The surname of KIRK was of local origin from residence near a kirk, a church or place of worship. The name was derived from the Old Norman KIRKJA, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Reginald Attekireke, who was documented in London in the year 1219. Richard Attekirck was recorded in 1301 in County Surrey, and Adam Ofthekirke, 1308, County Suffolk. William atte Kirke, who was recorded during the reign of Richard II (1377-1399). John de la Chirke of Yorkshire, was recorded in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was taken early to Scotland by settlers and Sir Patrick Kyrk, chaplain of the alter of St. Mary, Perth in 1456, appears to be the first of the name on record. Andrew Kyrk was a witness at Arbroath in the year 1456. Alexander Kirk, was recorded as the bailie of St. Andrews in 1520. Guylberte Johnson and Jawbyn Kirke were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1547. James Kirk was a charter witness at Inveraray in 1608. Alex Kirk and Elizabeth Hunter were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1742. The old Dumfriesshire surname of Kirkhoe is now merged in this name, and Marie Kirki was a resident in the parish of Borgue in 1684. John Kirkoe was a tenant in Aulane in 1732. The burghs of Scotland owe much of their prosperity to the large immigration of foreigners which went on during the 12th and 13th centuries. The original founders of the towns, were in many cases wanderers from Flanders, who brought with them their habits of industry and knowledge of trade and manufactures. Settlers of this description came in great numbers to England in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) and when Henry II (1154-1189) drove all foreigners out of his dominions they flocked into Scotland, where a more enlightened policy made them welcome.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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