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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Barefoot family was an integral part of Britain's Norman legacy, a legacy that began in 1066 with the Conquest of the island. Barefoot was a name given to a person who was in the habit of going without shoes. Friars, pilgrims, and people doing penance often went shoeless. The Barford(e) variation was likely derived from one of the many places in England so named in Hampshire, Norfolk, Warwickshire and Bedfordshire.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Barefoot, Barfoot, Barfitt, Barfit, Barford, Barefield, Barefred, Barefoote and many more.

First found in various counties and shires throughout Britain. Some of the first records of the name appears in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 and they include: Norman Barfot in Lincolnshire; Robert Barefot in Oxfordshire; and Alan Barefot in Cambridgeshire. [1] Henry de Bereford was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1204 and in Yorkshire, William de Bereford was listed there in 1325 and later John Berford was listed there in 1419. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barefoot research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1400, 1655, 1688, 1685 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Barefoot History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barefoot Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Barefoot or a variant listed above were:

Barefoot Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Barefoot who settled in Maryland in 1634
  • John Barefoot landed in Virginia in 1634
  • Mr. Barefoot, who landed in Maryland in 1634
  • Tho Barefoot, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Thomas Barefoot wo landed in Virginia in 1635

Barefoot Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Barefoot, who arrived in Virginia in 1715
  • Elizabeth Barefoot settled in Maryland in 1743

Barefoot Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Barefoot was a fisherman in Pool's Island, Newfoundland in 1871


  • Ken Barefoot (b. 1945), American former tight end for Virginia Tech, the Washington Redskins, and the Detroit Lions
  • Herbert John Leslie Barefoot GC (1887-1958), English recipient of the George Cross
  • Robert Barefoot (b. 1944), Canadian alternative health doctor and advocate of coral calcium
  • Darren Barefoot, Canadian marketing executive, founder and president of Capulet Communications


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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Barefoot Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Barefoot 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 25 November 2015 at 08:30.

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