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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Kirkwood family come from? What is the Scottish Kirkwood family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kirkwood family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kirkwood family history?


Spelling variations of this family name include: Kirkwood, Kirkward and others.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkwood research. Another 176 words(13 lines of text) covering the year 1526 is included under the topic Early Kirkwood History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Kirkwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Kirkwood family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirkwood Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • James Kirkwood who settled in New Jersey in 1685 with Elizabeth

Kirkwood Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • William Kirkwood settled in Boston in 1716
  • Captain James Kirkwood settled in Boston in 1758

Kirkwood Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert and Thomas Kirkwood arrived in Philadelphia in 1846

Kirkwood Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Benj Kirkwood, aged 21, who settled in America from Glasgow, in 1900
  • Abraham Kirkwood, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
  • Christina Kirkwood, aged 31, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
  • Christine Kirkwood, aged 26, who emigrated to America from Greenock, Scotland, in 1907
  • Archibald Kirkwood, aged 31, who settled in America from Banknoch, Scotland, in 1908


  • Daniel Kirkwood (1814-1895), American astronomer who studied the orbits of asteroids, eponym of the Kirkwood gap
  • James Kirkwood (1875-1963), American actor, director, and writer
  • Curt Kirkwood (b. 1959), American singer, guitarist and songwriter
  • Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (1813-1894), American politician, Governor of Iowa during the US Civil War, 14th United States Secretary of the Interior (1881-1882)
  • John "Jack" Gamble Kirkwood (1907-1959), American chemist and physicist, recipient of the 1936 Langmuir Award, eponym of the Kirkwood approximation
  • James Kirkwood Jr. (1924-1989), American playwright, author and actor, recipient of the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the Broadway hit A Chorus Line in 1976
  • Davie Kirkwood (b. 1967), Scottish former professional football player and current manager
  • Archibald Johnstone Kirkwood (b. 1946), Baron Kirkwood of Kirkhope, British politician
  • David Kirkwood (1872-1955), 1st Baron Kirkwood, British socialist politician
  • Joseph Henry Kirkwood Sr. (1897-1970), Australian professional golfer



  • Kirkwoods, and their Kin by Anna Lee Kirkwood Smith.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Spes mea in Deo
Motto Translation: My hope is in God.


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  1. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  2. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  5. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  6. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Kirkwood Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirkwood Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 September 2013 at 21:43.

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