Barkley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Barkley date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Barkley family lived in the parish of Berkeley in the county of Gloucestershire.

"This place, according to Sir Robert Atkyns, the historian of Gloucestershire, derives its name from the Saxon Beorc, a birch-tree, and Leas, a pasture; whence it has been inferred that the parish was formerly remarkable for the growth of birch-trees. It was always a place of considerable importance; and at a very early period it gave name to the great manor of Berkeley, which during the heptarchy was held of the crown, at £500. 17. 2. per annum, by Roger de Berkeley, a near relative of Edward the Confessor, and lord of Dursley, from whom the earliest authentic pedigree of the Berkeley family is deduced. Berkeley, notwithstanding the residence of the oldest branches of the family in their castle at Dursley. William the Conqueror, professing high regard for all the relatives of Edward the Confessor, granted the manor of Berkeley to Roger Berkeley, of Dursley, by whose descendants it was held till the reign of Henry II." [1]

Early Origins of the Barkley family

The surname Barkley was first found in Gloucestershire, where "this noble race descend from Thos, de Berkely, Lord of Berkeley castle, co. Gloucester, temp. Edward I., and fifth in lineal succession from Harding, a Dane of royal blood, and one of the companions of William the Conqueror. " [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Egidius de Berkeleye, Oxfordshire; Seman de Berclawe, Cambridgeshire; and Maurice de Berkelay, Somerset. [3]

Henry de Barcley and Helewys' de Berkele were listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. [4]

Early History of the Barkley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barkley research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1400, 1598, 1924, 1475, 1552, 1509, 1648, 1690 and are included under the topic Early Barkley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barkley Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Barkley are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Barkley include: Barclay, Berkeley, Barcley, Berkely, Berkley and others.

Early Notables of the Barkley family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barkley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Barkley family to Ireland

Some of the Barkley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 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 Barkley migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Barkley or a variant listed above:

Barkley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Barkley, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [5]
  • Jane Barkley, who landed in Virginia in 1624 [5]
  • Gabriel Barkley, who landed in Maryland in 1656 [5]
  • Nicholas Barkley, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [5]
  • Robert Barkley, who landed in East New Jersey in 1682 [5]
Barkley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hugh Barkley, who landed in Virginia in 1776 [5]
  • Charles William Barkley, who landed in New York in 1795 [5]
Barkley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Barkley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [5]
  • John Barkley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [5]

Canada Barkley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Barkley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Christian Barkley U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [6]
  • Mr. Everhart Barkley U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [6]
  • Mr. Peter Barkley U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [6]
  • Mr. William Barkley U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [6]

Australia Barkley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Barkley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Barkley, aged 20, a baker, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Duke of Wellington" [7]
  • David Barkley, who arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [8]
  • Emma Barkley, who arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [8]
  • Robert Barkley, who arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [8]
  • Ellen Barkley, who arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [8]

New Zealand Barkley 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:

Barkley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Barkley, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Lincoln" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 19th July 1867 [9]
  • Miss Elizabeth Barkley, (b. 1849), aged 20, British cook travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th September 1869 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Barkley (post 1700) +

  • Alexander Barkley (1817-1893), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Washington County 1st District, 1865-66
  • Charles Barkley (b. 1963), American former basketball player
  • Alben W Barkley (1877-1956), American Democratic politician, 35th Vice-President of the United States (1949-1953)
  • Private First Class John Lewis Barkley (1895-1966), United States Army Medal of Honor recipient
  • Sam Barkley (1858-1912), American Major League Baseball second baseman
  • Russell Barkley, American doctor of clinical psychology and ADHD researcher
  • Private David Bennes Barkley (1899-1918), United States Army soldier who posthumously received the Medal of Honor
  • Charles Barkley, American Democrat politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates District 39; Elected 1998; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 2000 [10]
  • Benjamin F. Barkley, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Greene County, 1875 [10]
  • B. Frank Barkley, American Republican politician, Chair of Hunterdon County Republican Party, 1913-14 [10]
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Barkley Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In cruce spero
Motto Translation: I trust in the cross.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Duke%20of%20Wellington.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "MADAWASKA" 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Madawaska.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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