Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Knox Name
Origins of Name:
The surname of Knox has origins in both England and Scotland. This surname is either a topographical surname that describes someone who lives on or near a natural or man-made structure, our may be locational, which means that the original name bearer comes from a town that is called either the surname itself, or something near the surname. In this case, the topographical surname approach is the English version, and the locational surname approach is where the Scottish influences come in, though the locational origin also has English influences as well. Topographically, the surname of Knox could be used to describe someone who lives on or near a hilltop. This origin derives from the Old English Pre 7th Century word “cnocc” or the Old Gaelic “cnoc” both of which can be translated to mean a “rounded topped hill.” As for the surname of Knox being locational, there are places all throughout Northern England and Scotland that are named Knock. This surname could be used to describe individuals who lived near or in Knock, and was most likely used to identify them when they migrated out of their town, seeking work, and were identified by the name of their birthplace.
More common variations are:
Knoox, Knoxe, Knoex, Knowx, Nox, Knoxie, Knoux, Kiox, Knock, Knockes, Knocker, Knoxx, Knoax
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Knox was found in Scotland in the year 1260. One John de Cnoc (also recorded as Knoc) was a charter witness who was recorded and mentioned in the Charter Lists of Renfrewshire, Scotland. In Scotland, those who bore the surname of Knox is commonly spelled as Knock. The Knock families reside in high concentrations in County Renfrewshire.
Other recordings of the surname of Knox can be found in The Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire as one Nicholas Knok in the year 1279, and Thomas ate Knocke in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in the year 1296. In church documents, there were further recordings of this surname. Katheryne Nockes who married Arthur Lloide in 1576 was recorded in the Church Rolls of St. James in Clerkenwell, while Joseph Knock, the son of Thomas and Angel Knock was christened on December 15 1691 at St. Giles, in Crippplegate, London. In England, those who bear the surname of Knox are often found in the Northern part of England. The counties with higher concentrations of those who carry the surname of Knox are Northumberland, Durham, and Lancashire.
Thomas Knox was the first of the Knox family line to immigrate to Ireland. He moved to Belfast in the 1660s and his grandson earned the title of Earl of Ranfurly. Many Scotts Irish Knox families exist in Tyrone and Fermanagh to this day.
United States of America:
During the European Migration, many settlers fled from their home country in search of a new life. The United States, which at that time in history was referred to as the New World or the Colonies, was often the destination most sought after during this time of disgruntled leadership. The United States of America promised freedoms that were never afforded to these European citizens every before. The first person to bear the surname of Knox that lived in the New World was one Timothy Knox, who arrived in New England in 1730. Those who bear this surname are most commonly found in high concentrations in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Illinois, Mississippi, Texas, Oregon, and the state of California.
United States 49,915
South Africa 4,128
Papua New Guinea 1,993
Northern Ireland 1,216
New Zealand 1,129
Mr. Samuel Mclhenny Knox, who was an American 1st class passenger from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, who survived the sinking of the RMS Lusitania by escaping in a collapsible boat.
Simmie Knox (born in 1935) who was an American portrait painter who painted former United States President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
Seymour Horace Knox (1861-1915) who was a businessman from American and the co-founder of the F. W. Woolworth Company
Philander Chase Knox (1853-1921) who was an American lawyer, bank director, and politician, who was the United States Army General from the year 1901 to the year 1904
Harley Eugene Knox (1899-1956) who was an American politician, and served as the 25th Mayor of San Diego, California from the year 1943 to the year 1951
Elyse Knox (1917-2012) who was born with the name Elsie Lillian Kornbrath, and was an American actress, model, and also a fashion designer
Commodore Dudley Wright Knox (1877-1960) who was an American singer and songwriter, best known for his 1957 hit “Party Doll”
Knox Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Knox blazon are the falcon, key and orle. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, argent and or .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name . The falcon is a bird long associated with hunting and we need look no further than a liking for this pursuit for its presence on many early coats of arms. We also find many of the accessories used in falconry depicted on arms, and a surprising number of terms from the art of falconry have found use in modern English idioms and the interested reader is recommended to search out the origins of the phrases hoodwinked and “cadging” a lift.
Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used . The key is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. In other cases, Wade suggests that their appearance can be taken to indicate “guardianship and dominion”. 1
Over time the shape of the heraldic shield has become most frequently represented as the rounded triangle known as a heater shape. So pleasing is this shape that it appears in its own right both as an escutcheon (the filled shape) and the orle, which is a broad outline of the shape. . A larger number of small charges may also be described as in orle when they are arranged to mimic the shape of the shield outline.