Knivet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Knivet is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Knivet family lived in Kniveton, which is a parish in Derbyshire near Ashbourn. The name is pronounced Nifton.
Early Origins of the Knivet family
The surname Knivet was first found in Derbyshire at Kniveton, a parish, in the hundred of Wirksworth where "the manor of 'Cheniveton,' so called in the Domesday Survey, was from a very early period the property of the Kniveton family. " 
"The extinct Baronet family descended from Sir Matthew de Knivetone, who flourished in that county temp. Edward I. " 
The place name literally means "farmstead of a woman called Cengifu," derived from the Old English personal name + "tun."  "The manor of 'Merchenestune' [Mercaston] was for many generations the property and seat of a younger branch of the Knivetons, of Bradley, who were seated here as early as the reign of Edward III. William Kniveton was one of the baronets created by James I. on the institution of the order in 1611. " 
"The incumbent resides in the Hall [of Ashwelthorpe in Norfolk], an ancient residence of the Knyvett family, moated on three sides." 
Early History of the Knivet family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knivet research. Another 390 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1066, 1500, 1535, 1544, 1591, 1649, 1591, 1605, 1440, 1515, 1480, 1471, 1486, 1549, 1536, 1543, 1485, 1512, 1510, 1539, 1616, 1579, 1558, 1622, 1569, 1605, 1655, 1699, 1600, 1671, 1655, 1693, 1685, 1687, 1689 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Knivet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Knivet Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Knifton, Kniveton, Knyveton, Nifton, Knyvet, Knyveton and many more.
Early Notables of the Knivet family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Matthew de Kniveton; Sir William Knyvett (c. 1440-1515), English politician, High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1480 and 1471; Sir Anthony Knyvett (c. 1486-1549), English politician who held the office of Black Rod in the English Parliament from 1536 to 1543; Sir Thomas Knyvett (also Knevitt or Knivet or Knevet), of Buckenham, Norfolk (c. 1485-1512), an English nobleman who was a close associate of King Henry VIII shortly after that monarch came to the throne participating in the jousts and pageants and was rewarded by being appointed Master of the Horse...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knivet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Knivet family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Knivet or a variant listed above: John Kniveton settled in Virginia in 1738 (he also spelled his name Knifton).
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: In domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)