The ancestry of the name Kircham dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the region of Kirham.
Kircham 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 Kircham family
The surname Kircham 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 Kircham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kircham 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 Kircham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kircham Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Kircham have been found, including Kirkham, Kirkam and others.
Early Notables of the Kircham family (pre 1700)
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kircham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kircham family to the New World and Oceana
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England
. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England
, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Kircham, 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.