Show ContentsKirkup History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Kirkup family

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] 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] Later, Walter de Kirkham (died 1260) was an English divine, Bishop of Durham. He was of humble parentage, but became one of the royal clerks. He is first listed in records from 1225 when he was chaplain of Eastrington, Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Adam de Kirkham; Agnes de Kyrkham; and Johannes Kvrkam. [3] Despite the name having the Scottish word "kirk" meaning "church" as its root, it was "probably a recent incomer from England to Scotland." [4] Alexander Kircum was listed in parish of Birsay, Scotland in 1640.

Early History of the Kirkup family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkup research. Another 146 words (10 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.

Kirkup Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Kirkup family (pre 1700)

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.

United States Kirkup migration to the United States +

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 immigrated 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 immigrated to the United States from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • Edmund Kirkup, aged 1, who immigrated to the United States from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • Hilda Kirkup, aged 2, who landed in America from Carlisle, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Kirkup migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kirkup Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Kirkup, aged 63, who immigrated to Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada, in 1920

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirkup (post 1700) +

  • Seymour Stocker Kirkup (1788-1880), English artist, born in London
  • 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

  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) on Facebook