An English and Irish surname, Knowles comes from the Old English term ‘cnoll’ and Middle English terms ‘knol’ and ‘knoll’ which both refer to a person living on a hill top and dweller by the knoll. The spelling variations for Knowles include Knolds, Knolis, Knoll, Knoales, Knoles, Nowles, Noles, Knowlds, Knowless, Knowell, Knols, Knollis and Knowls. Scattered across England and portions of Wales is the Knowles family name. The higher populated counties with individuals named Knowles are Yorkshire, the city of London and Lancashire. In Scotland the Knowles surname is located in most of the country. The counties with the great Knowles populations are Aberdeenshire, Angus, Kincardineshire, Midlothian and Lanarkshire. Within the United States the original Knowles families settled in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Indiana. Famous: Julian Knowles (music composer from Australia), Mark Knowles (professional tennis player from the Bahamas), William S. Knowles (chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry), John Knowles (novelist), Michael Knowles (English actor and screenplay writer), Peter Knowles (professional footballer from England), Karen Knowles (singer from Australia), James Thomas Knowles (major architect of the 19th century in England), Darold Knowles (professional baseball player), Bernard Knowles (movie film director from England), Alison Knowles (artist) and Beyonce Giselle Knowles (singer, actress and fashion designer - known just as Beyonce).