Last name: Napthine

This unusual and interesting surname is of English origin. It is said to be locational from either of the places called Knapton in Norfolk or in East Yorkshire. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Cnapa", also used in its original meaning of boy, servant, plus "tun", settlement or enclosure. The place names are first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Kanapatone" and "Chapetone" respectively. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below) and the spelling of the surname is said to include Nappin, Naptine, Naptin, Napton and others. Early city of London church registers includes examples such as the marriages of William Napton to Elnor Malyn, on September 6th 1573 at St. Mary's Aldermary, and of Robert Napthine to Elizabeth Sale on June 12th 1803 at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Estrilda de Cnapetone, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England and known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Susan Wooden
Are there any members of the Napthine family still living in Westleton, Suffolk? I'm trying to find relations of Ellen Napthine born there about 1876. Her father was John and mother was Mary Ann Gray.

Jonathan ward
Yes, I am part of that family. My grand father is jack Napthine from felixtowe, Suffolk. His father was Phillip, one of thirteen. They were Plymouth brethren and half of the children left and I am from that side. Hope that helps.

Clinton McInnes
Interested in trying to trace info on a Lewis Cecil Naphine, 10th Worcesters WW1... Does anyone have him on their tree ancestor by chance...? Clinton

I was told it was either a Persian derivation from Napthalene meaning 'oil' or the Israeli 'Napthali' tribe one of the 12 tribes of Israel or Napoli in Italy , but Ive been told of Jewish ancestry with it hence the napthali :)

Ginny Hartley
I've only just seen your comment on the derivation of the surname NAPTHINE. This is interesting because the blood-group pattern in my maternal family suggests some origins in the Middle East or Asia - I have thought there might be gypsy/Roma ancestry, but Persian or Jewish also seems a possible explanation.

Really? Your blood group pattern for the Napthine side? Thats interesting as people always ask me if I am part Asian or Middle Eastern I have olive skin and dark almond eyes- I would have to get one of the DNA tests to find out!

George Napthine
I've always wanted to know exactly where it's from. I suppose if it from east anglia, it's in the right place for Norse and Danish names. But I have no real idea of how to pursue it at all. please tell me if anyone knows anything.

Clinton McInnes
Interested in trying to trace info on a Lewis Cecil Naphine, 10th Worcesters WW1... Is he an ancestor by chance...? Clinton

Ginny Hartley
My maternal great-grandmother's family name was NAPTHEN. The family came from Norfolk, but through researching the family history, we suspect origins in neighbouring Suffolk. Records relating to my forbears (ie censuses, parish registers, civil registration, etc) variously give the name as NAPTHEN, NAPTHAN, NAPTHING, NAPKIN, NAPKING, KNAPTHAN, KNAPTHIN. Contact with someone whose surname is NAPTHINE who has also researched his family history, revealed that we have a common ancestor and that the earliest record of the name he had yet identified in the history of the family (late 17th century) is NAPTHIN. Contact with another distant relation (with a common x4 great-grand-father) who spells his name NAPTHAN suggests that the name may be of Norse/Danish origin, since on a trip to Denmark he came across people with the same name - which he rarely has in the UK. I find it puzzling that a suggested derivation of the name is a place called Knapton - while the location fits with my ancestors' origins, a constant in all the versions of the name I have encountered is the 'th' sound and I can't see how that squares with the pronunciation of the place name suggested. I'd be very interested to hear any views about this.

L Napthine
That's really interesting. Our line has been traced back to Suffolk. Apparently, they were unable to find anything further back than that. Not sure of dates but I might make enquiries...