Kirwan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

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."

Early Origins of the Kirwan family

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. [1]

Important Dates for the Kirwan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kirwan research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1530, 1531, 1534, 1535, 1550, 1551, 1602, 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Kirwan Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Kirwan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was John Óge Kirwan, Mayor of Galway (1530-1531); Thomas Kirwan, Mayor of Galway (1534-1535); Richard Kirwan, Mayor of Galway (1550-1551); Stephen Kirwan (d. 1602), an Irish prelate, Bishop of Clonfert; Reverend Francis Kirwan (1589-1661), Bishop of Killala, but was later exiled...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kirwan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kirwan migration to the United States

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 [2]
  • Elizabeth, Maria, Michael, and Thomas Kirwan, all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1820 and 1844
  • Mary Kirwan, aged 50, who arrived in New York in 1849 [2]
  • Michael Kirwan, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1855 [2]
  • David Kirwan, aged 29, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1872 [2]

Kirwan migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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
  • Margaret Kirwan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1840
  • Bridget Kirwan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1841

Kirwan migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kirwan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Kirwan, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • Johanna Kirwan, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • Catherine Kirwan, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"

Kirwan 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:

Kirwan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John S. Kirwan, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Harkaway" in 1858
  • Ann Kirwan, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873
  • Mary Kirwan, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Kirwan (post 1700)

  • William English "Brit" Kirwan (b. 1938), American academic, the 3rd Chancellor of the University System of Maryland
  • Michael Joseph Kirwan (1886-1970), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1937-1970)
  • Thomas Kirwan, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly 96th District, 1995- [3]
  • Michael Joseph Kirwan (1886-1970), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio 19th District, 1937-70 [3]
  • Michael Kirwan, American politician, Circuit Judge in Wisconsin 4th Circuit, 1899-1903 [3]
  • 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 [3]
  • John R. Kirwan, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit, 1975-85 [3]
  • John Kirwan, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 10th District, 1959 [3]
  • H. Raymond Kirwan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1960 [3]
  • Dan H. Kirwan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1924 [3]
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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