Where did the Irish Kirby family come from? What is the Irish coat of arms/family crest? When did the Kirby family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
The surname Kirby comes from the Gaelic-Irish O Ciarmhaic, which was anglicized as Kerwick. The Irish name was later corrupted to O Cearba, which was anglicized as Kirby.
Spelling variations of this family name include: Kirby, Kerwick, O'Kirby and others.
First found in Knockany in County Limerick, where members of the family were chiefs of the Eoghanacht clan of Munster.
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: William Kirby, who settled in Boston in 1767; James Kerwick, who immigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1798; Michael Kerwick, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1811.
For more information on the last name Kirby, the PDF Surname History is available for purchase as well as other products.
Suggested Readings for the name Kirby
* Colonial Settlers and English Adventurers by Noel Currier Briggs.
* Tidewater Ancestors by Louise Niemeyer Fontaine.
Some noteworthy people of the name Kirby
* Bruce Kirby (b. 1928), American actor
* David Kirby (b. 1944), American poet & academic
* Dorothy Kirby (1920-2000), American golfer & journalist
* Jim Kirby (1884-1971), American inventor
* Stuart Kirby (b. 1981), American race car driver
* Bruce Kirby (b. 1929), Canadian yacht designer
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