John Kirby born 1765, Great Burstead

For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index


Yet to be summarised.

Parents and family

From another researcher I have John's parents as John KIRBY (1720-) and Sarah. However I have yet to trace the original source of this information.


A Poor Law examination in 1805 identifies his birthplace as Great Burstead, Essex.

Childhood and education


His Poor Law Examination in 1805 identified that about 17 years prior in 1788 (i.e. at about age 13-14) John had been hired by 'Alexander of the parish of Downham in the County of Essex to be his servant in husbandry for the term of one year.'
A contact of fellow researcher John KIRBY has provided information on the ALEXANDER family of Downham, Essex. They seem to have been either tenant farmers, or small farmers in their own right. In 1788 Henry ALEXANDER would have been the head of the family and Land Tax records show that he owned a small plot of land and occupied a larger piece of ground. 'Evidence from the censuses, tithe map and trade directories, all show that the family were living at Barn Hall (or Berne Hall) a moated property on the outskirts of modern day Wickford, but which was included in the parish of Downham.' ('David', The contact was of the opinion that John would have lived either at Barn Hall or next-door at Barn Hall Farm (about 1km SW of Downham).

Marriage to Judith Kennett

The banns for 'John KIRBY of this Parish Batchelor Judith KENNET of the parish of Sutton, Spinster' were ' Read by Jo'ph WISE Curate' at St Andrew's, Rochford, Essex, on 13 Sep 1789, 20 Sep 1789 and 27 Sep 1789.

On 1 Oct 1789, at St Andrew's Church in Rochford, John KIRBY married Judith KENNETT. The details of the parish register entry are as follows: John KIRBY of this parish Bachelor and Judith KENETT (sic) of the Parish of Sutton in this County were married in this church by Banns this first day of October in the year one Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Nine by me Jos WISE (Curate). John KIRBY (his mark). Judith KENNETT (her Mark). In the presence of James JORDAN & John KEMP (His mark).
Sutton is about 2km SW of Rochford, Essex.

On 9 May 1790 he christened his son John KIRBY at St Andrew's Church, Rochford. Name John. Father John, mother Judith (KENNETH). 

About 1792 his son James KIRBY was born. On the 23 Sep 1792 he was Christened at St Andrew's Church. Name James KIRBY. Father John, Mother Judith (KENNETH). 

About 1793 his son William KIRBY was born. On the 6 Oct 1793 he was Christened at St Andrew's Church, Rochford, Essex. Name William KIRBY, father John, mother Judith (KENNETH).  
About 1795 his son George KIRBY was born. He was Christened on 23 Aug 1795 at St Andrew's Church, Rochford, Essex. The details were Name George KIRBY, father John, mother Judith (KENNETH).  

About 1799 his daughter Eleanor KIRBY was born. She was Christened on 21 Jul 1799 at St Andrew's Church, Rochford, Essex. Name Eleanor KIRBY, father John, mother Judith (KENNETH). 

About 1800 his son Thomas KIRBY was born. He was Christened on  at St Andrew's church, Rochford, Essex. Name Thomas KERBY. Father John, mother Judith (KENNETH). 

About 1801 his daughter Elizabeth was born (according to a later Poor Law examination).

In 1805 the fortunes of John and his family appear to have taken a dip, or he wanted to move between parishes, for he underwent a Poor Law examination. The former seems likely as he did not seem to move at that point. The exmaination was mostly a matter of establishing that he had a right to receive help from a particular parish and it took place on 28 Nov 1805. John's testimony cited "that about 15 years ago he was lawfully married in the Parish Church of Rochford in the county of Essex to Judith Kennett his present wife". It also established that he was aged 40, named John KIRBY, born in Great Burstead, Essex. and had six childeren, listing their birth dates. They were John aged 15, James aged 12, William aged 10, George aged 9, Thomas aged 6, Elizabeth aged 4. From this document we also know that in 1788 he was a 'Servant in Husbandry', in Downham, Essex, i.e. an agricultural labourer who was caring for livestock.

About 1807 his daughter Mary was born. She was Christened on 20 Sep 1807 at St Andrew's Church, Rochford, Essex. Name Mary CURBY, father John, mother Judith (KENNETH). 

On 26 Apr 1822 his wife Judith was buried at Downham, Essex.

I have yet to locate him on the 1841 Census.

Last Will and Testament



Unknown, but about 1842. Probable death registration is that for John KIRBY registered at Billericay, Essex in the June Quarter of 1842 (Vol 12, pg 8)


3 Jul 1842 at the parish church in Downham, Essex

Descendants and notable relations

To be completed.

Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2005 unless stated otherwise.