This is a locational name from the former county of Ayrs in Scotland, so called from the Gaelic "cnap" meaning a hill(ock). The surname from this source is first recorded in Northern England, chiefly in the parish of Cartmel, North Lancashire. One, William Knype of Cartmel appears in the "Stockdale's Annals of Cartmel" c.1600, Knipe is a 17th Century spelling of the name, William Knipe of Grysdale (1661) and "Agnes Knipe, of Town-end, widow" is recorded in the Wills Records at Chester (1698). The surname Knipe is well known in the northern Irish counties of Armagh and Cavan, the original namebearers having come from the north of England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Knype, of Warton. which was dated 1597, Lancashire Wills Records at Richmond. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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.