History of your Surname
Get access to Knowles family records.Start a free trial

Knowles Family History

Knowles Name Meaning

English: topographic name for someone who lived at the top of a hill or by a hillock, from a genitive or plural form of Middle English knoll ‘hilltop’, ‘hillock’ (Old English cnoll; see Knoll), or habitational name from any of the many places named with this word. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Tnúthghail (see Newell).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Bowes, Toles, Fowle, Voyles, Kyles, Mowles, Downes, Koller, Powles

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Knowles family from?

You can see how Knowles families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Knowles family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Knowles families were found in the UK in 1891. In 1911 there were 349 Knowles families living in Ontario. This was about 51% of all the recorded Knowles's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Knowles families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Knowles surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Knowles ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Knowles. 22% of Knowles men worked as a Farmer and 18% of Knowles women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Knowles were Machinist and Nurse.

View Census data for Knowles | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Laborer
  • Machinist

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Clerk
  • Housewife
  • Nurse
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Knowles family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 391,000 census records available for the last name Knowles. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Knowles census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Knowles

Passenger Lists

There are 45,000 immigration records available for the last name Knowles. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Knowles immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 44,000 military records available for the last name Knowles. For the veterans among your Knowles ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Knowles military records

You've only scratched the surface of Knowles family history.

Discover More

What is the average Knowles lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Knowles life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Knowles in 1944 was 24, and 71 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Knowles

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Knowles family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial