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What was the reason to start this research?
This, actually, is a long story. About 12 years ago a man entered our office in Spain wanting to sell ceramic plates while offering to research the family coat of arms. Well, I thought by myself, let me try, they won’t find anything anyway.
But how astonished was I, when a few weeks later a beautiful plate arrived boasting a golden lion rampant on a red striped background. I could not trust my eyes.
It was accompanied by a display of the research they had carried out citing 2 whole pages of genealogical literature from all over Europe. What they had found, was the coat of arms from Sir Bernard Burke’s “General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales”. The name had been first found in the counties of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, but according to “The Dictionary of Surnames” by Hanks and Flavia Hodges, Knell was also a variant of Knill which was first adopted by Sir John de Knill, 2nd Lord de Knill in Herefordshire, son of John de Braose (Burke).
Later Scottish friends found a sealed document from “Family Name History” confirming above.
Braose, what a funny name! But over the years this name turned up again and again in historical novels and documents.
When finally we had a computer in the office, one day an English or Welsh client came in asking me to have a look at his web pages. This done, there suddenly appeared a label with 5 coloured spots. The violet one led straight to “Castles of Wales” where the Braose were mentioned abundantly.
From there it was a short step to find Doug Thompson’s glorious web page on the Braose family. I dared to contact her and she handed me on to David Knill.
Doug Thompson, David Knill and later Chris Phillips with his sophisticated web page, as well as his friend Tony Ingham from Australia, helped me selflessly - poor beginner that I was - to get on with my research.
How did I find Knelle manor?
One day David Knill sent me a document concerning the Knill family of Knill Court in Herefordshire. Therein was mentioned a Knelle family of East Sussex, known from an Egerton charter (nº 402) with a pending armorial seal deposited in the British Museum. It said that the coat of arms on the seal was the same as the one of the Knill family. Later investigations in the National Archives (Kew), turned up a reference (C 1/579/28) to a manor of Knelle, but as this was not accompanied by any precise locality, its location in England was a mystery. Corresponding with various government offices in England, it was later found to be situated in East Sussex near Beckley. The East Sussex Record Office was so kind as to sell me a page from the Victoria County History (VCH) where Knelle manor and part of Knelle genealogy was mentioned.
So I started to work.
What you will find, is a compilation of data and documents gathered during the past one and a half years, a basis which might serve for further research, for each item found raises new questions to be answered.
Ana Luppertz, April 2005
Meanwhile the web page has been updated several times, last on 2 February 2016 4.05 pm middle European time