Sorry I didn't respond to your contribution linked to what I had written earlier. I only spotted your posting shortly before my wife and I were to embark for France and trip the light fantastic!
Difficult questions you ask and I don't think anyone has any answers as yet. Families with the name Knapper do occur across western Europe. Back in March Ergil from Norway was telling us that there are Knappers as far north as there. My hunch and it is only a hunch is that we came from from the Continent to serve some purpose just as other families with different surnames did. Senogles is a prime example. The Senogles as far as I understand had specialist skills in mining and travelled from the Continent to work in the mines in Cumberland and Westmorland. Many of the Knappers were miners in the 19th century. Maybe they had skills that were needed in the Stoke area during a crucial time. It would be interesting to do a survey of Knapper occupations as indicated in the 1881 census to see just how many, percentagewise, were miners.Certainly there were miners in my lot. I have almost discounted my own family folk lore handed down to me when I was knee high to a grasshopper which said that my Knapper branch came across from the Continent to help Oliver Cromwell depose the royalists in the mid 1600's. I say almost because in the absence of evidence either way you cannot tell!
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