This interesting surname, with variant spellings Knott, Knote, Nott and Nutt, has two possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated from the Old Norse personal name "Knutr", a nickname from the Old English pre 7th Century "cnotta" a knot, used of a thickset person. The given names "Cnut", "Cnud" and "Canut", all appear in the Domesday Book of 1086, and were still in use in the 13th Century. One, William Cnotte, appears in the Curia Regis Rolls of Bedfordshire, 1206. The surname may also be of topographical origin for "a dweller on the hillock", deriving from the Middle English "knot" meaning a hillock, as in Knott End, Lancashire.One, Emma del Knot, is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland (1332). In both cases the silent "K" has been dropped to give Nott, Noot, Nutt, etc.. On April 5th 1574, Martha, daughter of Gydeon Noot, was christened at St. Peter le Poer, London. John, son of John and Mary Noot, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, on May 24th 1651. The marriage of Martha Noot and Benjamin Floyd took place on July 24th 1796, at Allhallows the Great, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Cnot, which was dated 1165, Pipe Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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