Captain James Kirk 1 2
- Born: Abt 1720, Ballymoney, County Antrim, (Northern) Ireland
- Marriage (1): Mary Agnes Edmiston in 1750 in Antrim, (Northern) Ireland
- Died: 9 May 1783, Fairfax, Augusta, Virginia, United States about age 63
The more reliable of two RootsWeb sources I consulted 6/23/13 lists 5 children: Alexander, John, Robert, James Travis and Matthew. A separate RootsWeb source has only James Travis and Matthew but adds Daniel and Nancy. Actual children need verification.
Around 2010 I speculated thus, but I no longer agree with myself (kjf 6/23/13):
James Kirk (possibly the father of "our" Robert, and possibly also of John, Alexander and Matthew) may have never come to America, dying in Northern Ireland. His son James, Jr. may have remained in Ireland as well.
From http://www.telegraph-office.com/McEwen_family_history/John_Kirk_1751-1822-mirror_of_history.pdf :
John Kirk was born in County Antrim, Ireland in 1751. He was of Scottish descent.iv
Kirk is the Scottish word for church.v We inherited the word 'kirkja' from the Vikings, who plundered Scotland for centuries, finally leaving the northern most islands of Scotland in the 15th
century. Generally, anyone named Kirk in Scotland or northern England took the name because they lived by a church.
Antrim is in the present Northern Ireland. In John Kirk's time, Northern Ireland's population was principally Scottish settlers who had left Scotland looking for the freedom to practice their
Presbyterian religion and a better economic climate.
John was the son of James Kirk born about 1730 in Ireland. His mother's name is unknown.
John Kirk came to America in 1772. Younger brothers Matthew and Robert came with him.
Matthew was just 12 at the time. Their father James and a brother, also named James, remained in Ireland.vi The most careful genealogists have not been able to find a record of John's mother.
It seems strange that James Kirk would send or permit his three young boys to journey to America by themselves. Perhaps they knew someone here. Or perhaps conditions were so bad in Northern Ireland that the father wanted his sons to have a better life in spite of the hardships they would encounter.
The same conditions that forced the Scottish settlers to flee Scotland emerged in Northern Ireland, causing mass migrations of the Scots-Irish to colonial America.
John Kirk and his brothers came to Charles' Town (Charleston) South Carolina, probably with Protestant settlers brought by Rev. Wm. Martin on five ships. They settled near the current town
of Lancaster, SC.
It is told that the ship left Larne, Ireland in August, but the passengers on John's ship, possibly the "Lord Dunluce" or the "James and Mary", were not allowed to leave the ship until December because of a smallpox outbreak while in transit.
There is a record of a land grant to John Kirk from the South Carolina Colonial Council in Charles' Town. He was the only one of the brothers old enough to own land.
John married Eleanor Montgomery, daughter of Hugh Montgomery and Jane Cunningham. Their children were born in South Carolina.
John Kirk served in the American Revolution under General Thomas Sumter and was wounded.
Noted events in his life were:
• Arrival in America, 1778.
James married Mary Agnes Edmiston in 1750 in Antrim, (Northern) Ireland. (Mary Agnes Edmiston was born in 1733 in Antrim, (Northern) Ireland and died in 1774 in Fairfax Co., Virginia, (United States).)
May have been married in Fairfax, Augusta, Virginia.