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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Irish

Where did the Irish Barrett family come from? What is the Irish Barrett family crest and coat of arms? When did the Barrett family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Barrett family history?

When the Strongbownians arrived in Ireland, they encountered an established an Irish system for creating hereditary surnames. However, like the Irish, the Anglo-Norman Strongbownians frequently had patronymic surnames, a form of surname that was formed from the name of the bearer's father, or another older relative. Therefore, since the Strongbownians' system was in many ways built on the same principles as the Irish, the two systems eventually attained a sort of merger. Therefore, since the Stronbownian's names often had Norman names which were French, diminutive suffixes, such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el were added to the name of the bearer's father, or older relative. Another Norman way of creating a patronymic name was to use the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word "fils," and ultimately from the Latin " filius," both of which mean son. The surname Barrett is derived from the personal name Berold. In Munster, the Gaelic form of the surname Barrett is Baróid, while in Connacht, the Gaelic form is Bairéid.

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During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name Barrett include Barrett, Barret, Barett, Baret, Barratt, Barrat, Barat, Baratt, McWhadden and many more.

First found in Lincolnshire, where Matthew Baret was recorded between 1150 and 1155. The Barret family was also established in the English counties of Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Essex. However, they joined Strongbow in his invasion of Ireland in 1172 at the invitation of the King of Leinster, Dermot McMurrough. Strongbow granted lands to the family in County Cork and County Mayo where they became staunchly Irish.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barrett research. Another 181 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1691, 1415, 1400, 1400, 1410, 1412, 1693, 1631 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Barrett History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 171 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barrett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Barrett:

Barrett Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Francis Barrett, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Margaret Barrett, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633
  • Humphrey Barrett, who arrived in New England in 1640
  • Samuel Barrett, who landed in Connecticut in 1645
  • Sara Barrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1649


Barrett Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Baldues Barrett, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Baldus Barrett, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Balthas Barrett, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Arthur Barrett, who landed in Virginia in 1749
  • Andrew Barrett, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764


Barrett Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Hugh Barrett, aged 48, landed in Delaware in 1812
  • Ezekiel Barrett, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1812
  • A Barrett, aged 33, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829
  • Edward Barrett, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1843
  • Michael Barrett, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1843


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  • Private Carlton W Barrett (1919-1986), United States Army soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Majel Barrett (1932-2008), American actress and producer, wife of television director/producer/writer and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry
  • Andre Barrett (b. 1982), American basketball player
  • Andrea Barrett (b. 1954), American novelist
  • Colleen Barrett (b. 1944), President of Southwest Airlines
  • Lawrence Barrett (1838-1891), American stage actor
  • Ronnie Barrett (b. 1954), American founder of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing
  • Brigadier-General Charles Joseph Barrett (1900-1963), American Head of Foreign Languages Department, US Military Academy West Point (1949)
  • James L. "Jim" Barrett (1926-2013), American founder and owner of Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, California
  • Richard Barrett (b. 1959), Welsh composer

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  • John Clinton Barrett, Tennessee Settler in the Ozarks: The Life and Times of John C. Barrett, his Family and Descendants by Ron Pyron.
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  1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Barrett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barrett Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 June 2014 at 14:21.

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