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

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

The present generation of the Barstow family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Yorkshire, where they took their name from Bairstow in West Yorkshire. The place-name is derived from the Old English terms beger, for berries, and stow, for grow. It referred to "the place where berries are grown".


Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Barstow include Barstow, Bairstow, Bairstoe, Barstoe and others.

First found in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barstow research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barstow History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Barstow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Barstow were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Barstow Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • George and William Barstow who settled in Massachusetts in 1620
  • George Barstow, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Michael Barstow, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1635
  • William Barstow, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635
  • Miles Barstow, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1635

Barstow Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • H Barstow, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Barstow, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Samuel Barstow, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855
  • A Barstow, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855


  • Gamaliel H. Barstow (1784-1865), American physician, lawyer and politician, US Representative from New York (1831-1833)
  • William Augustus Barstow (1813-1865), American politician, 3rd Governor of Wisconsin and a Union Army General during the American Civil War
  • David Barstow (b. 1963), American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (2009) and co-shared the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2004
  • Gideon Barstow (1783-1852), American politician, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts
  • John Lester Barstow (1832-1913), American teacher, farmer, politician, and soldier, the 39th Governor of Vermont (1882-1884)
  • Stanley "Stan" Barstow (b. 1928), English author and novelist from Yorkshire, England
  • Arthur Edward "Bustling Bill" Barstow (1888-1942), English army Major-General, commander of the Indian 9th Infantry Division
  • Dame Josephine Clare Barstow DBE (b. 1940), English Opera Singer, created a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 1995
  • Percy Gott Barstow (1883-1969), UK Member of Parliament 1941-1950
  • Sir George Lewis Barstow KCB (1874-1966), British civil servant and businessman, chairman of the Prudential Assurance Company


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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Barstow Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barstow 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 8 July 2014 at 22:39.

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