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Knife History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The ancient Scottish name Knife was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name lived in Ayrshire. The surname Knife was also regarded as derived from the Gaelic patronymic Mac Naoimhin, which is derived from the word naomh, meaning saint.

Early Origins of the Knife family


The surname Knife was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Knife family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knife research.
Another 503 words (36 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1230, 1400, 1296, 1386, 1538, 1590, 1635, 1715, 1700, 1639, 1684 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Knife History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knife Spelling Variations


The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Knife has been spelled Niven, Nevin, Nevins, Nivens, Navin, Newin, Nevane, Niffen, Nifen, Niving, Neving, Newing, Neiven, Nivine, Nevison, Niveson and many more.

Early Notables of the Knife family (pre 1700)


Notable amongst the family at this time was Kate McNiven (died 1715), also called Kate Nevin was a young nurse who served the House of Inchbrakie in the Parish of Monzie, near Crieff in Scotland in the early 1700s, she was one of the...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knife Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Knife family to Ireland


Some of the Knife family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Knife family to the New World and Oceana


To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Knife Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Harry Knife, aged 26, who landed in America from Brightworth, England, in 1912
  • John Knife, who emigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • Joseph Knife, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Maria Knife, aged 52, who emigrated to the United States from Geeva, Ireland, in 1912
  • Carrie Ethel Knife, aged 32, who emigrated to America from Ustbridge, England, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Knife Motto


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: Vivis sperandum
Motto Translation: Where there is life there is hope


Knife Family Crest Products



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