Knevitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Knevitt is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Knevitt family lived in Kniveton, which is a parish in Derbyshire near Ashbourn. The name is pronounced Nifton.
Early Origins of the Knevitt family
The surname Knevitt was first found in Derbyshire at Kniveton, a parish, in the hundred of Wirksworth where "the manor of 'Cheniveton,' so called in the Domesday Survey, was from a very early period the property of the Kniveton family. " 
"The extinct Baronet family descended from Sir Matthew de Knivetone, who flourished in that county temp. Edward I. " 
The place name literally means "farmstead of a woman called Cengifu," derived from the Old English personal name + "tun."  "The manor of 'Merchenestune' [Mercaston] was for many generations the property and seat of a younger branch of the Knivetons, of Bradley, who were seated here as early as the reign of Edward III. William Kniveton was one of the baronets created by James I. on the institution of the order in 1611. " 
"The incumbent resides in the Hall [of Ashwelthorpe in Norfolk], an ancient residence of the Knyvett family, moated on three sides." 
Early History of the Knevitt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knevitt research. Another 390 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1066, 1500, 1535, 1544, 1591, 1649, 1591, 1605, 1440, 1515, 1480, 1471, 1486, 1549, 1536, 1543, 1485, 1512, 1510, 1539, 1616, 1579, 1558, 1622, 1569, 1605, 1655, 1699, 1600, 1671, 1655, 1693, 1685, 1687, 1689 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Knevitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Knevitt Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Knifton, Kniveton, Knyveton, Nifton, Knyvet, Knyveton and many more.
Early Notables of the Knevitt family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Matthew de Kniveton; Sir William Knyvett (c. 1440-1515), English politician, High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1480 and 1471; Sir Anthony Knyvett (c. 1486-1549), English politician who held the office of Black Rod in the English Parliament from 1536 to 1543; Sir Thomas Knyvett (also Knevitt or Knivet or Knevet), of Buckenham, Norfolk (c. 1485-1512), an English nobleman who was a close associate of King Henry VIII shortly after that monarch came to the throne participating in the jousts and pageants and was rewarded by being appointed Master of the Horse...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knevitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Knevitt family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Knevitt or a variant listed above: John Kniveton settled in Virginia in 1738 (he also spelled his name Knifton).
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: In domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)