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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Kirkup family come from? What is the English Kirkup family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kirkup family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kirkup family history?

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.


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.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirkup research. Another 338 words (24 lines of text) covering the year 1300 is included under the topic Early Kirkup History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Kirkup Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


  • 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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  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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. 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 27 November 2013 at 11:17.

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