|We must've been through hundreds of books already and we can't find him anywhere —|
Snape is the surname of a family with both Muggle and magical members. In modern times, they resided in a house on Spinner's End. Mr and Mrs Evans and their daughters Petunia and Lily lived nearby. The Snapes are related to the pure-blood Prince family.
Sometime before 1960, pure-blood witch Eileen Prince married Muggle Tobias Snape. They had one child, half-blood wizard Severus Snape. The marriage seemed to be unhappy, as they lived in near-destitution, frequently argued, and were neglectful of their son.
With Severus's death in 1998, the Snape family may have become extinct, as Severus had no sibilings and no children of his own.
- Tobias Snape — Abusive Muggle lowlife; father of Severus Snape.
- Eileen Snape (née Prince) — Pure-blood neglectful Gobstones champion; wife of Tobias Snape and mother of Severus Snape.
- Severus Snape — a half-blood wizard, Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, member of the Order of the Phoenix, Death Eater (formerly)
J. K. Rowling has said that she took the surname Snape from an English village, probably one in Yorkshire near Hadrian’s Wall. Snape is also an English verb meaning “to be hard upon, rebuke, snub”, derived from the Old Norse sneypa, “to outrage, dishonour, disgrace”. This is quite consistent with Severus Snape's personality and general teaching style.