The Kerkam name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. Their name comes from having lived in the region of Kirham.
Kerkam 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. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
Early Origins of the Kerkam family
The surname Kerkam was first found in Lancashire
at Kirkham, a market-town and parish, in the union of the Fylde, hundred
of Amounderness. Dating back to Saxon times, the parish took its name from its church. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
There is another Kirkham in the East Riding of Yorkshire
. The first record of the family was Simon de Kirkeham who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire
in 1219. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Later, Walter de Kirkham (died 1260) was an English divine, Bishop of Durham
. He was of humble parentage, but became one of the royal clerks. He is first listed in records from 1225 when he was chaplain of Eastrington, Yorkshire.
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Adam de Kirkham; Agnes de Kyrkham; and Johannes Kvrkam. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) Despite the name having the Scottish word "kirk" meaning "church" as its root, it was "probably a recent incomer from England to Scotland." CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) Alexander Kircum was listed in parish of Birsay, Scotland in 1640.
Early History of the Kerkam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerkam research.Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1575, 1507, 1582, 1523, 1525 and 1582 are included under the topic Early Kerkam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kerkam Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Kerkam has undergone many spelling variations
, including Kirkham, Kirkam and others.
Early Notables of the Kerkam family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerkam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kerkam family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England
of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kerkam were among those contributors: Edward Kirkham who settled in Maryland in 1774; John Kirkham arrived in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1858; Watson Kirkham arrived in Philadelphia in 1833.