Origins of Name:
The surname of Kirk of of an Anglo-Saxon origin, but ultimately comes from Norwegian Pre 7th Century origins. This surname of Kirk was originally found in the north part of the countries of both England and Scotland, can be one of two origins. The first is that the surname of Kirk is a topographical surname, which denotes residence on or near a man-made or a natural element that was visible across the lands. The other possibility for the surname of Kirk is that it was occupational. This means that the original bearer of the surname of Kirk had the surname because it described his actual occupation at the time. This type of surname most often became hereditary because the son of the original bearer followed his father into the family business, or the same occupation. Both of these possible origins come from the Northern Middle English word of “kirk” which can be translated to mean “church” and comes from the Old Norse word “kirkja.”
More common variations are: Kirke, Kirck, Kirky, Kirik, Kirka, Kirko, Kirak, Kirku, Kiryk, Kirkh
Mentions of the surname of Kirk in Scotland include on Sir Patrick Kyrk who is recorded in the year of 1465, as the first mention of this surname in Scotland. Sir Patrick Kyrk is mentioned in the Register of the Abbey of Aberbrothoc, and he is mentioned as being the chaplain of the altar of St. Mary in Peth. Alexander Kirk was mentioned as being the bailie of St. Andrews in the year 1520. Those who have the surname of Kirk in Scotland can be found in the southern region, in high concentrations in Lanarkshire, Fife, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire counties.
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Kirk is shown to be in the country of England, in the year of 1209. One person who was recorded to go by the name of Reginald Attekireke, who was mentioned and recorded in the document referred to as the Fines Court Records of Lincolnshire. This document was ordered and decreed and written under the reign of King John, who was known as and commonly referred to as the “Lackland.” King John ruled from the year 1199 to the year 1216. Other mentions of the surname of Kirk in England include Richard Attekirck who was recorded in Yorkshire in 1301, one Adam Ofthenkirke, who was mentioned in Suffolk in the year 1308, and one Robert de Kirke who was also mentioned in Yorkshire in the year 1379. Those who bear the surname of Kirk in the country of England can be found throughout the northern counties. The counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire have the highest concentration of people who carry this surname of Kirk.
United States of America:
The European Migration was a movement of people from the European countries who left their homeland in search of a better life. Many of these people went to the United States of America, which at that time was referred to as The New World or The Colonies. The first people to bear the surname of Kirk in the U.S. were Judith and Christopher Kirk, who settled in Virginia in 1635. Those who carried this name to the United States live in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky and California.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Kirk:
United States 60, 426, England 17,074, Australia 5,880, Canada 5,054, South Africa 2,721, Denmark 2,670, New Zealand 1,903, Germany 1,748, Northern Ireland 1,192
Richard R. Van Kirk, who was the Mayor of Oil City, Pennsylvania in the year 1956, and was the Candidate for the Pennsylvania State Senate in the 48th District, from in the year 1958, and who was a Democratic politician from America
Lauren Van Kirk, who was the Delegate to the National Convention from New York in the year 2004, and who was a Democratic politician from America
Leroy H. Van Kirk, who was the Postmaster at Ithaca New York from 1906 to 1914, and who was a Republican politician from America
H. C. Van Kirk who was the Chair of the Montour County Democratic Party in the year 1937, and who was a Democratic politician from America
Gertrude Van Kirk, who was an Alternate Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from New York in the year 1980, and who was a Democratic politician from America
Eron C. Van Kirk, who was the Postmaster of Ithaca New York from the year 1882 to the year 1885, and who was a Republican politician from America