Kirkman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The founding heritage of the Kirkman family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Kirkman comes from when one of the family worked as a churchwarden; the custodian of a church. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old Norman word kirkja, which meant church, and man, the Old English word for man. The original bearers of the name were responsible for taking care of the buildings and grounds of the local church, which was an honored occupation. The name is primarily found in the north of England, where the Old Norman language had a great impact due to the waves of immigration from Scandinavia in the 9th and 10th centuries. Norman is a contraction of Norsemen; we call them the Vikings. While they came for rapine and pillage, many of them stayed to raise families. There are many names in the north of England that show the influence of these settlers on the English language.

Early Origins of the Kirkman family

The surname Kirkman was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from medieval times.

Early History of the Kirkman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkman research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1259, 1270, 1273, 1273, 1379, 1674 and 1662 are included under the topic Early Kirkman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirkman Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Kirkman has been spelled many different ways, including Kirkman, Kirkeman, Kerman, Churchman, Kyrkman, Kyrkeman and many more.

Early Notables of the Kirkman family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirkman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Kirkman migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Kirkmans to arrive in North America:

Kirkman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sarah Kirkman who arrived in America in 1772
  • Elizabeth Kirkman who sailed to America in 1775
Kirkman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Kirkman, who settled in Philadelphia in 1803
  • Henry Kirkman, who arrived in Baltimore in 1823
  • William Kirkman, who settled in Philadelphia in 1844

Australia Kirkman migration to Australia +

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

Kirkman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Kirkman, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [1]
  • James Kirkman, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sultana" [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirkman (post 1700) +

  • Tim Kirkman (b. 1966), American Emmy Award nominated, Nashville Film Festival Award winning director
  • Roger Randolph "Red" Kirkman (1905-1973), American football player for the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Rick Kirkman (b. 1953), American cartoonist and co-creator of the comic strip Baby Blues
  • Christina Sally Kirkman (b. 1993), American teen actress and comedian
  • Terry Kirkman (b. 1939), American musician and songwriter, best known for his hit song "Cherish"
  • Jacob Kirkman (1710-1792), Alsace-born, English harpsichord and later piano maker, founder of Kirkman harpsichords
  • Sir Sidney Chevalier Kirkman GCB, KBE, MC (1895-1982), English General, Director General of Civil Defence in the Civil Defence Department from 1954 to 1960
  • Thomas Penyngton Kirkman FRS (1806-1895), English mathematician
  • William Stanley Kirkman (b. 1961), Australian cricketer who played four first-class matches
  • William Henry Kirkman (1775-1850), two term Senator for Washington

  1. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from
  2. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1852. Retrieved on Facebook
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