This name is of northern English topographic name for someone who lived by a rugged hill top or near a jagged outcrop of rock. The derivation is from the medieval English "Knagg" meaning pointed rocks, jagged crags etc.. The surname is particularly well recorded in Yorshire church registers from the mid 16th Century, (see below), under the variant spellings, Knaggs and Knagges. On April 28th 1587 Jenet Knagges married John Bingley in West Heslerton and on October 13th 1594 Jayne Knaggs and James Gawthorpe were married in Holy Trinity, Micklegate. The earliest recording of the name in London is the marriage of Joane Knagges and Thomas Reekses in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. On July 30th, 1648 Jane Knaggs and John Flayne were married in St. Bartholomew the Less, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Knaggs, which was dated July 20th 1561, christened in Wintringham, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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