The name Kerkon is of Anglo-Saxon
origin and came from when the family lived in the region of Kirham.
Kerkon 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 Kerkon family
The surname Kerkon 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 Kerkon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerkon 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 Kerkon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kerkon Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Kerkon are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. 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. The variations of the name Kerkon include: Kirkham, Kirkam and others.
Early Notables of the Kerkon family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kerkon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kerkon family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Kerkon or a variant listed above: Edward Kirkham who settled in Maryland in 1774; John Kirkham arrived in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1858; Watson Kirkham arrived in Philadelphia in 1833.