The earliest Kirkman in this tree is John Kirkman b bef 1616 who lived in Cropwell Bishop with his wife Dorothy Leadbetter. They had 7 children of whom 3, Robert, William & Edmund, were known to have survived into adulthood. They were Farmers.
These Nottinghamshire Kirkmans are very probably closely related to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Twyford Midland branches, but a firm connection has yet to be established. In the Derbyshire Tree, there is a Robert b abt 1579 in Kings Newton, son of John, with as yet no known offspring. Did this Robert move to Cropwell Bishop and have a son John b bef 1616? This would fit with Patrimony. That Robert had a son William, which would also fit into the family naming pattern. Cropwell Bishop is about 25 miles north east of Kings Newton.
The family multiplied in Cropwell Bishop for the next 5 generations, and there are several Kirkman graves in the local parish church St Giles. One branch of the family starting with Francis Kirkman b 1700 moved to Loughborough, Leicestershire where they stayed until the 1800s.
By the early nineteenth century, the family had become so numerous in Cropwell Bishop & the surrounding villages, that 3 brothers emigrated to the New World. William Kirkman b 1788 was an Agricultural Labourer, and his eldest son Robert b 1814 emigrated around 1834-38 to New York, and decided to try his luck in the California Gold Rush of 1848-49. In the 1850 US Census he is a Miner in Mathinas (actually Martinez) Creek, El Dorado, California. Later we find him as a Farmer in Rock Island, Illinois. He dies in Nebraska in 1898. His grandsons Robert W b 1893 and James Dean b 1895 moved to California around 1915, and they & their descendants live in Fresno & Selma, California until today.
Robert’s brothers, Isaac b 1817 & Thomas b 1819 also emigrated in 1850 to Philadelphia for short time, then going to Summit County, Ohio until 1852. Shortly after they settled in Fulton County. Isaac’s son Isaac b 1852 took his family to Mason, Michigan. Thomas Kirkman’s grandson, Cloid Dale Kirkman b 1900 died aged 91 in Pemberville, Ohio. His 1st cousin, Gladys Irene Kirkman b 1907, gave her entire life to the nursing profession, retiring from Mercy Hospital, dying in Barberton, Ohio age 88.
Meanwhile, the Kirkmans back in England were also benefiting from their longevity genes. George Aubrey Kirkman, 1894 in Nottingham saw in his 84th year before dying in the same city. His wife Annie outlived him until she was 93!
You can access records of the Kirkmans from Nottinghamshire, dating back to 1600, by visiting the Kirkman Archive and selecting Nottinghamshire Kirkmans. Many USA Kirkmans descend from this line, including some from Alabama, California, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
After years of facing a road block, one of our USA researchers has at last tracked down her Nottingham ancestors. She is descended from the Nottingham family of Thomas Kirkman b 1812 in Liverpool who emigrated to USA and settled in to Pine Creek Township, Pennsylvania. Later they formed the town of Kirkman nearby, where Thomas plied his trade as a landscape painter. One of his pictures is here. Thomas’s ancestors can be traced back to his great grandfather Thomas b 1711 who lived in Wollaton, Nottingham along with his wife Elizabeth Buck. Their family was recorded in the Register of Births and Baptisms at Castle Gate Independent Meeting in Nottingham, which was the breakthrough so long sought.
Thomas b1812’s descendants in Pennsylvania included George Riley Kirkman b 1855 and his son Ira James Kirkman b1883. Their grandson today lives in North Carolina, and joined the Kirkman DNA Project. Much to our surprise, it turns out that Thomas Kirkman b 1711 is actually one of the Yorkshire Kirkmans!! This would never have been known without DNA testing!
We are seeking living male Kirkmans from the Cropwell Bishop Nottinghamshire line to join the DNA Project, to ascertain whether they too are Yorkshire Kirkmans, or if they link in with the other Kirkman lines in the Midlands. So please do get in touch if that’s you! You may qualify for a Free DNA Test!