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

Origins Available: English, German


The name Kercher first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the area of Kirkshaw at Rochdale in the county of Lancashire. Kercher is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties.

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The surname Kercher was first found in Lancashire where it is a local name 'of Kirkshaw,' in the parish of Rochdale. Literally the place name means "church-wood." Some of the earliest records of the name include: Matthew de Kyrkshagh, Lancashire in 1281; Geoffrey del Kyrkeshagh, of Rochdale parish in 1390; and John de Kyrkshagh, or Kershaw, of Townhouses, in Rochdale, 1424. [1]

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Kercher has appeared include Kershaw, Kercher, Kershow, Kirshaw, Kirkshaw and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kercher research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1572, 1617, 1379 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Kercher History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Kercher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Kercher arrived in North America very early:

Kercher Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johann Philip Kercher arrived in Philadelphia in 1742
  • Johann Philip Kercher, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742
  • Reinhart Dietrich Kercher arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • Reinhart Dietrich Kercher, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Catharina Kercher, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1764

Kercher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Kercher, who landed in New York in 1820
  • L Kercher, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Philipp Kercher, aged 48, arrived in New York in 1854

Kercher Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Kercher arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mount Stuart Elphinstone" in 1851

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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Kercher Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kercher 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 3 September 2015 at 11:31.

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