Origin of the Name MacKnight
The origin of the name MacKnight
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Variants of McKnight include Knight. This name in Gaelic is MacNeachtain which translates as 'man at arms'. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland , Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout the above islands. Examples of such are a Johannes Knyght, who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England , in the year 1379 and a John Knycht who was Canon of Brechin, Scotland , in the year 1435. In Ireland this name usually has the prefix 'Mac' and is found throughout the four Provinces. In the feudal system introduced by the Normans the word was applied at first to a tenant bound to serve his Lord as a mounted soldier. Hence it came to denote a man of substance, since maintaining horses and armour was an expensive occupation. McKnight can also be from MacAnRidire, a name that was also anglicized as Ruddery.
The MacKnight coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all MacKnight descendants.