Kirby / / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Kirby was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'of Kirkby', the name Kirby is a locational name from Parishes and Hamlets found chiefly in the North of England and in the Counties along the East Coast. Variants of the name include Kirbie, Kirkby, Kerbey, Kerby and Kirkeby. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are an Adam de Kyrkeby, Yorkshire, and an Alex de Kyrkeby, Lincolnshire, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. A Johannes de Kirkeby, Yorkshire, was recorded in the 'Poll Tax', of the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the year 1379. In Ireland Kirby is the anglicized form of the native Gaelic O'Ciarmhaic sept that was located in Counties Limerick and Kilkenny. Kerwick is a variant found in County Waterford. This Gaelic name is taken from the words 'ciar', meaning 'dark' and 'mac', meaning 'son'.The Kirby family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Kirby descendants.