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Knauss Family Genealogy

This site includes all known KNAUS descendants.

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This page was last revised on November 20, 2017
Send email to John Knouse.


Historical Perspective
About the background of the Knauss families, including information about the name.
An occasional newsletter about Knauss genealogy. Available online and in your email box by free subscription
Knauss Family Researchers: Email Links
Other researchers who are willing to be contacted. Feel free to submit your name and email.
Searchable Master Descendancy Using Frames
Master descendancies of the Ludwig Knauss families and the Jacob and Honiery Kanouse families, for quickly locating individuals in the genealogies, using frames for quick convenience in linking to the proper files
Searchable Master Descendancy, No Frames
Master descendancies of the Ludwig Knauss families and the Jacob and Honiery Kanouse families, for quickly locating individuals in the genealogies, without using frames
Ludwig Knauss Families
Descendants, ancestors and other known relatives of Ludwig Knauss, who came to America in 1732, and from whom most American Knausses (by whatever spelling) are descended. This begins with Ludwig's German ancestors.
New Jersey (Jacob & Honiery) Kanouse Families
Descendants of two Knauss brothers who came to New Jersey about 1750. The second largest American Knauss family group.
Miscellaneous American Knauss Family Groups
These are family groups not yet linked with other families. If you have info linking any of these, please let me know.
Miscellaneous Europe-to-America Knauss Families
Other family groups, not descended from Ludwig, Jacob, or John George "Honiery", who are descended from other Knauss immigrants.
Knauss in the United States Census
This attempts to be a complete listing, but is yet far from it.
Knauss Families of Europe
Other Knauss families of Europe, mainly Germany.

Historical Perspective

The earliest known Knauss record is the marriage of Michael Knaus to Elisabeth Franck. I am showing them with the following conjectured children, who are all about the right age to be their descendants:

1--Michael KNAUS, m. 11-1-1515 Heumaden
 sp--Elisabeth FRANCK
  2--?Michel KNAUSS: had children in Fellbach
  2--?Hanss KNAUSS: had children in Fellbach
  2--?Claus KNAUSS: had children in Fellbach
  2--?Thoma KNAUSS, m. 9-3-1565 Feuerbach: had children in Feuerbach
   sp--Barbara RAPP
  2--?Hans KNAUS: had children in Kleinheppach
   sp--Barbara OSTERTAG

Was Michael possibly the first with the Knauss name? As far as can be determined, all people with the last name of Knaus or some variation thereof are related. Other early records of any Knaus are from the mid-1500s from Wurttemberg, Germany, in the area east and northeast of Stuttgart, where records from the 1550s and 1560s are known from three communities: Fellbach, Backnang, and Schwaebisch Hall.

Nobody knows for certain what the origin of the Knaus name is, but it would appear that it came into being around 1500, judging from its earliest appearances. The meaning of the name is unclear, but appears to derive from an old word for a hard blow or hit. Other possibilities are a "haughty" or bold person, or a heel of a loaf of bread. One other report of dubious provenance was that it meant a short beard. The names "Krauss" and "Knowles" are known to NOT be related names.

Are all Knausses the same family? That's unknown, but the geographical distribution implies some connection. It could be that the name Knauss, which certainly appeared fairly early as surnames go, was applied to diverse people. The problem with this concept is that we would then reasonably expect to have some account surviving of how the name was applied. Especially if the name were applied systematically across a region, it would be expected to be part of historical lore. But there are no such accounts I know of of the Knauss name. I believe it more likely that it was a name of unique origin, and that all Knauss surnames are descended from the same original.

Today, known spellings include:

It's also been speculated that Naus, Nauss, Nous and Nouse are derivations, but so far there's been no proof.

The Knaussletter


The KnaussLetter is an occasional e-mail publication on the Knauss family. Independent contributions are welcome. To receive it, just send me an email.

  1. KnaussLetter #1, Fall of 1993
  2. KnaussLetter #2, February 1998
  3. KnaussLetter #3, July 2001
  4. KnaussLetter #4, August 2001
  5. KnaussLetter #5, December, 2001

Knauss Family Researchers: Email Links

Please submit your name and link if you wish to be included here, with a short description of your interests in the family.

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