



  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.

Other References

  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Kneppe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kneppe 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 7 August 2016 at 09:42.

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