Keirby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Keirby is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Keirby family lived at Kirkby in Furness. The name Kirkby means village with a church.
Early Origins of the Keirby family
The surname Keirby was first found in Lancashire. One of the first recorded references to the name was John Kirkby (died 26 March 1290,) an English ecclesiastic and statesman. "John de Kirkeby, [was] Bishop of Ely in 1286, and founder of Ely Palace, Holborn."  He acted as keeper of the great seal during the frequent absences of the chancellor, Robert Burnell, during the reign of Henry III. He was Lord Treasurer from January 1284 to his death. On 26 July 1286, he was elected Bishop of Ely, a post he held until his death.
Another John de Kirkby (d. 1352) was Bishop of Carlisle, an Augustinian canon at Carlisle and later prior of the house.
Early History of the Keirby family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keirby research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1816, 1548, 1690, 1753, 1625, 1681, 1661, 1681, 1649, 1709, 1693, 1702, 1708, 1658, 1703, 1634, 1690 and 1753 are included under the topic Early Keirby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keirby Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Keirby are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Keirby include Kirkby, Kirby, Kerribly, Kerwick, O'Kerwick and many more.
Early Notables of the Keirby family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Kirkby, rector of the church of St. Michael in Aughton, Lancashire in 1548 ; John Kirby (1690-1753), an English land surveyor and topographer, best known for his book The Suffolk Traveller; Richard Kirkby (c.1625-1681), an English politician, from Kirkby Ireleth in Lancashire. He was a Justice of the Peace and Member of Parliament for Lancaster (1661-1681). His son Colonel Roger Kirkby (c.1649-1709) was an English soldier and politician. He was Governor of...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keirby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keirby family to Ireland
Some of the Keirby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keirby family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Keirby, or a variant listed above: Thomas Kirby settled in Barbados in 1663; along with Rebecca and Henry; James Kirby settled in Virginia in 1651 along with Humphrey and Alice his wife.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].