Show ContentsKnighten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Knighten comes from when the family resided in Knighton, which had three locations. The first West Knighton, a parish in the county of Dorset; the second, a chapelry in the parish of Lindridge in the county of Worcester; and thirdly, a chapelry in the parish of St. Margaret's, Leicestershire.

Early Origins of the Knighten family

The surname Knighten was first found in Worcestershire at Knighton-upon-Teame, a chapelry in the parish of Lindridge. West Knighton, is a parish in Dorset, four miles from Dorchester and Knighton is a chapelry in the parish of St. Margaret, Leicester.

The Domesday Book of 1086 lists Cnihtetone, (Lecistershire) and Chitestone (Staffordshire.) [1]

The first record of the family was Henry Knighton (Cnitthon) (fl. 1363) the English historical compiler and canon of St. Mary's Abbey, Leicester. His name, Henricus Cnitthon is found in three books of the time. [2]

In early rolls, a wide variety of spellings were found: Alexander de Cnichteton in the Pipe Rolls for Worcestershire; Ralph de Knichton in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1222; and Hugh de Knyghton in the Subsidy Rolls for Leicestershire, to name a few. [3]

In Yorkshire, Thomas de Knyghton was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [4]

And in early records from Scotland, "Nicol de Knyghton del counte de Edinburgh rendered homage, 1296 [to King Edward I of England]." [5]

Early History of the Knighten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knighten research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1170 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Knighten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knighten Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Knighten include Knighton, Nicken, Nighten and others.

Early Notables of the Knighten family

More information is included under the topic Early Knighten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knighten Ranking

In the United States, the name Knighten is the 7,825th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Migration of the Knighten family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John Knighton settled in Virginia in 1643; Joseph Knighton arrived in Philadelphia in 1813.

Contemporary Notables of the name Knighten (post 1700) +

  • Clarissa Knighten, American jewelry artist who is based in Kansas City
  • Lt. Col. James Bernard Knighten (1919-2000), one of the first twelve African-Americans to become a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps
  • Lundon "Da Bridge" Knighten, American singer-songwriter from Landover, Maryland

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Lee, Sir Stanley, Dictionary of National Biography. London: The MacMillan Company 1909. Print
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. 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)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?"., on Facebook