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The origins of the name KILBURN date back to Danish times when the village was known as CYLLA's BURN, meaning "Silver Stream".  Cylla was a mythical Danish figure, and the stream was so called because of it's fast flowing and glistening appearance.  The stream from which the name was derived could have been one of three that flowed through the village at the time.  One flowed through the grounds Kilburn Hall, while another descended from Morrells Wood to Rawson Green, but it was more likely to be Bottle Brook, (Bottolph's Brook?).

By 1162 Kilburn was being referred to as KYLEBURN, clearly derived from it's Danish name Cylla's Burn.  It is know that the name Kyleburn was in general use in 1445, but by 1600 it had become KILBURNE although there are many instances of the name KILBOURNE recorded before the present spelling was adopted in 1900 when the "O" and "E" were dropped.

Kilburn in 1891

The 1891 Census for Kilburn lists 206 houses, 11 of which were uninhabited.  It identifies a total population of 951 persons; 490 men and 461 women.  The 10 surnames which occur most frequently on the census are listed below in bold:-

Parkin - 56

Annable - 43

Shaw - 38

Taylor - 29

Bell - 29

Aldred - 27

Wheatley - 26

Burgoyne - 23

Rhodes - 23

Wright - 20

Cresswell - 19

Colledge - 19

Foulke - 19

Langton - 19

Wood - 19

Brown - 18

Hall - 18

Mellor - 17

Woolley - 17

Yeoman - 17

The vast majority of the population was born in Kilburn or nearby, suggesting an established community, and a mature phase of industrialisation.  The large and rapid influx of people associated with the economic developments of earlier eras had slowed down significantly.  Out of a population of 951, 802 were born in Kilburn, 76 local people in the sense of being born no further away than places like Belper, Heanor or Ripley, and only 73 had moved in from outside the area.

Of this last group most had come from counties to the south, particularly Staffordshire and Shropshire.  A very significant proportion of those who had moved into Kilburn were women.  One is left to speculate the reasons.  Perhaps some had met men from Kilburn in other places and moved back to be there with them.  Some might have gone to Kilburn on their own to obtain work, whilst others might have moved to Kilburn with their families when they were children.

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