Nifton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Nifton is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Nifton family lived in Kniveton, which is a parish in Derbyshire near Ashbourn. The name is pronounced Nifton.
Early Origins of the Nifton family
The surname Nifton was first found in Derbyshire at Kniveton, a parish, in the hundred of Wirksworth where "the manor of 'Cheniveton,' so called in the Domesday Survey, was from a very early period the property of the Kniveton family. " 
"The extinct Baronet family descended from Sir Matthew de Knivetone, who flourished in that county temp. Edward I. " 
The place name literally means "farmstead of a woman called Cengifu," derived from the Old English personal name + "tun."  "The manor of 'Merchenestune' [Mercaston] was for many generations the property and seat of a younger branch of the Knivetons, of Bradley, who were seated here as early as the reign of Edward III. William Kniveton was one of the baronets created by James I. on the institution of the order in 1611. " 
"The incumbent resides in the Hall [of Ashwelthorpe in Norfolk], an ancient residence of the Knyvett family, moated on three sides." 
Early History of the Nifton family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nifton research. Another 390 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1066, 1500, 1535, 1544, 1591, 1649, 1591, 1605, 1440, 1515, 1480, 1471, 1486, 1549, 1536, 1543, 1485, 1512, 1510, 1539, 1616, 1579, 1558, 1622, 1569, 1605, 1655, 1699, 1600, 1671, 1655, 1693, 1685, 1687, 1689 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Nifton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nifton Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Knifton, Kniveton, Knyveton, Nifton, Knyvet, Knyveton and many more.
Early Notables of the Nifton family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Matthew de Kniveton; Sir William Knyvett (c. 1440-1515), English politician, High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1480 and 1471; Sir Anthony Knyvett (c. 1486-1549), English politician who held the office of Black Rod in the English Parliament from 1536 to 1543; Sir Thomas Knyvett (also Knevitt or Knivet or Knevet), of Buckenham, Norfolk (c. 1485-1512), an English nobleman who was a close associate of King Henry VIII shortly after that monarch came to the throne participating in the jousts and pageants and was rewarded by being appointed Master of the Horse...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nifton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nifton family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Nifton or a variant listed above were: John Kniveton settled in Virginia in 1738 (he also spelled his name Knifton).
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: In domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)