The Assistant Archivist and Manuscript Cataloguer at Trinity College Library, Cambridge, got back to me last week about my enquiry into George Goldsmith Kirby (GGK). He explained that although my great grandfather George Henry Kirby was at Trinity College College, my great great grandfather Alfred Octavius (Kirby) and his brother Augustus George we were at Trinity Hall, which is a different College.
He thinks it unlikely GGK was called anything other than George Goldsmith Kirby, and he was referred to as George Goldsmith in the Alumni Cantabrigienses because it’s simply the practice not to give the surname when citing the father’s name. We thought that GGK may have changed his name from Goldsmith to Goldsmith Kirby. Anyway, it doesn’t look like GGK was a member of the University, but there was a man named George Goldsmith who attended the University in the 1820s, and the Assistant Archivist and Manuscript Cataloguer gave his entry for the sake of completeness:
GOLDSMITH, GEORGE. Adm. pens. (age 20) at PETERHOUSE, June 26, 1823. Of Sudbury, Suffolk. Matric. Michs. 1823; B.A. 1829; M.A. 1832. One of these names was called to the Bar, Middle Temple, Jan. 29, 1836; Equity Draftsman and Conveyancer; of 5, New Square, London. (Law Lists, 1880; not in 1900; T. A. Walker, 418.)
It doesn’t look like any of George Goldsmith Kirby’s other sons went to Cambridge either, and none of the sons of Augustus George Kirby went to Trinity, although they may have attended another Cambridge college. So I think Cambridge maybe a dead-end as far as solving the mystery of George Kirby’s ancestry is concerned, even if the Alumni Cantabrigienses was how we discovery him in the first place (see more here).
I did find a George Goldsmith on FamilySearch.org who was born on 5 April 1803, in Sudbury, Suffolk, England. His parent where Henry Nathaniel and Maria Goldsmith. However, I also found a George Kirby christened on 18th May 1806, at Saint Andrew, Holborn, London. His parents were George and Mary Kirby. This sounds the more probable lead as the 1851 Census has George Goldsmith Kirby has being born about 1806 in Holborn, Middlesex. Now I need to work out how I follow this up.