Knight Family History

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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


Similar surnames: Knights, Bright, Light, Wright, Knecht, Mcknight, Knighton, Slight

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Knight Family Origin

Where is the Knight family from?

Knight Family Occupations

What did your Knight ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, the most common Knight occupation in the USA was Farmer. 39% of Knight's were Farmers. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Knight. A less common occupation for the Knight family was Farming.

View Census data for Knight | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

    39%
  • Laborer

    6%
  • Keeping House

    6%
  • Farming

    3%

Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Knight ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Knight Historical Records

What Knight family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 3,000 census records available for the last name Knight. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Knight census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Knight

Passenger List

There are 642 immigration records available for the last name Knight. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Knight immigration records

Draft Card

There are 1,000 military records available for the last name Knight. For the veterans among your Knight ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Knight military records

You've only scratched the surface of Knight family history.

Knight Life Expectancy

What is the average Knight lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Knight life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Knight in 1940 was 45, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Knight

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Knight ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Knight Family

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James Dean1931 - 1955 (24)
Audrey Hepburn1929 - 1993 (63)
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Martin Luther King, Jr.1929 - 1968 (39)
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Grace Kelly1929 - 1982 (52)
John Philip Sousa1854 - 1932 (77)
Ansel Easton Adams1902 - 1984 (82)
James Dean1931 - 1955 (24)
Audrey Hepburn1929 - 1993 (63)
Albert Einstein1879 - 1955 (76)
Martin Luther King, Jr.1929 - 1968 (39)
Ella Fitzgerald1918 - 1996 (78)
Grace Kelly1929 - 1982 (52)
John Philip Sousa1854 - 1932 (77)
Ansel Easton Adams1902 - 1984 (82)
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