Origin of the Name KIRKMAN
Text from "Kirkman Family Record," February 1955, by Wilbur Daniel
The Name Kirkman
As our name plainly refers to a place of worship we may as well be
satisfied with the deduction that it came into being when the old tribal
name was abandoned to the extent of each family having its own name.
This resulted in the use of a man's occupation as his name, plus "man"
Cleasby, in his Icelandic-English dictionary, Page 49, remarks: "The
language of the North of England, and especially the dialect called
Lowland Scotch, was full, and to this day is full, of words and
expressions which can only be explained by the help of the Icelandic as
the representative of the old Northern language spoken by the
Scandinavian settlers in England."
From Zoega's Old Icelandic Dictionary, Page 240:
"The Scandinavian influence was the earliset, and one of the strongest,
of those outward forms which have gone to the making of modern English,
and for the proper investigation and appreciation of this a knowledge of
the Icelandic is of the first importance."
KIRKJA (gen. pl. Kirkna) f. church
KIRKJU-MENN, m. pl. churchmen
Beginning with the Icelandic Kirkja the name follows through in
Scottish Kirk; Danish Kirke; German Kirche; Swedish Kirke; and Finnish
The Oxford Dictionary: KIRKMAN--Scotch and Northern England form of
1. An ecclesesiastic-churchman.
2. A member or adherent of the Kirk, ie, the Church of Scotland.
"Surnames of Scotland," Page 406: "Kirkman, probably from office in
charge of a church. The name is recorded in England from the 14th
century but is less common in Scotland.