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

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

The ancestors of the name Kirkham date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Kirkham family lived in the region of Kirham. Kirkham is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Kirkham are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Kirkham include: Kirkham, Kirkam and others.

First found in Lancashire 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 Kirkham research. Another 338 words(24 lines of text) covering the year 1300 is included under the topic Early Kirkham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Kirkham or a variant listed above:

Kirkham Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Kirkham who settled in Maryland in 1774

Kirkham Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Watson Kirkham arrived in Philadelphia in 1833
  • John Kirkham arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1858


  • Kathleen Kirkham (1895-1961), American silent screen leading lady
  • Richard Kirkham (b. 1955), American philosopher
  • Rick Kirkham, American journalist
  • Stanton Davis Kirkham (1868-1944), American naturalist, philosopher, ornithologist and author
  • Fred Kirkham (d. 1949), English football referee and manager of Tottenham Hotspur
  • Glenn Kirkham (b. 1982), English field hockey player
  • Ian Kirkham (b. 1963), English saxophonist
  • Reg Kirkham (1919-1999), English footballer
  • Tom Kirkham, English football referee
  • Tony Kirkham (b. 1957), English botanist



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  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Kirkham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirkham 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 19 February 2014 at 09:40.

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