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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Many variations of the name Kirwan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Ciardhubhain, which is derived from the words "ciar" and "dubh," both of which mean "black."
The surname Kirwan was first found in County Galway
(Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht
, located on the west coast of the Island. The family of ancient Irish extraction have been seated at Blindwell in County Galway
from time immemorial. 
Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Kirwan family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Kirwan, O'Kirwan, Kerovan, Kyrvan, O'Quirivan, Kirwin, Kerwin, Kerwan and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirwan research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1530, 1531, 1534, 1535, 1550, 1551, 1589, 1661, 1642, 1653, 1642, 1650, 1721, 1686 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Kirwan History in all our PDF Extended History products
Another 155 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirwan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families
made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Kirwan family in North America:
Kirwan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William Denbow Kirwan, who arrived in New York in 1812
- Elizabeth, Maria, Michael, and Thomas Kirwan, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1820 and 1844
- Mary Kirwan, aged 50, arrived in New York in 1849
- Michael Kirwan, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1855
- David Kirwan, aged 29, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1872
Kirwan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Joanna Hemming Kirwan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
- Margaret Kirwan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1838
- Bridget Kirwan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1841
Kirwan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Bridget Kirwan, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
- Johanna Kirwan, aged 23, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
- Catherine Kirwan, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
Kirwan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- John S. Kirwan arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Harkaway" in 1858
- Ann Kirwan, aged 24, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873
- Mary Kirwan, aged 22, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873
- Timothy P. Kirwan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County 2nd District, 1938
- Thomas Kirwan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly 96th District, 1995-
- Michael Joseph Kirwan (1886-1970), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio 19th District, 1937-70
- Michael Kirwan, American politician, Circuit Judge in Wisconsin 4th Circuit, 1899-1903
- Laurence J. Kirwan (1942-2002), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1980, 1984 (alternate), 1988 (delegation chair); New York Democratic State Chair, 1984-89
- John R. Kirwan, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit, 1975-85
- John Kirwan, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 10th District, 1959
- H. Raymond Kirwan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1960
- Dan H. Kirwan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1924
- Bessie A. Kirwan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1964
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto. Motto:
Mon Dieu, mon Roi, et ma patrieMotto Translation:
Mon Dieu, mon Roi, et ma patrie.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
- Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
- Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
- Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
- Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
- Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
- Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
The Kirwan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kirwan 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 11 November 2015 at 11:48.
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