An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Kirkby is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Kirkby family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Kirkby family lived at Kirkby in Furness. The name Kirkby means village with a church.
The surname Kirkby 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. 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.
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Kirkby have been found, including Kirkby, Kirby, Kerribly, Kerwick, O'Kerwick and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkby research. Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1816, 1690, 1753, 1625, 1681, 1661, 1681, 1649, 1709, 1693, 1702, 1708, 1658 and 1703 are included under the topic Early Kirkby History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 187 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirkby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Kirkby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kirkby were among those contributors:
Kirkby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
The Kirkby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirkby Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 28 October 2015 at 19:57.