O'Kirwan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name O'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 O'Kirwan family

The surname O'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 O'Kirwan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'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 O'Kirwan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Kirwan Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname O'Kirwan that are preserved in archival documents are Kirwan, O'Kirwan, Kerovan, Kyrvan, O'Quirivan, Kirwin, Kerwin, Kerwan and many more.

Early Notables of the O'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 O'Kirwan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the O'Kirwan family

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the O'Kirwan name: William Kirvan, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1853; Elizabeth, Maria, Michael, and Thomas Kirwan, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1820 and 1844; John Kirwin settled in Philadelphia in 1851..

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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.
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