Notman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Notman comes from when the family resided at the knot, the summit of a rocky hill, from the residence near that place.

Early Origins of the Notman family

The surname Notman 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 Notman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Notman 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 Notman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Notman Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Notman has been recorded under many different variations, including Cnot, Cnotte, Canute, Cnut, Knot, Knout, Knotte, Knott and many more.

Early Notables of the Notman 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 Notman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Notman family to Ireland

Some of the Notman 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 Notman migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Notman or a variant listed above:

Notman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J Notman, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Notman (post 1700) +

  • John Notman (1810-1865), Scottish-born American architect in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • William Notman Q.C. (1805-1865), Scottish-born, Canadian lawyer and politician in Canada West who represented Middlesex in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1848 to 1851
  • Alexander McKeachie Notman (b. 1979), Scottish football player
  • William Notman (1826-1891), Scottish-born, Canadian photographer and businessman, Queen Victoria named him "Photographer to the Queen"


  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. ^ 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)


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