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The ancestors of the Kirkup surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the region of Kirham. Kirkup 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.

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The surname Kirkup 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. [1]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. [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Adam de Kirkham; Agnes de Kyrkham; and Johannes Kvrkam. [3]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." [4]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.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Kirkup include Kirkham, Kirkam and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkup research. Another 291 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1575, 1507, 1582, 1523, 1525 and 1582 are included under the topic Early Kirkup History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirkup Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Kirkup Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Stephen Kirkup, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States from Little Newsham, England, in 1908
  • Thomas Kirkup, aged 10, who landed in America from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • Maggie Kirkup, aged 9, who emigrated to the United States from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • Edmund Kirkup, aged 1, who emigrated to the United States from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • Hilda Kirkup, aged 2, who landed in America from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • ...

Kirkup Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Elizabeth Kirkup, aged 63, who emigrated to Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada, in 1920
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  • Daniel "Dan" Kirkup (b. 1988), English football defender from Hexham, Northumberland
  • Peter Kirkup, English football referee, assistant referee in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
  • James Falconer Kirkup FRSL (1918-2009), English poet, translator and travel writer who wrote over 30 books
  • Joe Kirkup (b. 1939), retired English football full-back from Hexham, Northumberland
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Citations



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)

Other References

  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Kirkup Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirkup 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 22 June 2016 at 16:12.

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