I couldn't find out much, but here are some links that state a Mr. Kirkman, not Kirkham was associated with John Wesley in the First Methodist Society in Oxford.
The First Methodist Society
John Wesley, the founder of The Methodist Church, who was himself and Anglican priest, wrote the following account of the first society called Methodist:
"In November, 1729, four young gentlemen of Oxford - Mr. John Wesley, Fellow of the Lincoln College; Mr. Charles Wesley, Student of Christ Church; Mr. Morgan, Commoner of Christ Church; and Mr. Kirkman, of Merton College - began….reading chiefly the Greek Testament. The next year, two or three of Mr. Wesley's pupils desired the liberty of meeting with them; and afterwards one of Mr. Charles Wesley's pupils. It was in 1732 that Mr. Ingham, of Queen's College, and Mr. Broughton, of Exeter, were added to their number. To these, in April, was joined Mr. Clayton of Brazen-nose, with two or three of his pupils. About the same time Mr. James Hervey was permitted to meet with them, and afterwards Mr. Whitefield."
This club was started by Charles Wesley during the second year of his student life at Oxford (1727). He persuaded two or three others to join with him in organizing a society. They met first every Sunday evening, then two evenings a week, and finally every evening from six until nine o'clock. Their meetings and deportment attracted the attention of both faculty and students. One of the students said, "Here is a new sect of Methodists sprung up."
John Wesley was not at Oxford when the society was first formed. When he returned, he immediately associated himself with the society and was recognized as its head. Their activities included the study of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek; the study of the classics; visits to the prison and the poor and the sick; and religious instruction of poor children. At the time the work of the society was so novel that the news of it spread beyond Oxford. They met with both praise and harsh criticism. The society was called by various names, such as Bible Moths, The Reformer's Club, The Godly Club, The Enthusiasts, and The Holy Club; but the name Methodists stuck. Though is was sometimes applied in derision, the Wesleys welcomed the term. Today millions of people in all parts of the world are happy to bear the name.
(Bishop Charles C. Selecman, The Methodist Primer, 1944)
Here is a copy of a newspaper article written by Mrs. Leo Palmer, Sr. which was found in the North Carolina Biography file in Surry County.It may have been originally printed in the Greensboro paper.Here's what it says:
The Kirkman families, which are among the oldest inhabitants of Guilford County as well as of North Carolina, are of English descent, and the earliest known ancestor, Robert Kirkman, was an intimate friend and co-worker of John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism.In discussing the early history of Methodism, Bishop Holland McIntyre of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, writes:"The first Methodists were the two Wesleys, John and Charles, with Robert Kirkman and William Merton...Bob Kirkman of Merton College was the son of a clergyman, a rollicking fellow, wasting time and money, he seems to have been gained over to temperance and steadiness by our fellow worker, John Wesley."
Three months after the first Methodist meeting in Oxford in 1730, John Wesley wrote him mother concerning Bob Kirkman's strange reformation."Why, he has left off tea, struck off his drinking acquaintances to a man, given to the hoves above specified to the Greek testament, and Hugo Grotus, and spend the evenings either by himself, or with my brother and me."
John Wesley, his brother, Charles, and 124 persons left London, England, for America October 14, 1735, but they did not get started across until December and February 5, 1736, landed at Savannah, Ga, then a town of 40 houses.The original Kirkman, then an old man, and his son George were in this company it is thought, but for a time records of his movements were lost.
Old Methodist records found in Duke University library, Durham, NC disclose these statements: "In the western conference of 1808 Rev. Thomas Kirkman was admitted on trial as a preacher; this western conference then included Kentucky, Tennessee, parts of West Virginia and Ohio.In 1809 he served the Livingston charge in Cumberland district, Tennessee."
Later in the article:These facts were collected on the Kirkman history by Rev. Abel G. Kirkman and Miss Emily A. Kirkman in 1915.William Kirkman, an exhorter in John Wesley's church, had a brother Robert Kirkman who perhaps
came to America with his on, George.Rev. George Kirkman was a local preacher in the Methodist church making his home at one time in Maryland and he had a son, George Kirkman, who emigrated to North Carolina sometime prior to 1794 from Maryland and settled in Guilford county.He was one of the founders of the Pleasant Garden Methodist Church and a class leader for years. He died in 1830 and is buried two miles west of Pleasant Garden.This George and Elizabeth Kirkman had 12 children, all of whom emigrated to Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana, except Martha and Levin Kirkman, ancestors of those in Guilford county.The names of the children (of George and Elizabeth) were William, Peter, John, James, George, Elijah, Thomas, Mary K. who married a Furgeson, Anna K. who married a Wood, Levin and Martha K. the oldest daughter who married an Adams, whose son was Peter Adams, the first mayor of Greensboro.Of the family of children, George, Jr. built on of the first houses in Springfield, IL; Elijah, who wesnt to Tennessee in 1802 became a preacher, Thomas, also a preacher, lived either in Illinois or Tennessee.
It should be easy to check the references to Robert Kirkman in Methodist history, and there should be a list of passengers who came to Savannah on Feb. 5 1736.However, figuring out the rest of it may be hard!