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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the German Knoepfle family come from? What is the German Knoepfle family crest and coat of arms? When did the Knoepfle family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Knoepfle family history?

The history of the Knoepfle family dates back to the 12th century, when hereditary surnames first began to be used in Germany. The name Knoepfle comes from Bavaria, and is derived from the Old German word "Knopf," meaning "button"; thus, it is a name for a maker of buttons, usually of horn.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Knoepfle include Knopfler, Knopf, Knopfle, Knoepfel, Knoepfle, Knoepfli, Knoepfler, Knoff, Knof, Knofler, Knoffler, Knopfer, Knop, Knopler, Knauff, Knauffer, Knauffel and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where this family made important contributions toward the development of this district from ancient times. Ancient chronicles first mention the knight Johann Knop of Thuringia in 1368, Michel Knoepfle of Ravensburg in 1476, and Knoepfelman of Speyer in 1334.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knoepfle research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1728, 1769, 1842, 1874, and 1895 are included under the topic Early Knoepfle History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knoepfle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of German settlers came to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. The hardships of the long voyage were balanced by the opportunity to escape poverty and religious persecution. The descendents of these settlers still populate the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also live in Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Knoepfle or a variant listed above:

Knoepfle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Herman Knoepfle, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1892

Knoepfle Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Marie Knoepfle, aged 14, who landed in America from Basel, Switzerland, in 1909
  • Frieda Knoepfle, aged 8, who emigrated to the United States from Basel, Switzerland, in 1909
  • Fritz Knoepfle, aged 16, who landed in America from Basel, Switzerland, in 1909


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  1. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  2. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  5. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  8. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  11. ...

The Knoepfle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Knoepfle Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 September 2011 at 09:27.

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