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Origins Available: English, Irish


The surname Kirby comes from the Gaelic-Irish O Ciarmhaic, which was anglicized as Kerwick. The Irish name was later corrupted to O Cearba, which was Anglicized as Kirby.

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The surname Kirby was first found in Knockany in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where members of the family were chiefs of the Eoghanacht Clan of Munster. The family were descendents of Eoghan, son of King Oilioll Olum.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kirby, Kerwick, O'Kirby and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirby research. Another 387 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1690 and 1817 are included under the topic Early Kirby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent amongst the family at this time was Richard Kirby, who in 1690, wrote about the revolution in Ireland. Two members of the family became distinguished in London; Joshua Kirby, who was president of...

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Kirby, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637
  • William Kirby, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1647
  • James Kirby settled in Virginia in 1651 along with Humphrey and Alice his wife
  • Hump Kirby, who landed in Virginia in 1651
  • Ann Kirby, who arrived in Virginia in 1655
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Kirby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Kirby, who settled in Boston in 1767
  • James Kirby, who landed in Richmond, Va in 1794

Kirby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mary Ann Kirby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Cornelius, Mary Ann, and Eliza Kirby, who immigrated to New York in 1811
  • Eliza Kirby, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Cornelius Kirby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • John Kirby, aged 33, landed in New York in 1812
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Kirby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Kirby, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1814
  • Thomas Kirby, who immigrated to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1846
  • William Kirby, who immigrated to New Brunswick in 1847
  • Patrick Kirby, who was counted in the 1871 census in Ontario

Kirby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Kirby, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Kirby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Catherine Kirby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840
  • Matilda Kirby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840
  • Richard Kirby arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840
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Kirby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Kirby, aged 24, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • James Kirby, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Johanna Kirby, aged 20, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Catherine Kirby, aged 17, a housemaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • L. D. Kirby arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Fruing" in 1875
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  • Jack Kirby (1917-1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, American comic book artist, writer and editor, creator of Captain America and Marvel Comics, eponym of the Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame
  • William Fosgate Kirby (1867-1934), American Democratic Party politician, United States Senator from Arkansas (1916 to 1921)
  • Steve T. Kirby (b. 1952), American politician, the 35th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
  • George Kirby (1923-1995), American comedian, singer, and actor
  • Homer Durward Kirby (1911-2000), American television host and announcer, best remembered for his work on The Garry Moore Show in the 1950s, and Candid Camera
  • Charles Kirk Kirby (1826-1910), American architect in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Stuart Kirby (b. 1981), American race car driver
  • Jim Kirby (1884-1971), Scottish-born, American inventor of the Kirby vacuum cleaner
  • Dorothy Kirby (1920-2000), American golfer & journalist
  • David Kirby (b. 1944), American poet & academic
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Kirby Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. James Thomas  Kirby (1862-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. Samuel M.  Kirby (1867-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. Walter Norman  Kirby (1876-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. George E Kirby, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Frank Kirby, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
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  • Colonial Settlers and English Adventurers by Noel Currier Briggs.
  • Tidewater Ancestors by Louise Niemeyer Fontaine.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
    2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    8. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Kirby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirby 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 29 February 2016 at 08:37.

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