Show ContentsKirksey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Kirksey family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in the area of Kirkshaw at Rochdale in the county of Lancashire. Kirksey 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.

Early Origins of the Kirksey family

The surname Kirksey was first found in Lancashire where it is a local name 'of Kirkshaw,' in the parish of Rochdale. Literally the place name means "church-wood." Some of the earliest records of the name include: Matthew de Kyrkshagh, Lancashire in 1281; Geoffrey del Kyrkeshagh, of Rochdale parish in 1390; and John de Kyrkshagh, or Kershaw, of Townhouses, in Rochdale, 1424. 1

Early History of the Kirksey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirksey research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1572, 1617 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Kirksey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirksey Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Kirksey include Kershaw, Kercher, Kershow, Kirshaw, Kirkshaw and others.

Early Notables of the Kirksey family

More information is included under the topic Early Kirksey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirksey Ranking

In the United States, the name Kirksey is the 5,987th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 2

Migration of the Kirksey family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled 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 ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kirksey or a variant listed above: Ralph Kershaw settled in Virginia in 1699; Edmund, Frederick, James, Jesse, John, Lees, Nelson, Napoleon, Robert, Samuel, Thomas and William Kershaw all arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1870..

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirksey (post 1700) +

  • Jerry Kirksey (b. 1940), American editor of Singing News magazine from its inception in 1969 to the present, inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 2011
  • James A. Kirksey (1804-1878), American plantation owner in northwestern Leon County, Florida and politician
  • Morris Marshall Kirksey (1895-1981), American two-time Olympic gold medalist track and field athlete at the 1920 Summer Games and rugby union footballer
  • Larry Kirksey, American football coach and former player
  • Jonathan O'Neal "Jon" Kirksey (b. 1970), American former professional NFL football defensive tackle who played from 1993 to 2001
  • Christian Kirksey (b. 1992), American NFL football linebacker for the Cleveland Browns (2004-)
  • Mike Kirksey, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Dallas County, 1964 3
  • Jack Edwin Kirksey (b. 1928), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives 35th District, 1977-84; Mayor of Livonia, Michigan, 2002 3
  • Jack Kirksey, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1964 3
  • Henry J. Kirksey, American politician, Independent Candidate for U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1978 3
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook