Show ContentsKirton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Kirton first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the region of Kirkton which referred to site where a church was in Berkshire. Kirton 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 Kirton family

The surname Kirton was first found in Lincolnshire where "the Kirketons, ennobled by the title of Baron by Edward III., derived their name and title from Kirkton, now Kirton." [1] One of the earliest records of the family was that of Edmund Kirkton (d. 1466), the English prelate and Abbot of Westminister.

Further to the north in Scotland, "this surname appears in several records in different parts of the country and as the place name is common it is possible that persons bearing this surname are of different origin. Wilham de Kirketon appears as witness in Aberdeen in 1243. Adam de Kirketone of the county of Edneburk rendered homage in 1296." [2]

Early History of the Kirton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirton research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1270, 1296, 1466, 1620, 1699, 1674 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Kirton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirton Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Kirton has appeared include Kirton, Kirkton, Kirtman and others.

Early Notables of the Kirton family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Edmund Kirton (d. 1466), English divine, Abbot of Westminster. He belonged to the old family of Cobbledick, but took the name Kirton, probably from the village he was born. His tomb is in St...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Kirton migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Kirton arrived in North America very early:

Kirton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anthony Kirton, who settled in New England in 1769

New Zealand Kirton migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kirton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Kirton, who landed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1840

West Indies Kirton migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [3]
Kirton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Kirton, who settled in Barbados in 1673
  • Phillip and Sarah Kirton, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with their servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirton (post 1700) +

  • Spencer J. Kirton (b. 1874), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Trinidad, 1904-11 [4]
  • Leroy Kirton, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, 1961 [4]
  • Sir James Kirton (d. 1620), English politician
  • John William "Jack" Kirton (1873-1970), English professional footballer
  • William John 'Billy' Kirton (1896-1970), English footballer
  • Linda Kirton (b. 1948), Canadian curling official
  • John J. Kirton, Canadian professor of political science
  • Rex S Kirton, New Zealand local body politician
  • Neil Kirton, former New Zealand politician
  • Colin Kirton, Malaysian stage and television actor
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Winter Quarters coal mine
  • Mr. John Kirton (b. 1863), English mine worker from Northumberland residing in Lehi, Utah who worked in the Winter Quarters coal mine on 1st May 1900, when 10 of the 25lb kegs of black powder exploded; he died in the explosion [5]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. 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)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from
  5. Miners killed in Winter Quarters (retrieved 28th July 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook