This is a name spelling of extreme rarity. It is probably a developed form of the Old English pre 7th Century 'Cnafa' meaning originally a child or servant, and after the medieval times as a rascal or comic - the knave. However in its 'modern' spelling it implies a patronymic 'son of knave' from 'cnafa' plus 'kin'. It is also possible that the name is job descriptive for 'the son of the navemaker' i.e., a form of wheelwright. A further although unlikely origin is from the French Huguenot Nave or Navelet which is another job descriptive name in this case for a planter or seller of vegetables - a grocer.The name recordings include Elizabeth Naven or Knaven who married Thomas Maudsley at St. Nicholas Church, Liverpool on August 17th 1831. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Cnave, which was dated 1221, witness at the Warwick Assize Court, during the reign of King Henry III, 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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.
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