Knott History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Knott name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Knott was originally derived from a family having lived at the knot, the summit of a rocky hill, from the residence near that place.

Early Origins of the Knott family

The surname Knott was first found in Derbyshire where traditionally the name was descended from the Scandinavian King Canute, or Cnut.

Drayton sings "The Knot that called was Canutus, bird of old, of that great King of Danes, his name that still doth hold, his appetite to please that far and near was sought, for his, as some have said, from Denmark hither brought."

Cnut or Canute the Great (994?-1035), and by Scandinavian writers the Mighty and the Old, was king of the English, Danes, and Norwegians, and was the younger son of Sweyn, king of Denmark. [1]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. Randulfus filius Cnut was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1191; Knot pater Alani and Alanus filius Knod were both listed in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202; Radulfus filius Knut was found in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1203; Walter and Robert Cnot were in the Pipe Rolls for Suffolk in 1165 and were later Knights Templar in 1185 ; William Cnotte was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Bedfordshire in 1206; William, John Knotte in the Assize Rolls for Worcestershire in 1221; and Stephen le Knotte was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings for the family: Richard Knotte, London; and Peter Cnotte, Salop (Shropshire) while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had the following: Robertus Knotte; Ricardus Notte; Isabella Notte; and Thomas Knot. [3]

Up north in Scotland, "A ship of Knut the wealthy, citizen of Berwick, was carried off by Erlind, earl of Orkney, in 1156 (Orkneyinga Saga, Edinburgh, 1873, p. 161.) Hugo Cnot granted an annual-rent of two shillings to the Priory of Inchcolm, c. 1210-1229. The name also occurs in records of Coldingham Priory as Cnoyt. Richard Knut witnessed resignation of the lands of Langholm and Brakanwra, 1281. Adum Knout and John Knout were burgesses of Roxburgh, 1296, and rendered homage [to King Edward I of England] in that year. " [4]

Early History of the Knott family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knott research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1730, 1582, 1656, 1626, 1629, 1632, 1633, 1606, 1681, 1621, 1622, 1641, 1708, 1729, 1763, 1777, 1811, 1724, 1763 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Knott History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knott 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 Knott include Cnot, Cnotte, Canute, Cnut, Knot, Knout, Knotte, Knott and many more.

Early Notables of the Knott family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Knott of Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire. Edward Knott (1582-1656), born with the name of Matthew Wilson, was an English Jesuit controversialist, twice provincial of the Society of Jesus in England. He was born at Catchburn, a township in the parish of Morpeth, Northumberland. During 1626 he was a missioner in the Suffolk district. He was apprehended in 1629, and was committed to the Clink prison in Southwark, but at the instance of the queen he...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knott Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knott Ranking

In the United States, the name Knott is the 2,748th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [5] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Knott is ranked the 985th most popular surname with an estimated 7,080 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Knott family to Ireland

Some of the Knott family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 148 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Knott migration to the United States +

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:

Knott Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Knott who arrived at Virginia in 1617
  • James Knott was on record in Virginia in 1623
  • Elianor Knott, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [7]
  • George Knott, who arrived in New England in 1637 [7]
  • Eleanor Knott, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Knott Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Knott, who arrived in New Jersey in 1733 [7]
Knott Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Knott, who landed in America in 1801-1802 [7]
  • Benjamin Knott, who arrived in New York in 1827 [7]
  • Robert Knott, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1867 [7]
  • Nicholas Knott, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [7]
  • Andrew Knott, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879 [7]
Knott Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Arnold Knott, (b. 1901), aged 2, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 19th July 1903 [8]
  • Mrs. Carrie Knott, (b. 1874), aged 29, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 19th July 1903 en route to Rowe, Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • Mr. John Knott, (b. 1897), aged 6, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 19th July 1903 en route to Rowe, Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • Miss Lillie Knott, (b. 1895), aged 8, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 19th July 1903 en route to Rowe, Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • Miss Olive Knott, (b. 1893), aged 10, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 19th July 1903 en route to Rowe, Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Knott migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Knott Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Isaac Knott, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
Knott Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Knott migration to Australia +

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

Knott Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ann Knott, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • Mary Ann Knott, English convict from Derby, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Henry Knott, English convict who was convicted in Derby, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "David Lyon" on 29th April 1830, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Mr. William Knott, English convict who was convicted in Suffolk, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • John Knott a doctor, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Knott 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:

Knott Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr Knott, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • Mr. Thomas Knott, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Nourmahal" arriving in Dunedin, Otaga, South Island, New Zealand on 5th May 1858 [14]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Knott, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Nourmahal" arriving in Dunedin, Otaga, South Island, New Zealand on 5th May 1858 [14]
  • Mr. Henry Knott, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [15]
  • Mrs. Knott, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Knott migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Knott Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Knott, who settled in Barbados in 1628
  • William Knott, who arrived in Barbados in 1628 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Knott (post 1700) +

  • Stuart R. Knott (1859-1943), American businessman, the fourth president of Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Lydia Knott (1866-1955), American silent film actress who appeared in 91 films
  • James Proctor Knott (1830-1911), American politician, Governor of Kentucky (1883-1887)
  • Carroll S. Knott, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • James Proctor Knott (1830-1911), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives, 1857-58; Missouri State Attorney General, 1858-61 [17]
  • James D. Knott, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1972 [17]
  • Fred W. Knott, American politician, Representative from Indiana 4th District, 1954 [17]
  • Edward Knott, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1896 [17]
  • David H. Knott, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 25th District, 1913 [17]
  • D. C. Knott, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1904, 1916 [17]
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Richard Thomas Knott, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [18]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Arthur H. Knott, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [19]


Suggested Readings for the name Knott +

  • Nutt Chronicles by Irene E. Amato.
  • The Knotts Family of Randolph County, Arkansas by Gladys Knotts Reynolds.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1830 with 135 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1830
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-lyon
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838PestonjeeBomanjee.htm
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ 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


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