Knouse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Knouse is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Knouse family lived in Noiers, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Knouse family

The surname Knouse was first found in 1024, when Gilbert de Noyers witnessed a charter of Duke Richard to Fontanelles. No locations is provided, but it is important to note that this entry was a lifetime (42 years) before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, "William De Noiers or De Nuers was an under-tenant in Norfolk; and 'the manor of Gothurst, or, as it is now called, Gayhurst in Buckinghamshire was, at the time of the Norman Survey, held under the Bishop of Bayeux by Robert de Nodariis, or Nowers, whose family not long afterwards became possessed of it in their own right.' Almaric de Noers, in the time of Henry III., held one knight's fee of William de Say, 'being (as it may be presumed) the same which Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, 12 Hen. II., then certified that Hugh de Nuers held of him in that county." [1]

"His son William married the heiress of Stoke-­Goldington, and was the father of another Almaric, In 24 Edward I., he was one of those eminent persons who had summons to attend the great council then ordained to assemble at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In the year following, his name is mentioned as one of the knights of the shire for the county of Bucks, being then written Amary de Nowers. He died 2 Edward II, seized of the manors of Gothurst, Weston, and Stoke Goldington in Buckinghamshire, and of Cestre Parva, in the county of Northampton. Joan his wife died shortly after, 4 Edward II., being then seized of the manor of Lathebury, and of a part of the manor of Cainho, in the county of Bucks." [1]

The family was shown with several spellings, de Noiers, de Noies, de Nouuers, Noers, Nourse.

"William de Noers of Domesday had the custody of thirty-three of the Conqueror's manors in Norfolk, and is said to have stood high in his favour. Ralph de Nuers held Swanton-Nuers (Nowers) of the Bishop of Norwich, and witnesses a deed of Robert Fitz Ralph in the time of Henry II." [1]

The first Lord of the manor was Simon de Noers, and he was succeeded by Robert de Nowers, Lord of the manor of Knossington in 1278.

"Nowers or De Nowers was the ancient form of the name, and as such it occurred in the 18th century in Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire. However, it is probable, as Lipscomb points out, that the principal early home of the name was in Buckinghamshire, where the family of De Nowers possessed great influence in the 12th and 13th centuries, being now represented in that county by the later names of Nourse and Nurse." [2]

Early History of the Knouse family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Knouse research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Knouse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Knouse Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Nourse, Norse, Nurse, Nowers, Noers, Noies and many more.

Early Notables of the Knouse family (pre 1700)

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

Knouse Ranking

In the United States, the name Knouse is the 12,025th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Migration of the Knouse family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Knouse or a variant listed above: Francis Nurse, who settled in Salem, MA in 1640; Ann Nurse who settled in Barbados in 1660; John Nurse, who came to Barbados in 1664; Joseph Nurse, who came to Virginia in 1667.


Contemporary Notables of the name Knouse (post 1700) +

  • John A. Knouse (b. 1953), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 3rd District, 1980 [4]
  • George M. Knouse, American Republican politician, Chair of Juniata County Republican Party, 1953; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1964 [4]


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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