Naphan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient roots of the Naphan family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Naphan comes from when the family lived one of several places named Knapp in England. The word knapp comes from the Old English "cnoepp," meaning a hilltop or summit. 
Early Origins of the Naphan family
The surname Naphan was first found in Cambridgeshire where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John Cnape as holding estates there at that time. The same rolls also list John Knapp, Buckinghamshire. Kirby's Quest lists Margaret atte Cnappe in Somerset, temp. Edward I.  The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Johannes Knape and Johannes Knaype. 
William atte Kneppe was listed in Place Names of Surrey in 1294, Henry de Cnappe was listed in Place Names of Devon in 1301. 
Another source notes: "Knapp is an old south of England name. In the 14th century an influential family of Bristol citizens bore this name. Knapp was the name of an ancient gentle family of Berkshire, a branch of which two centuries ago came into the possession of the manor of Little Linford, Buckinghamshire." 
By way of confirmation of the aforementioned: "About 1658, [Little Linford] was purchased by Messrs. Kilpin and others, by whom it was sold to an ancestor of the Knapp family." The family held the parish since this early entry as in the late 1800's the source notes "The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £66; patron and impropriator, Matthew Knapp, Esq., lord of the manor." 
The medieval Knepp Castle is found west of the village of West Grinstead in West Sussex. Built on a mound or "cnoepp," the castle was originally a motte and bailey fortress, built in the 12th century by William de Braose. In 1214, he had it rebuilt as a stone castle with a two-storey keep. Later Royal visitors included kings Henry III in 1218, Edward II in 1324 and Richard II in 1384.
Farther to the south in the parish of St. Winnow, Cornwall, the family of Knapman once held Trevegoe, which later became a farm house. But, the heiress of the family married into the Hawkey family and subsequently passed the manor to them. 
Early History of the Naphan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Naphan research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1279, 1294, 1301, 1648, 1698, 1768 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Naphan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Naphan Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Naphan has appeared include Knapp, Knappe, Knap, Knapper, Knapp, Knapman, Knappen, Kneppe, Knape, Knappen, Cnape, Cnappe and many more.
Early Notables of the Naphan family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: William Knapp, (1698-1768), an English musical composer from Wareham, Dorset; Mary Knep (Knepp, Nepp, Knip, or Knipp) (died 1681), an English actress, one of the first generation of female performers to appear on the...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Naphan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Naphan family to Ireland
Some of the Naphan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Naphan family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Naphan arrived in North America very early: Nicholas Knapp who settled with William and his wife and eight children in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Thomas Knap, who settled in Virginia in 1653; P. Knappe, who settled in Philadelphia in 1820.
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- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print