Kirby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Kirby came to England with the ancestors of the Kirby family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Kirby family lived at Kirkby in Furness. The name Kirkby means village with a church.

Early Origins of the Kirby family

The surname Kirby was first found in Lancashire. One of the first recorded references to the name was John Kirkby (died 26 March 1290,) an English ecclesiastic and statesman. "John de Kirkeby, [was] Bishop of Ely in 1286, and founder of Ely Palace, Holborn." [1] He acted as keeper of the great seal during the frequent absences of the chancellor, Robert Burnell, during the reign of Henry III. He was Lord Treasurer from January 1284 to his death. On 26 July 1286, he was elected Bishop of Ely, a post he held until his death.

Another John de Kirkby (d. 1352) was Bishop of Carlisle, an Augustinian canon at Carlisle and later prior of the house.

Important Dates for the Kirby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirby research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1816, 1548, 1690, 1753, 1625, 1681, 1661, 1681, 1649, 1709, 1693, 1702, 1708, 1658, 1703, 1634, 1690 and 1753 are included under the topic Early Kirby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirby Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Kirby are characterized by many spelling variations. 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. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Kirby include Kirkby, Kirby, Kerribly, Kerwick, O'Kerwick and many more.

Early Notables of the Kirby family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Kirkby, rector of the church of St. Michael in Aughton, Lancashire in 1548 [2]; John Kirby (1690-1753), an English land surveyor and topographer, best known for his book The Suffolk Traveller; Richard Kirkby (c.1625-1681), an English politician, from Kirkby Ireleth in Lancashire. He was a Justice of the Peace and Member of Parliament for Lancaster (1661-1681). His son Colonel Roger Kirkby (c.1649-1709) was an English soldier and politician. He was Governor of...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kirby family to Ireland

Some of the Kirby 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.

Kirby migration to the United States

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Kirby, or a variant listed above:

Kirby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Kirby, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637 [3]
  • William Kirby, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1647 [3]
  • James Kirby, who settled in Virginia in 1651 along with Humphrey and Alice his wife
  • Hump Kirby, who landed in Virginia in 1651 [3]
  • Ann Kirby, who arrived in Virginia in 1655 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Kirby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Kirby, who settled in Boston in 1767
  • James Kirby, who landed in Richmond, Va in 1794 [3]
Kirby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ann Kirby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Cornelius, Mary Ann, and Eliza Kirby, who immigrated to New York in 1811
  • Eliza Kirby, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Cornelius Kirby, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • John Kirby, aged 33, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Kirby migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Kirby, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1814
  • Thomas Kirby, who immigrated to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1846
  • William Kirby, who immigrated to New Brunswick in 1847
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Kirby, aged 48 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Erin's Queen" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 17th September 1847 [4]
  • Mr. James Kirby, aged 47 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Erin's Queen" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 21st July 1847 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Kirby migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kirby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Kirby, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • John Kirby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [6]
  • Catherine Kirby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840 [7]
  • Matilda Kirby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840 [7]
  • Richard Kirby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Kirby migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kirby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Kirby, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Deborah" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842 [8]
  • John Kirby, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • James Kirby, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Mr. James Kirby, British settler travelling from London, UK with 1 child aboard the ship "Assaye" arriving in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1874 [8]
  • Johanna Kirby, aged 20, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirby (post 1700)

  • Jack Kirby (1917-1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, American comic book artist, writer and editor, creator of Captain America and Marvel Comics, eponym of the Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame
  • John Joseph Kirby Jr. (1939-2019), American attorney, best known for his successful defense for Nintendo of the character of Donkey Kong in 1984; Nintendo subsequently named the character Kirby after him
  • William Fosgate Kirby (1867-1934), American Democratic Party politician, United States Senator from Arkansas (1916 to 1921)
  • Steve T. Kirby (b. 1952), American politician, the 35th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
  • George Kirby (1923-1995), American comedian, singer, and actor
  • Homer Durward Kirby (1911-2000), American television host and announcer, best remembered for his work on The Garry Moore Show in the 1950s, and Candid Camera
  • Charles Kirk Kirby (1826-1910), American architect in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Stuart Kirby (b. 1981), American race car driver
  • Jim Kirby (1884-1971), Scottish-born, American inventor of the Kirby vacuum cleaner
  • Dorothy Kirby (1920-2000), American golfer & journalist
  • ... (Another 20 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Kirby family

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Thomas James Kirby (b. 1949), American Staff Sergeant from Salem, Virginia, USA who died in the crash [9]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. James Thomas  Kirby (1862-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
  • Mr. Samuel M.  Kirby (1867-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
  • Mr. Walter Norman  Kirby (1876-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
HMS Cornwall
  • Charrington   Cecil Kirby (d. 1942), British Lieutenant Surgeon aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [11]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Frank Kirby, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]

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Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 38)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BABOO 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Baboo.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  10. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  11. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  12. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
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