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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

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.


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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.

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Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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


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


Kirby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Kirby, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1814
  • Thomas Kirby, who immigrated to St. 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


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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  • Colonial Settlers and English Adventurers by Noel Currier Briggs.
  • Tidewater Ancestors by Louise Niemeyer Fontaine.
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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  4. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  6. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. 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).
  9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  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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