Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Kirkwood Name
Origins of Kirkwood:
It is an Olde Scottish locational surname. It starts from one of the places called “Kirkwood” in the earlier counties of Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, and Lanarkshire. All of them share the similar meaning and derivation which is from the Gaelic-Old English word “Kirk,” meaning “Church,” itself acquired from the Olde Norse “Kirkja,” and the Middle English suffix “wode,” and the Olde English pre 7th “wudu.” The place name thus converts as “the church in the wood” or possibly the wood owned by the parish. The area which now forms much of the new division of Strathclyde was the first part of Scotland to be under English influence, and seemingly English-sounding place names, and hence surnames, have a degree of popularity. Early examples of the Kirkwood surname records include Alexander Kirkwod, according to the old rolls ‘a follower of the Earl of Cassilis’, who cleared of a murder charge in 1526. Quite what he had been upto is not clear, but it seems that his master’s power helped his cause.
More common variations are: Kirkewood, Kirykwood, Kierkwood, Kirrkwood, Kirkwoood, Kirkwoodw, Kirkwod, Kirkwod, Kirkood, Krkwood.
The surname Kirkwood first appeared in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Air), previously a division in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very old times, some say well before the Norman Invasion and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Kirkwood, dated about 1476, in the “registers of the Royal Burgh of Stirling.” It was during the time of King James III, dated 1460 – 1488. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Kirkwood had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Kirkwood landed in the United States in four different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th. Some of the people with the name Kirkwood who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included James Kirkwood who settled in New Jersey in 1685 with Elizabeth.
People with the surname Kirkwood who landed in the United States in the 18th century included William Kirkwood settled in Boston in 1716. Captain James Kirkwood settled in Boston in 1758.
People with the surname Kirkwood who landed in the United States in the 19th century included Robert and Thomas Kirkwood arrived in Philadelphia in 1846.
The following century saw more Kirkwood surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Kirkwood who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included Benj Kirkwood, aged 21, who settled in America from Glasgow, in 1900. Abraham Kirkwood, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow. Scotland, in 1907. Christina Kirkwood, aged 31, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907. Christine Kirkwood, aged 26, who emigrated to America from Greenock, Scotland, in 1907. Archibald Kirkwood, aged 31, who settled in America from Banknoch, Scotland, in 1908.
Some of the individuals with the surname Kirkwood who landed in Australia in the 19th century included William Kirkwood, aged 23, a laborer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship “Anglia.” David Kirkwood, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship “Dirigo.”
Some of the population with the surname Kirkwood who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included George Kirkwood arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “New Era” in 1855. Kirkwood arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Mermaid” in 1861. Marion Kirkwood arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Annie Wilson” in 1863. Hugh R. Kirkwood arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Armstrong” in 1865. Robert Kirkwood arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Armstrong” in 1865.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Kirkwood:
United States 9,575; England 3,436; Australia 2,418; Canada 1,633; Scotland 1,569; South Africa 1,370; New Zealand 540; Northern Ireland 334; Germany 235; Wales 226
Antoinette Kirkwood (born 1930), is an English musician and composer.
Archy Kirkwood, Baron Kirkwood of Kirkhope (born 1946), is a British political leader.
Kirkwood Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Kirkwood blazon are the savage, oak branch, pheon and fetterlock. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, azure and gules .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms . As well as the nobility themselves, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savagesand the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban .
Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. . Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol.
Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms . The pheon is a specific type of arrow head with barbs and darts and hence quite distinctive in appearance. Like the other symbols related to arrows, Wade suggests the symbolism is that of “readiness for military service”.