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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Kerby family lived at Kirkby in Furness. The name Kirkby means village with a church.
The surname Kerby 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. 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.
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Kirkby, Kirby, Kerribly, Kerwick, O'Kerwick and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerby research. Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1816, 1690, 1753, 1625, 1681, 1661, 1681, 1649, 1709, 1693, 1702, 1708, 1658 and 1703 are included under the topic Early Kerby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was 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...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Some of the Kerby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Kerby or a variant listed above:
Kerby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Kerby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Kerby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Kerby Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Kerby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Kerby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Kerby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kerby 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 6 October 2015 at 15:25.