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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: German, Scottish

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

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Barr. It was a name for someone who lived in Ayrshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages. It is generally thought to have been a habitational name, taken on from any of various place names in southwestern Scotland, in particular in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. These place names derive from the Gaelic word barr, meaning "height," or "hill."

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Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Barr has been spelled Barr, Barre and others.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they have been found since ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barr research. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1590 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Barr History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Barr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The number of Strathclyde Clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Among them:

Barr Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Roger Barr, who settled in Virginia in 1655
  • Roger Barr, who landed in Virginia in 1655
  • John Barr, who landed in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1684

Barr Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robt Barr, who came to New England in 1718
  • Gabriel Barr, who came to New Hampshire in 1720
  • Gabriel Barr, who arrived in New England in 1720
  • Samuel Barr, who landed in New England in 1720
  • John George Barr, who arrived in South Carolina in 1735


Barr Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Barr, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Jane Barr, who landed in America in 1805
  • Enos Barr, aged 36, landed in Maine in 1812
  • Agnes Barr, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812
  • Eleanor Barr, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812


Barr Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • William Barr, who was a fisherman in Port de Grave, Newfoundland in 1775

Barr Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • David Barr, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Peter Barr, who arrived in Canada in 1820
  • Ira C Barr, who arrived in Canada in 1833
  • James Barr, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Daniel Barr, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834


Barr Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Barr arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Delhi" in 1839
  • Mary Barr arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Petrel" in 1851
  • William Barr, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"
  • William Barr, aged 39, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"
  • Margaret Barr, aged 15, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"


Barr Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Barr landed in Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Barr, aged 39, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Jean Barr, aged 37, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • John Barr, aged 19, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Arabella Barr, aged 16, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842


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  • Alfred Hamilton Barr Jr. (1902-1981), American Counselor to the Trustees, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Anthony James Barr (b. 1940), American programming language designer, software engineer, and inventor
  • Gladys Hutchinson Barr (1904-1976), American author, lawyer, and editor
  • Howard Raymond Barr (1910-2002), prominent American twentieth-century architect in Austin, Texas
  • Robert McClelland Barr (1856-1930), American Major League Baseball player
  • Donna Barr (b. 1952), American comic book author and cartoonist
  • Roseanne Cherie Barr (b. 1952), award-winning American actress, comedienne, writer, television producer and director
  • Amelia Edith Barr (1831-1919), English-born, American author
  • Robert L Barr Jr. (b. 1948), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia (1995-2003)
  • Cynthia Elizabeth Barr (b. 1971), American silver medalist swimmer at the 1988 Summer Olympics

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  • The Family of Adam and Mary Claycomb/Barr by Stephan A. Barr.
  • The Family of Matthew Alexander Barr and Wife Nancy Turrentine Barr by Alma Fulton Kellum.
  • John Kendig Barr: His Ancestors and His Descendants by Mary Alice Burchfield.
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  1. 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).
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Barr Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barr 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 6 May 2015 at 14:24.

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