We bid you a hearty welcome to our family organisation's website !
The Family Association
The association was founded in Kassel on 24 May 1926 for those bearing the name Knauff, f, ft. The chief initiator was Dr. Max Knauf of Munich.
The differences in the spelling of our name are not significant because the precise form of written names was not considered important in earlier times. The Knauff, f, ft family association was initially active up until the Second World War and carried out successful research. In 1945 our german homeland – and our family association – were torn apart, and a large number of those people with our name now live in the modern-day States of Thuringia, Saxony and Western Saxony, as well as in Berlin.
On 29 July 1962 and thereafter people with our name in the old Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin again formed a family association and since 1990 we have also been active in the new states of Eastern Germany. In the last few years people with our name from Belgium, Holland, Norway, Austria and the USA, to give just a few examples, have also turned up and joined our association.
Anybody bearing our name can join the association, including descendants of those people with the name Knauff, Knauf, or Knauft, as well as those who now have another name due to marriage.
In an annual family newspaper we can find out the latest from the past and present about our large family. We can read about such things as the results of latest research, reports of the last family reunion, and family news, etc. Association members can obtain this newspaper free on a regular basis.
The title page of the family newspaper shows our family's coat of arms. It was redesigned according to heraldic principles using old Knauff coats of arms on the occasion of the founding of the association and registered in the General Register of German Coats of Arms in 1927.
Our family coat of arms, which association members are allowed to wear (various articles bearing the coat of arms are available from the association), shows two sword handles, thus indicating the origin of the name.
It has been suggested that the name Knauff, f, ft originates from the old trade of the sword pommel-maker, i.e. someone who made pommels or sword handles. Family research has also discovered a few old Knauf(f) coats of arms. The interpretation of one coat of arms leads us to the conclusion that there was also a noble family Knauff in Meissen in Eastern Germany, e. g. Colonel Leopold von Knauff, in 1666.
The latest family research revealed some interesting information from Flanders in Belgium. This is where our name occurred – although in quite a different spelling – when surnames hardly existed in the (German) empire. This indicates that our Flemish ancestors were an influential clan. It also accounts for the fact that this clan, which bore our surname, was also involved in a plot to murder Charles the Good of Flanders in 1127. Charles was murdered but the attempt to overthrow the throne failed, and some of those who were sentenced to death bore the name of our clan.
Some of the plotters with the name of Knauf were able to flee and turned up again in Utrecht in 1133, St Trond (Belgium) and in Uerdingen on the Rhine (near Krefeld) in 1176. As settlement in modern-day Germany usually took place from west to east, we may assume that our descendants of the fugitives from Flanders in the west also spread out into the territory of the German Empire, so that those conspirators from Flanders will be our ancestors.
Other descendants of these political refugees are called Knop, Knoop and Knopp. This different version of our surname has to do with the different development of the German language and also with its dialects. For example, the modern-day spelling Knof, Knoof and Knaf is closely related to our surname. Another old spelling of our name is Knouf, ff. And then there is the name Knauft. As far as we can tell so far, the "t" at the end of the name originated in Thuringia and in the region of the Lower Saale.
After the founding of our family association we succeeded in finding out over 2,000 addresses of people with the name Knauf, ff, t as well as married women with this maiden name respectively.
The main areas of distribution of our name were initially the Eifel region, the Rhineland, the Ruhr Valley region, the State of Hesse, Thuringia, the area of the Lower Saale and Berlin. In these areas – except Berlin – it is possible to trace back the occurrence of our name, in most cases for a few hundred years.
It is especially worth mentioning the Hansenhof (Hansen Court) in Zella (Schwalm/Hesse), where many cousins originate from. There is evidence to show that the Knaufs ruled this Court at least into the 17th generation and probably for much longer. Today our name occurs everywhere in Germany and even in places where it is not native. Our surname can also be found abroad, especially in America, Belgium and the Netherlands.
In 1928 a large quartz monument with the Knauf sword pommel was erected in memory of our family war-dead on our association's property in the Stein Valley, near Steina by Schwalmstadt-Ziegenhain and dedicated on 29 July 1928.
One hundred and eighty-three members of the Knauff, f, ft family died in the First World War and 256 died in World War II. Our family monument stands in the Schwalm because the history of our family association is very closely associated with the Schwalm.
Every year at Pentecost we have a family reunion. Although most participants are not related to each other, at each reunion we still feel like a family. We're always glad to accept new members and integrate them into the wider family group. The number of participants fluctuates between 90 and 140 cousins. Those people with the name Knauff, f, ft and their descendants can take part in the reunions even if they are not members of the family association and we would be
very happy to welcome you at one of our next reunions. Please find out about the date of the next "clan gathering" at our German-language internet website.
You can register by calling up the following address:
If you have any questions, would like to become a member or just want to send us a message, please send an email to:
post ( et ) familienverband-knauf.de
and we will try to assist you.
Many thanks for visiting this site. Come back again soon!
Familienverband Knauff, f, ft e.V.