Origin of the O'Kirby Clan Name

The O’Kirbys were chieftains of the Eóganachta Áine (a princely house within the Eóganachta) between the 5th and 12th centuries. They were first found in Knockainey, Co. Limerick (Cnoc Áine or Hill of Áine). There was also a line of Kirbys that can be traced to County Mayo.

During Norman times, from c 1200 on many clans were dispossessed and displaced to other territories. Their names became anglicised also.

O'Kirby Clan

This name has several possible roots but it is thought that the Irish from comes from Ciarmhaic which means 'dark son'. The surname from this was O Ciarba or O Cearba.

By the Norman Age many surnames became anglicised and so Kirby was adopted. In England Kirby is a common placename derived from the Old Norse terms 'kirk' for church and 'byr' for settlement.

The military style belt on their crest uses colours of military strength, with a lion or tigers head for fierceness and valour.

Variations of the name include Kirby, Kerby and Kerwick.