The Midlands line is here broken into 4 branches - Leicestershire, (this page), Derbyshire, Twyford & Nottinghamshire. This line was started by my 10th great grandfather, Henry Kirkman born bef 1500 in Melbourne, Derbyshire, along with his elder brother William. They were husbandmen. As their numbers grew, they also farmed in the neighbouring village of Kings Newton, and Kirkman records there continued until around 1750.
As the family grew, Henry’s eldest son, William moved to Belton in Leicestershire where he (or his son William b 1550) is recorded as paying taxes of goods £3, tax 5s. in 1598. The Kirkmans played a full part in Belton village life for more than a century. They would have known the beautiful Norman church of St John the Baptist well. We find from the Churchwarden’s records that throughout the eighteenth century they were Overseers of the Poor, Overseers of the Highways, Constables, and signed off the Church Accounts.
William b bef 1495’s grandson William Kirkman b abt 1535 in similar fashion started a new Kirkman farming dynasty in the twin villages of Hemington & Lockington, about 5 miles west of Melbourne. Kirkmans lived in these villages for some 7 generations, with over