Knight History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The ancient name of Knight finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a knight, who was usually a feudal tenant deriving its origin from the Old English word cniht, which means knight. The word cniht also means servant and common soldier. Knighthood was established as a military profession by the 10th century. With the Norman Conquest and the resultant changes in the social order, knighthood became an established feudal rank, directly under that of a Baron. It was associated with the holding of land, but was not hereditary. Because land was hereditary and knighthood was not, there grew up a body of landless knights, who often banded together into military orders, such as the Knights Templar, and the Knights Hospitalers. As time went by, cavalry decreased in importance in warfare and the excesses of the Knights Templar brought the institution of knighthood into disrepute. The Knights Templar were suppressed by Pope Clement V in 1312. By the 16th century knighthood became a civil distinction.

Early Origins of the Knight family

The surname Knight was first found in Suffolk where one of the first records of the name was John le Cnitht who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls also lists: Gilbert le Knyt in Cambridgeshire; Roger le Knith in Oxfordshire; and Ellis le Knyght in Wiltshire.

The surname was "well distributed over England south of a line drawn from the Humber to the Dee. In the northern part of England it is singularly rare. Sussex stands foremost for the number of its Knights, and after it come, in their order, Hants, Leicestershire and Rutland, and Gloucestershire. In Norfolk and Suffolk we have the form of Knights." [1]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Johannes Knyght; Willelmus Kneyte; Thomas Knycht: and Willelmus Knygth. [2] Some of the family were found in Scotland in early times. Robert dictus Knycht was burgess of Abirbrothoc and had a charter of a piece of land in Aberbrothoc in 1331. In 1435, John Knycht was canon of Brechin and rector of Funewyn (Finhaven.) He is probably the John Knycht who appears on an inquest on the lands of Tulloch in 1438. [3]

More recently some of the family held estates at Aston-Sub-Edge in Gloucestershire. "Norton-Burnt House, so called from the greater portion of it having been destroyed by fire while the seat of Sir William Knight, Bart., is the property of the Earl of Harrowby." [4]

Another branch was found at Letwell in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "The family seat of the Knights, here, an ancient house, was taken down by the late Mr. Gally Knight when he removed his residence, a few years since, to the mansion at Firbeck; but the offices, with the gardens and pleasure-grounds, in the latter of which is an extensive lake, are still remaining." [4]

Important Dates for the Knight family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knight research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1182, 1606, 1605, 1612, 1683, 1660, 1718, 1619, 1691, 1660, 1673 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Knight History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knight Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Knight family name include Knight, Knights and others.

Early Notables of the Knight family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir William Knight, Ambassador to Maximilian; John Knight (died 1606), Scottish mariner and commander of an expedition off the coast of Greenland in 1605, he named Knight's Islands there; Sir John Knight (1612-1683), "the elder" an English merchant and politician, Member of Parliament for Bristol (1660), Mayor of Bristol; and his...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knight Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knight migration to the United States

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Knight surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Knight Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Walter Knight, who landed in Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1622 [5]
  • John Knight, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Richard Knight, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Mordecay Knight, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625 [5]
  • Robert Knight, who settled in Boston in 1630
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Knight Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Knight, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [5]
  • Frances Knight, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [5]
  • Joseph Knight, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [5]
  • Jung Peter Knight, aged 31, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [5]
  • Jacob Knight, aged 36, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Knight Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Knight, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [5]
  • Daniel Knight, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [5]
  • David Knight, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [5]
  • Abraham Knight, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • James Knight, who landed in New York in 1827 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Knight migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Knight Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jane Knight, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Mr. Knight John U.E. born in Abington, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA from Abington, Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Beaver Harbour, Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement [6]
  • Mr. Knight Joshua U.E. (b. 1731) born in Abington, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA from Abington, Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Beaver Harbour, Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement, leader of the Quakers from Abington married to Sarah Tyson having 10 children, he died in 1801 [6]
  • Mr. Knight Joshua Jr., U.E. born in Abington, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA from Abington, Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Beaver Harbour, Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement [6]
  • Mrs. Knight Sarah U.E. born in Abington, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA from Abington, Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Beaver Harbour, Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada c. 1783 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Knight Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Frederick Knight, aged 29 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Zealous" departing from the port of London, England but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [7]
  • Mr. Frederick Knight, aged 12 who was a Seaman aboard the ship "Zealous" taking passenger to Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec departing from the port of London, England but died at Grosse Isle on 8th September 1847 in the typhus epidemic [8]
  • Mr. James Knight, aged 1 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Goliah" departing 21st May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 18th July 1847 but he died on board [9]

Knight migration to Australia

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

Knight Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Knight, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • Mr. William Knight born in Cornwall, UK convicted in Cornwall on 9th August 1830, sentenced for 14 years for thievery, transported aboard the ship "Argyle" in 1831 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia, he died on board 13th June 1831 [11]
  • Mr. William Knight (b. 1809), aged 21, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 9th August 1830, sentenced for 14 years for stealing a tent, a greatcoat, and a woollen cloth, transported aboard the ship "Argyle" on 5th March 1831 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia, he died on voyage on 13th June 1831 [12]
  • William Knight, English convict from Cornwall, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [13]
  • Margaret Knight, Scottish convict from Aberdeen, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Knight migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Knight Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel M Knight, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Charles Knight, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Knight, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Duke of Roxburgh
  • William Knight, aged 39, a miner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Mary Ann Knight, aged 36, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Knight (post 1700)

  • Charles F. Knight (1936-2017), American business executive, Chairman of Emerson Electric Co (1974-2004)
  • Robert Knight (1945-2017), born Robert Peebles, an American singer best known for the 1967 recording of the song "Everlasting Love"
  • Michael Anthony Knight Jr. (1978-2017), American fashion designer
  • Wray Thomas Knight, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Richmond, Virginia, 1898-1906 [15]
  • William W. Knight, American politician, Burgess of Munhall, Pennsylvania, 1960 [16]
  • William W. Knight (b. 1889), American politician, Delegate to Alaska State Constitutional Convention, 1955-56 [16]
  • William R. Knight Jr., American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1916 [16]
  • William J. Knight (1929-2004), American politician, Mayor of Palmdale, California, 1988-92; Member of California State Assembly, 1993-96; Member of California State Senate 17th District, 1997-2004; Died in office 2004 [16]
  • William Frank Knight (b. 1847), American Republican politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives, 1889; Member of New Hampshire State Senate 6th District, 1895-96; Mayor of Laconia, New Hampshire, 1907-09 [16]
  • William D. Knight, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, 1897-99 [16]
  • ... (Another 162 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Knight family

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Robert Knight, British Butcher from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [17]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. C.  Knight, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [18]
  • Mrs. Minnie  Knight (1895-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [18]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Neil Kenneth Knight (1921-1941), Australian Steward from Midland Junction, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [19]
HMS Cornwall
  • Roy Mackenzie Knight (d. 1942), British Ordinary Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [20]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Roy F Knight (b. 1923), English Midshipman serving for the Royal Navy Reserve from Goring-by-Sea, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [21]
  • Mr. Stanley R Knight (b. 1913), English Joiner 4th Class serving for the Royal Navy from West Ham, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [21]
  • Mr. John Knight (b. 1919), English Engine Room Artificer 4th Class serving for the Royal Navy from Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [21]
  • Mr. James A P Knight (b. 1916), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Calbourne, Isle of Wight, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [21]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Frederick Knight, British R D F Operator, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Jack Knight, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Frederick Knight, DSM, British Joiner 3rd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Esmond Pennington Knight (1906-1941), English Lieutenant Gunnery Officer from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales May 1941 and survived but was blinded, before the sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales [22]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Geoffrey Edward William Knight (1922-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [23]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. C. T. Knight, English Able-Bodied Seaman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. Charles Knight, English Night Watchman from Liverpool, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and Survived the sinking but later died [24]
  • Mr. Charles Harwood Knight, American 1st Class Passenger from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
  • Miss Elaine Harwood Knight, American 1st Class Passenger from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Robert J. Knight (d. 1912), aged 39, Irish Fitter from Belfast, Ireland who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. George Knight, aged 44, English Saloon Steward from Woolston, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 13 [25]
  • Mr. Leonard George Knight (d. 1912), aged 21, English Steward from Bishopstoke, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Robert J. Knight (d. 1912), aged 39, Irish Second Class passenger from Belfast, Ireland who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [25]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Robert Wagner Knight, American Electrician's Mate Third Class from Ohio, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]

You May Also Like

Citations

  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 38)
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 62)
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 83)
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  13. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  14. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Amphitrite voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1833 with 99 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/amphitrite/1833
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Wray Knight. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) William Knight. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  17. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  18. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  19. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  20. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  21. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  22. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  23. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  24. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  25. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  26. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate