George Goldsmith Kirby Mystery Revisted

Arthur Raymond Kirby

My brother and I have been using a genealogist to help us solve a mystery with regard to the ancestry of our great great grandfather George Goldsmith Kirby. He managed to do quite a lot of lateral work as far as our great great great uncle Arthur Raymond Kirby and his offspring are concerned. Turns out that his son Alister Graham Kirby won gold medal at 1912 Summer Olympic. His daughter Elsie Harriet died in 1967 leaving over £180,000, which she bequeathed mostly to her staff and to charities. But it still seems like we are the only surviving Kirby descendants of George Goldsmith Kirby.

The genealogists earlier research established that George Goldsmith Kirby was the son of George and Mary Kirby of Charles Street in the parish of St Andrew Holborn. He was born sometime before 18 May 1806, when he was baptized in the parish church. However, the date and place of his parents’ marriage was unknown. A search of the marriage registers for St Andrew Holborn in the period prior to G G Kirby’s baptism revealed the following entry:

George Kirby and Mary Ann Witch both of this Parish, were married in this Church by Banns this Tenth day of February in the Year One thousand eight Hundred and Five, By me Charles Pryce Curate. This marriage was solemnized between us, George Kirby [signed] Mary Ann Witch [signed] In the presence of Us, Ja(me)s Fitzhugh [signed] Sarah Kirby [signed] (London Metropolitan Archives, P69/AND2/A/01/Ms 6670/9)

This marriage took place more than a year before G G Kirby’s birth. However, as the genealogist points out this parish register entry is not itself sufficiently conclusive evidence of the marriage of G G Kirby’s parents, but it may provide a basis for further investigation.

There’s a couple of other interesting leads. Firstly, I’ve been messing about with and found a Christening for FRANCES KIRBY on 12 OCT 1790 at Saint Andrew, Holborn, London, England

Father:         GEORGE KIRBY
Mother:         MARY

Doesn’t seem to be other Kirby with those parents at that Church around then, so maybe this is GG Kirby’s sister, although this doesn’t seem to tally with the marriage George Kirby and Mary Ann Witch who were married in 1805.

Also the marriage certificate of Arthur Raymond Kirby and Gertrude Fleming, mentions one of the witness being an H J Kirby, who is presumably a relation but I can’t find any close relatives with those initials. So who is H J Kirby and how is he related. Sadly, I’m not sure how this all helps, but that’s about where we are at and most significant trace of GGK’s ancestry still to be found occurred in the admissions to Gray’s Inn. It recorded the following admission as published in Joseph Foster’s Gray’s Inn Admission Register, 1521-1889 (London, 1889):

1 July 1825
George Goldsmith Kirby, only son of George K., of Kensall Green, Middlesex, gent. (p. 431)

So we know GGK’s father was called George and lived in Kensall Green at the time of GGK’s admissions to Gray’s Inn. Maybe we can find him still mentioned in the 1841 Census, although still not sure how this helps go any further back as well as establish that his mother was called Mary. Perhaps the Freemasons have some information that could be useful.


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