Napthen is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon
origin and comes from the family once having lived in Knapton, a place-name found in Yorkshire
and in Norfolk
. The place-name is derived from the Old English personal name
Cnapa, and tun,
an Old English word that means farm or enclosure. Later, tun
came to mean village and then town, and is in fact the root of the Modern English word town. The name Cnapa
means servant in the Old English. The place-name, therefore, means "farm belonging to Cnapa," or "the servants farmstead." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early Origins of the Napthen family
The surname Napthen was first found in Norfolk
where the place was first listed in the Domesday Book
as Kanapatone, part of the Greehoe hundred
, land held by William de Warene. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
At that time, it was one carucate of land and had 10 villans (peasants), 5 borders and 1 slave. As of 2001, the village and civil parish is home to 362 residents. Further north in Yorkshire
, Knapton also dates back to the Domesday Book
where it was listed as Cnapeton and Cnapetone, land held by Ralph de Mortimer. Today the village and civil parish has a population of about 222 residing in 96 households.
Early History of the Napthen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Napthen research.Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1406, 1433, 1406, 1415, 1419, 1431, 1432, 1433, 1698, 1778, 1700 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Napthen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Napthen Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Napthen family name include Knapton, Napton, Knappen and others.
Early Notables of the Napthen family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Knapton (fl.1406-1433), an English politician, Member of the Parliament of England
for Cambridge in 1406, 1415, 1419 and 1431 and Mayor of Cambridge (1432-1433.)
George Knapton (1698-1778)... Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Napthen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Napthen family to Ireland
Some of the Napthen family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Napthen family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Napthen surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Jane Knapton, who settled in Virginia in 1652; Joseph Knapton, who settled in Boston in 1716; and Robert Knapton, who settled in Virginia in 1754.