Its source is cnocc, an Old English name meaning "Round-top hill."
Among the Scots this name may be given in honor of John Knox (1505-1572) founder of the Scottish Protestant church. Known for fiery oratory and uncompromising principles, his struggles with the Roman Catholic powers in his native land led him from exile and and condemnation as a galley slave to the triumphant establishment of a theocratic government for Scotland modeled on that of his mentor, John Calvin of Geneva.
In the U.S., Knoxville Tennessee and many other landmarks were named after Henry Knox (1750-1806). Starting his working life as a shipmaster and bookseller, he enlisted with the American Revolutionary army and became its chief artillerist. Later, he served as the first Secretary of War under the presidency of George Washington.