The name Kirk is derived from living near a kirk (church). Among the earliest recorded men with this name were: Sir Patrick Kyrk, chaplain at St. Mary, Perth, in 1456; Andrew Kyrk, witness at Arbroath in 1459; Alexander Kirk, bailie of St. Andrews in 1520; and James Kirk, charter witness at Inveraray in 1608.
Dunscore, about 10 miles NW of Dumfries, is in the heart of Maxwell country, and it was here that the surname Kirkhoe was very common. Over the years, the name was shortened to Kirk. As a less powerful family, the Kirkhoes would have allied themselves with the Maxwells for mutual aid and defense. They may have also given their name to the nearby villages of Kirkland to the NW and Kirkton to the SE.
Among the early Kirk/Kirkhoe family members listed by Black1 were: Marie Kirko as a resident in the parish of Borgue in 1684; John, Alexander, and James Kirko as residents in the parish of Buittle in 1684; James Kirko (or Kirkoe) as a Covenanter, shot at Dumfries in 1685; John Kirkoe as portioner of Glengaber in the barony of Holywood in 1692; and John Kirkow as tenant at Auchlane in 1732.
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