http://wp.me/phI6P-adThe name Redknapp, (also spelled Redknap, Rednap and Rednup) is derived from the colour Red and the old English “cnaep” or “knap” meaning a hillock or brow of a hill, but also a 15th century slang word for “head” as in “the knap of the case” for the head of the house. So “Red Knap” could either mean someone who lived on the “red hill” or, much more likely, the person with the “red head”, and given the colouring of a number of bearers of this name the likely derivation is fairly obvious.
In this Redknapp family’s case the original name was spelled Redknap with one “p” for the whole of the 19th century, and only acquired the extra P at the beginning of the 20th century when many names in working class families became fixed in their spellings because working class children were taught to read and write at that time, and so would spell their name the way they first saw it written by an adult, perhaps their school teacher, and that particular way of spelling the name would stick going forward.
This branch of the family were part of an extended family of Thames Watermen and Lightermen (Watermen rowed boats on the Thames, and Lightermen specifically rowed “Lighters” which were large flat bottomed barges) living on both banks of the Thames on its western reaches in Surrey and London, and on the central and Eastern regions depending on the availability of work. This branch lived mainly in the central and eastern section of the Thames in and around London for at least 200 years from the 18th century.
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Redknapp Blog Entry
Redknapp Family Details