Select Quirk Surname Genealogy

Here are some Quirk stories and accounts over the years:

Quirk and Quirke

Quirk - originating from the Isle of Man -  tends to be the English spelling, Quirke the Irish.  The following are the approximate numbers of Quirks and Quirkes in the UK and Ireland today.

Numbers (000's)

Thomas Quork, Travelling Manxman

Thomas Quork was born circa 1640.  He married Mary Corkish on June 10 1662 at Malew.   They had two children, Jane and William.  According to his wife’s will of 1700, he had apparently made out a will in which he left six pence to his wife before he went to England.  It is not clear whether this was a precautionary measure before setting sail or whether he had simply left the family.

Quirks in the 1881 Census

By the time of the 1881 census the Quirk name had spread from the Isle of Man to Lancashire and to other places in England.

Quirks in 1881 Census
Isle of Man

Randolph Quirk, Manx Linguist

It was said that the family of Sir Randolph Quirk, the famous Manx linguist, had been farming the same piece of land at Lambfell near Kirk Michael since 1654. 

Randolph himself was born in the family farmhouse there in 1920, the son of Thomas and Amy Quirk.  He had this to say about his family upbringing: 

“My family was a mixture of Catholic and Protestant, of Anglican and Methodist, in an island community where self-consciously Manx values cohabited uneasily with increasingly dominant English values. Although we tend to be a bit equivocal and semi-detached about national identity, we're very conscious of our Celtic roots.  We share St Patrick with Ireland and we have the remnants of a Celtic language that is close to being incomprehensible with Irish. 

We are also conscious of our Scandinavian roots.  We proudly gawped at our quite splendid Viking Age crosses with their runic inscriptions, some of the best in Kirk Michael being only a couple of miles from our family farm which itself bears a Scandinavian name, Lambfell."

The James R. Quirk Awards

James R. Quirk was the editor and publisher of Photoplay magazine during its greatest period, the golden age of Hollywood.  His nephew, author and film historian Lawrence J. Quirk, established the JRQ Awards in his memory.  Recipients of the award have included major stars, as well as the comparatively unsung and the talented beginner. 

At first the awards were given at modest ceremonies in apartments, but then moved to the Roosevelt Townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in the 1980's.  When the Townhouse was no longer available for functions, the Quirk Awards were presented at several different venues, including the Five Oaks Supper Club (once a great speakeasy) and Rose's Turn piano bar in the Village.  The awards have been televised on cable. 

In the 1980's author William Schoell became co-donor of the awards and expanded its range from films, film stars, and related areas to all of the performing arts, with a particular concentration on the great operatic composers.  Therefore the James R. Quirk Film and Performing Arts Awards were born.

Richard Quirke, Gaming Impresario

Richard Quirke is a former police officer from Thurles in county Tipperary who came to Dublin and made his fortune in the gaming industry.  He is best known for the slot machines at his Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium on O’Connell Street.  He and his family live in some style in their Foxrock mansion.  One son Wesley dates former Miss World Rosanna Davison, another Andy plays host to various Dublin models and socialites. 

Richard now wishes to bring his gaming expertise back home to Tipperary.  Backed by i
ndependent TD Michael Lowry, top racehorse trainer Aidan O’Brien and concert promoter Denis Desmond, he has proposed a €460 million Las Vegas-style village with casino, racecourse, five-star hotel, concert venue and golf course in the north Tipperary countryside. 

The scheme still awaits planning approval.

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