Kniss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Kniss family. Their name comes from the personal name Naos, which is a dialectal form of Aonghus or Angus. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Neis, which is derived from the earlier form Mac Naois; both of these mean son of Angus. Thus, the name Kniss is a cognate of MacAngus and MacInnes.

Early Origins of the Kniss family

The surname Kniss was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Kniss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kniss research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the year 1522 is included under the topic Early Kniss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kniss Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Kniss has been written as MacNeish, MacNeice, MacNish, MacNess, MacKness, MacNeece and many more.

Early Notables of the Kniss family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Kniss family to Ireland

Some of the Kniss family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Kniss migration to the United States +

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Kniss or a variant listed above:

Kniss Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Kniss, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750 [1]
Kniss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Kniss, aged 25, who landed in New York, NY in 1876 [1]
  • Heinrich Kniss, aged 17, who arrived in New York, NY in 1892 [1]
  • Helene Kniss, aged 43, who arrived in New York, NY in 1892 [1]
  • Conrad Kniss, aged 12, who landed in New York, NY in 1892 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kniss (post 1700) +

  • Liz Kniss, American politician, Santa Clara County Supervisor, 5th District (2000-2012)

The Kniss 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: Animo non astutia
Motto Translation: By courage, not by craft.

  1. ^ 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) on Facebook
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