Kniffen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The chronicles of the Kniffen family show that the name was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for a person who lived in Ayrshire. The surname Kniffen was also regarded as derived from the Gaelic patronymic Mac Naoimhin, which is derived from the word naomh, meaning saint.
Early Origins of the Kniffen family
The surname Kniffen 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 Kniffen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kniffen research. Another 252 words (18 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 Kniffen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kniffen Spelling Variations
The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Kniffen 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 Kniffen 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 Kniffen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kniffen family to Ireland
Some of the Kniffen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kniffen migration to the United States +
The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:
Kniffen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- William Kniffen, who landed in Colorado in 1906 
Contemporary Notables of the name Kniffen (post 1700) +
- Fred Kniffen, American cultural geographer at Louisiana State University who was a specialist in folk architecture
- Jan Rogers Kniffen (b. 1948), American consultant to investors in retail companies, former retail executive with May Department Stores
Related Stories +
The Kniffen 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
- ^ 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)