Kirkbay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Kirkbay family lived at Kirkby in Furness. The name Kirkby means village with a church.
Early Origins of the Kirkbay family
The surname Kirkbay 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."  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.
Early History of the Kirkbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkbay 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 Kirkbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kirkbay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Kirkby, Kirby, Kerribly, Kerwick, O'Kerwick and many more.
Early Notables of the Kirkbay 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 ; 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 Kirkbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kirkbay family to Ireland
Some of the Kirkbay 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.
Migration of the Kirkbay family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Kirkbay or a variant listed above: Thomas Kirby settled in Barbados in 1663; along with Rebecca and Henry; James Kirby settled in Virginia in 1651 along with Humphrey and Alice his wife.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ '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].