Chirk is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon
origin and comes from the family once having lived near a church. The surname Chirk is derived from the old English word cyrice,
which is itself derived from the Late Greek word kyrikon,
which means house of the Lord.
Chirk therefore belongs to the class of topographic
surnames, which were given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. The Aglish surname is only found in Ireland
where it is one of the few times an English name has been translated into Irish (eaglais, pronounced aglish, Gaelic for a church)
Early Origins of the Chirk family
The surname Chirk was first found in principally in Somerset
but also many counties of England
. One of the first records of the name was Thomas Attechurche who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls
of Worcester in 1296. The "atte" prefix was quite popular for this surname at that time. Henry atte
Churche was listed in the Subsidy Rolls
in 1368. Henry of the Chirche was listed in 1368. In Norfolk
, records there show John Atte-cherch was rector of Metton in 1338.
Early History of the Chirk family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chirk research.Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1338, 1388, 1639, 1718, 1676, and 1903 are included under the topic Early Chirk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chirk Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Chirk family name include Church, Churche, Churchey, Aglish (Ireland) and others.
Early Notables of the Chirk family (pre 1700)
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chirk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chirk family to Ireland
Some of the Chirk family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 267 words (19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chirk family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Chirk surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Richard Church who settled in Plymouth in the year 1630; who arrived in the fleet with Winthrop in 1630. He was admitted as a freeman of the Colony in 1633. He built the first Church of Dover in 1662. He was taken by Indians, escaped and was finally killed twenty years later by Indians in his own home. Richard Church settled in Virginia in 1630.
The Chirk Motto
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 Translation: Virtue