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Knight Family History

Knight Name Meaning
English: status name from Middle English knyghte ‘knight’, Old English cniht ‘boy’, ‘youth’, ‘serving lad’. This word was used as a personal name before the Norman Conquest, and the surname may in part reflect a survival of this. It is also possible that in a few cases it represents a survival of the Old English sense into Middle English, as an occupational name for a domestic servant. In most cases, however, it clearly comes from the more exalted sense that the word achieved in the Middle Ages. In the feudal system introduced by the Normans the word was applied at first to a tenant bound to serve his lord as a mounted soldier. Hence it came to denote a man of some substance, since maintaining horses and armor was an expensive business. As feudal obligations became increasingly converted to monetary payments, the term lost its precise significance and came to denote an honorable estate conferred by the king on men of noble birth who had served him well. Knights in this last sense normally belonged to ancient noble families with distinguished family names of their own, so that the surname is more likely to have been applied to a servant in a knightly house or to someone who had played the part of a knight in a pageant or won the title in some contest of skill.Irish: part translation of Gaelic Mac an Ridire ‘son of the rider or knight’. See also McKnight.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

6,879,186 Historical Documents with Knight on Ancestry.com
1,664,175 Birth, Marriage, and Deaths
146,688 Military Records
109,837 Immigration Records
1,226,331 Census and Voter Lists
3,732,155 Member Trees

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Name Distribution of Knight Families

  • Number of Knight families
     497 - 991
     166 - 496
     1 - 165
     
    from the 1920 US Federal Census Data
  • Number of Knight families
     3,297 - 6,592
     1,100 - 3,296
     1 - 1,099
     
    from the 1891 England and Wales Census Data
  • Number of Knight families
     115 - 228
     39 - 114
     1 - 38
     
    from the 1891 Scotland Census Data

Knight census records

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Knight Family Origin

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Knight Immigration Information

from the New York Passenger Lists

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Average Life Expectancy for Knight

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Knight Family Occupations

from 1880 Federal Census Data

Knight census records

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Knight Civil War Service Records

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