Bar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The chronicles of the Bar family show that the name was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for a person 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."

Early Origins of the Bar family

The surname Bar was 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. "The surname is most frequently found at the present day in the district around Glasgow, and is a common surname in the Kilbarchan Commissariot Record. Atkyn de Barr was bailie of Ayr c. 1340. John Bar or de Barre was burgess of Edinburgh in 1423." [1]

However, some of the family were first found further south at Tollerton in Nottinghamshire. "This place, which takes its name from Torlaston, one of its possessors before the Conquest, in the reign of Stephen became the manor of Radulphus Barre, with whose descendants it still remains." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Gunilda de la Barre in Hertfordshire and Philip de le Barre in Huntingdonshire. [3]

Richard Barre ( fl. 1170-1202), was an English ecclesiastic and judge who acted as the envoy of Henry II to the papal court, both shortly before and immediately after the murder of Thomas Becket. [4]

Early History of the Bar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bar research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1551, 1554, 1565, 1600, 1612, 1686, 1600 and are included under the topic Early Bar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bar Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Bar has been spelled Barr, Barre and others.

Early Notables of the Bar family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bar family to Ireland

Some of the Bar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bar migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Bar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Heinrich Bar, who settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1709
  • Heinrich Bar, who settled in Lancaster in 1709
  • Johannes Bar, age 40, who arrived in New York City in 1710
  • Johannes Bar, age 40, who arrived in New York, New York in 1710
  • George Bar, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bar, age 24, who settled in Savanna, Georgia in 1823
  • John Bar, age 24, who settled in Savanna, Georgia, in 1823
  • A Bar, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • L Bar, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Joh Heinr Bar, who arrived in America in 1853 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Bar migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Bar, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Prince of Wales

Contemporary Notables of the name Bar (post 1700) +

  • Heinz Bär, German fighter pilot and flying ace in the Luftwaffe, during World War II, credited with 220 aerial victories, awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Jean-François de Bar, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [6]
  • Simon Bar Cochba, Jewish leader in Palestine

Bismarck
  • Johann Bär (1922-1941), German Matrosengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [7]


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Jean-François Bar. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  7. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details


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