Clan Maxwell Society


Celebrating the Scottish Heritage of Maxwells and Their Allied Families: Adair  Blackstock  Dinwiddie/Dinwoodie/Dinswoodie  Edgar  Herries Kirk Kirkland  Latimore/Latimer  MacKittrick  Maxton  Monreith  Moss  Nithsdale  Peacock  Pollock/Pollok  Polk/Paulk  Rawlins  Sturgeon  Wardlaw

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Maxwell Allied and Dependent Families
• Kirk/Kirkhoe •


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. Andrew’s 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.

  1. George Fraser Black was born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1866. He was associate director of the Scottish National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh before coming to the United States in 1896. After which he worked diligently for the New York Public Library until his retirement in 1931. Dr Black is remembered as a noted bibliographer, historical scholar, penman and a definitive authority on Scottish surnames and lore.


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