Show ContentsKilligroue History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Killigroue family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Killigroue family originally lived in Cornwall, at the manor of Cheligrevus, from which they took their name. 1

Early Origins of the Killigroue family

The surname Killigroue was first found in Cornwall where "a manor in the parish of St. Erme, where this celebrated family resided from an early date down to the reign of Richard II." 1

One branch of the family was found at Falmouth in Cornwall. "Until 1613 there was only a single house of entertainment for seafaring persons, with a few fishermen's cottages, on the site of the pre sent town; at which period John, afterwards Sir John, Killigrew began to build several houses, and met with much opposition from the corporations of Penryn, Truro, and Helston, who united to petition King James against the work, stating the evil consequences they anticipated to their own interests, should a town be built at Falmouth harbour. The matter was referred to the lords of the council, and by them decided in Killigrew's favour; the buildings therefore proceeded rapidly, and the town became a place of great trade. Soon after 1670, Sir Peter Killigrew, Bart., constructed a new quay, and procured an act of parliament to secure certain duties." 2

At one time the family held a manor in the parish of St. Anthony and Kirrier. "Like the ancient cell of Black Monks, this church was originally appropriated to the priory of Tywardreath. About the year 1563, the rectory of this parish is said to have been granted by Elizabeth to the Killegrew family; but since that time it has become the property of the late Francis Gregor, Esq. of Trewarthenick." 3

"Rosmeran in this parish, was formerly a seat of the Killigrews; but their chief mansion was at Arwenick, or Arwenack, now contiguous to Falmouth town, but formerly in Budock. By this renowned family Rosmeran was afterwards leased to the Knyvets, with whom it continued for three generations." 3

Early History of the Killigroue family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Killigroue research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1567, 1580, 1584, 1600, 1603, 1606, 1608, 1612, 1622, 1633, 1636, 1648, 1652, 1660, 1663, 1672, 1680, 1683, 1685, 1686, 1695, 1702, 1705 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Killigroue History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Killigroue Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Killigrew, Kiligrew, Killigroue, Killegrew and many more.

Early Notables of the Killigroue family

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Robert Killigrew (1580-1633) of Arwenack in Falmouth, Cornwall, knighted by King James I in 1603, Ambassador to the United Provinces; his daughter Elizabeth Boyle (née Killigrew), Viscountess Shannon (1622-1680), an English courtier; Mary Killegrew, who was the mother of Frederick Nassau de Zulestein (1608-1672), 1st Earl of Rochford; Thomas Killigrew, (1612-1683) English dramatist and theater manager...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Killigroue Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Killigroue family to Ireland

Some of the Killigroue family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Killigroue migration to the United States +

Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Killigroue or a variant listed above:

Killigroue Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anne Killigroue, who settled in Boston in 1679 with her sister Elizabeth who spelled her name Killigrew
  • An Killigroue, who landed in New England in 1679 4
  • Anne Killigroue, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1679 4

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook