Interested in learning the history of the last name McKnight? Below, we break down the McKnight surname’s meaning, origin, background, and some famous people with the surname. .
What does the McKnight surname mean?
The McKnight surname translates to “Son of the Knight.” There are many versions of the name, such as MacKnight, MacKnygt and MacNaight. The Knowles’s Genealogy of Coulthart (printed in 1855) also shows records of yet another variant of the McKnight surname: Macknyghte. The McKnight family is believed to have descended from Strathclyde Britons, an early medieval kingdom located between the River Clyde, part of modern-day Scotland, and Lancashire county.
Clan McKnight’s name origin and background
The 30-mile-wide border between England and Scotland from Carlisle to Berwick was the first place with records of the McKnight name. Early British census rolls show records of clan McKnight in Kirkcudbright County. In Ireland, the name McKnight came from the native Gaelic clan called “Mac An Ridire” in Westmeath County.
In recent history, farming was among the top jobs for men and women with the McKnight name. In the 1940s, 18% of McKnight men were farmers and around 8% of the women were maids.
How popular is McKnight as a family name?
The McKnight surname is quite common in America; more than 79% of all McKnights reside in the U.S. Close to 43,726 people share the McKnight name, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Most McKnights live in Texas, with 12% of the total American McKnight population; California and Florida follow with 7% and 5%, respectively. Outside the U.S., Canada and England also have a considerable number of McKnights, with 8% and 5% of the world’s total McKnight population, respectively.
Prominent figures with the McKnight surname
If you are proud of your McKnight family name, maybe it’s worth finding out some of the famous people who share your surname. If you are fortunate enough, you might find a reason to reunite with a lost relative.
Known for chartbusters such as “Anytime” (1998), “Crazy Love” (1995) and “One Last Cry” (1993), Brian McKnight has been nominated for 17 Grammy Awards, the most ever without a career win.
Media executive and former American football player Scott Joseph McKnight was a renowned wide receiver for the University of Colorado team and was a seventh-round 2011 draft pick for the New York Jets. After his career was cut short by injuries, McKnight started a second career in the entertainment industry, writing for the CBS show “CSI: Cyber” and cofounding the GOAT Farm Media production company.
Lauren McKnight is an American actor known for her role as Skye Rotter in the “My Super Psycho Sweet 16” trilogy. She began acting at the age of 17 in the Disney show “Go Figure.” McKnight has played multiple roles in projects such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Whisper Island” and HottieBoombaLottie.
Charles McKnight (1750-1791) was among the top physicians who treated the injured soldiers during the Revolutionary War. He served in the Hospital Department of the Continental Army and reported directly to George Washington.
A Medal of Honor recipient for his service during the Civil War as a U.S. Navy sailor, William McKnight is known for his role as the gun captain of the U.S.S. Varuna, where he protected New Orleans from Confederate attacks in 1862.