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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Kercher family come from? What is the English Kercher family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kercher family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kercher family history?

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.


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.

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]


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.


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


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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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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