HISTORY OF THE KIRKWOOD NAME (Source www.surnamedb.com)

This is an Olde Scottish locational surname. It originates from one of the places called "Kirkwood" in the former counties of Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire. All share the same meaning and derivation which is from the Gaelic-Old English word "Kirk", meaning "church", itself derived from the Olde Norse "Kirkja", plus the Middle English suffix "wode", and the Olde English pre 7th "wudu". The place name thus translates as "the church in the wood" or possibly the wood owned by the church.

The area which now forms much of the modern county 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 recordings include Alexander Kirkwod, according to the ancient rolls 'a follower of the Earl of Cassilis', who was acquitted of a murder charge in 1526! Quite what he had been up to is not clear, but it seems that his masters influence helped his cause. A more notable bearer of the surname was James Pugh Kirkwood, born in Edinburgh in 1807. He emigrated to America in 1830 having trained as an engineer, and achieved fame as the builder of the New York and Cleveland water-works.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Kirkwood, which was dated 1476, in the registers of the Royal Burgh of Stirling, during the reign of King James III of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Our Kirkwood family including Moore & McPike

Small numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg ALEXANDER 2 BRIMNER ~ see 2.


1. ~ ~ ~ JOHN KIRKWOOD was born about 1846 in Kilbarchan, Scotland. John married EMMELINE AMELIA (EMMA) MOORE on 31 October 1876 in Westport, New Zealand. Emmeline was the eldest daughter of CHARLES MOORE and ELLEN McPIKE. Her first husband EDWARD WOODWARD had died earlier in the year and she had two young sons at the time of her marriage to John.

> Refer to the MOORE family for more information about the family of Emmeline.

> Refer to the McPIKE family for more information about the family of Ellen.


*               CHARLES HENRY KIRKWOOD, born 1876 in Westport, New Zealand.

*               EMMA KIRKWOOD, born 1877 in Westport, New Zealand. Emma married WILLIAM JAMES COOPER. William was born in 1871 in Greymouth, New Zealand and died in 1928. Emma died in 1923.

*               ROBERT ALEXANDER 2 KIRKWOOD, born 1879 in Westport, New Zealand.

*               ARIELL ISABELLA KIRKWOOD, born 1881 in Westport; died 1883.

*               ELLEN KIRKWOOD, born 1882 in Westport; died 1963. Ellen married HENRY VICTOR PENMAN. Henry was born in 1880 in Bulls, West Coast, New Zealand.

*               VLADIMIR FAITHFULL KIRKWOOD, born 1884 in Westport, New Zealand; died 1968.

*               ROVINA ELIZABETH MARY KIRKWOOD, born 1886 in Westport, New Zealand. Rovina married WILLIAM DONALDSON. William was born in 1883 in Nelson, New Zealand; died 1919. Rovina died in 1978.

*               ISABELLA MAY CLARA KIRKWOOD, born 1888 in Westport, New Zealand; died 1967. Isabella married JAMES HERBERT ANSTIS. James was born in 1888 and died in 1968.

*               SOPHIA ANN KIRKWOOD, born 1890 in Westport, New Zealand; died 1975. Sophia married ERNEST ALBERT MULLINS. Ernest was born in 1904 in Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand.

*               ARIEL SARAH JUBILEE KIRKWOOD, born 1892 in Westport, New Zealand. Ariel married JOHN ROBERTS.

*               FLORENCE McKENZIE KIRKWOOD, born 1893 in Westport, New Zealand. Florence married BRUCE GLENDINNING. Bruce was born in 1892. Florence died in 1935.

*               MARIA LILY KIRKWOOD, born 1893 in Westport, New Zealand; died 1961. Maria married FRANCIS KIRKWOOD. Francis was born in 1884 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and died in 1970.

*               DAISY VIOLET KIRKWOOD, born 1895 in Birchwood (near Greymouth) New Zealand. Daisy married ROBERT JAMES DOUGALL. Robert was born in 1894 in Dunedin, New Zealand; died during World War One on 8 October 1918. (Refer to my Roll of Honour for more information) Daisy was living at Leaver Settlement in Westport in 1918. She died in 1960.

*               IVY MYRTLE KIRKWOOD, born 1898 in Buller (near Reefton) New Zealand; died 1987.

John died on 5 July 1927 in Buller, West Coast. Emmeline died on 1 August 1942, also in Buller.


2.~ ~ ~ ROBERT ALEXANDER KIRKWOOD (JOHN) was born in 1879 in Westport, New Zealand and was the second son of JOHN KIRKWOOD and EMMELINE MOORE. Robert married MINNIE MARIAN McNABB. Minnie was born in 1894 in Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand.


*             ELLEN VLADIMIR ELIZABETH KIRKWOOD, born 20 August 1910.

*             RONALD ALEXANDER FINLAYSON KIRKWOOD, born 3 July 1913 in Reefton, New Zealand. Robert married JESSIE ELIZABETH SEWARD on 31 October 1946 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ronald died on 21 March 1990 in Timaru, New Zealand. Jessie died on 7 March 2003 in Waimate, New Zealand. They were both buried in Geraldine.

Please note that in keeping to genealogy publishing protocol I have not included information about later generations including living persons.
If you have a family connection please contact me for further information.

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