Note that in order to gain new insights, participants should be willing to share their results in a de-identified manner on the project web sites. It is a two-way street, we gain a wider perspective and genealogy insights on our individual heritage but also help other Larkins researching their heritage through reciprocity and friendliness.
Where the Project Administrators can plot a latitude and longitude position for the described earliest known ancestors, we may do so in order for the project mapping to have the most comprehensive display possible and our plot may be different and overwrite a geographic plot made by the project member.
Within Ireland alone, genealogy authors attribute the name to at least four septs or family groups. The use of surnames is over 1000 years old in Ireland and Larkin derives from just such ancient usage. e.g. Annals of the Four Masters: 1003 Duffslaine O'Lorcain, Abbot of Emly; 1014 Murtough O'Lorcain, Erenagh of Lorrha. As we move forward in history, we find Larkin families throughout Ireland with clusters in the Shannon River Valley (anciently known as Hy Many), Kilkenny, and Armagh counties. e.g. Hearth Money Records: 1667 Loghlin Lorkane of Lorrha; Tithe Applotment Books: 1824 T. Larkin of Lorrha. A lack of written records makes it hard to determine how much migration took place within Ireland, but we know there was movement, not all of it voluntary. e.g. 1653 Dorothy Lorcáin of Co. Tipperary, transplanted to the Barony of Longford Co. Galway, 1653.
Surnames have been in use for commoners for about 800 years in England. The first written use of Larkin as a surname comes from Sussex and Kent counties in the late 1200s. e.g. Sussex Subsidy Rolls: 1296 Adam Lartkyn and Thomas Lorekyn. Larkin families were also located in Suffolk, Cambridge and Bedford counties. The industrial revolution not only caused significant migration of Larkins within England, it also led many Irish Larkins to come to England for jobs. Some of those families never left, although their descendants today may have no idea of their family's origin.
British colonization of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa spread many of our forefathers around the globe during the past 400 years. Some groups of Larkin are fortunate enough to know where and when their ancestor left the old country. Some groups are not so fortunate or have only a vague notion that is not easily researched. A typical example found on a genealogical message board:
"My great grandfather, Steven Larkin and his brother came to America in early 1800's.They settled in Humphreys Co, TN. Michael left and went to Chattanooga, TN where he was a railroad worker. This is all I have on Michael. Would like to find out where in Ireland they came from."
In other cases, the emigration was so long ago that most descendants have lost the story of their ancestor. e.g. Edward Larkin, wheel maker of Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1638; Thomas Larkin died 1731 in Maryland. Often people today can only guess at their ancestry.