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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The ancient name Barnes is a Norman name that would have been developed in England after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This name was a name given to a small child. The surname springs from the middle English bairn, of the same meaning. [1] [2]

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The surname Barnes was first found in Surrey at Barnes, a parish, in the union of Richmond, W. division of the hundred of Brixton. [3] This parish was originally listed as Berne [4] in the Domesday Book of 1086. According to the Saxon Chronicle, Siward Barn was the patriot rebel against William the Conqueror. [5] After that early listing, one of the first records of the name was found in Surrey as Philip de Bernes. [6] Other early records include: Henry de le Berne in Norfolk; Richard de la Berne in Kent; and William de la Berne in Dorset, all listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [1] William Bernes was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1380 and Joan Barnes was also listed in Cheshire in 1450. [6] Early Scottish sources revealed that the name was from "Barnes in the parish of Premnay, Aberdeenshire" [7] where the first record was found in the 15th century as Robert of Bernis, a goldsmith in 1465. [7]

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Barnes were recorded, including Barnes, Barns, Barnis, Bernys, Barness and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnes research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1200, 1661, 1627, 1710, 1654, 1712, 1675 and are included under the topic Early Barnes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 113 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barnes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Barnes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Barnes arrived in North America very early:

Barnes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert Barnes, who came to Virginia in 1608
  • Phillip Barnes, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Edward Barnes arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Launcelot Barnes, who landed in Virginia in 1632
  • Joshua Barnes, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632


Barnes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Abraham Barnes, who arrived in Maryland in 1700
  • Abraham Barnes arrived in Maryland in 1700
  • Sara Barnes, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Elias Barnes, who arrived in New England in 1750
  • Conradt Barnes, who landed in New York in 1763


Barnes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Nancy Barnes, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Arthur Barnes, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Samuel Barnes, who landed in America in 1812
  • Soloman Barnes, aged 20, arrived in America in 1822
  • Romana Barnes, aged 10, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1831


Barnes Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Thomas Barnes U.E who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783
  • Mr. Robert Barnes, "Burns" U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 he was a member of the Cape Ann Association
  • Ephraim Barnes arrived in Quebec in 1793 with his wife and four children

Barnes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • John Barnes landed in Newfoundland in 1811, today there is a Barnes Island in Newfoundland
  • Hiram Barnes, who landed in Canada in 1832

Barnes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Barnes, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Barnes, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Barnes, English convict from Bedford, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • David Barnes, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Joseph Barnes, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Barnes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Barnes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Richard A Barnes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • William Barnes, aged 36, a blacksmith, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Harriet Barnes, aged 36, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • William Robert Barnes, aged 14, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841


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  • Henson Perrymoore Barnes (1934-2015), American politician, businessman, and lawyer, Member of the North Carolina Senate (1977-1992)
  • Craig Barnes (1936-2015), American political author, journalist, known for his work with Rocky Mountain News and NPR
  • William Henry Barnes (1840-1866), Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm
  • Billy Barnes (1927-2012), American composer and lyricist from Los Angeles, California
  • Brigadier-General Harold Arthur Barnes (1887-1953), American Deputy Quartermaster-General (1943-1946)
  • Major-General Gladeon Marcus Barnes (1887-1961), American Chief of the Research & Development Service, Office of Ordnance (1946)
  • Lieutenant-General Earl Walter Barnes (1902-1979), American Chief of Staff, United Nations Command, Tokyo, Japan (1956-1957)
  • Major-General Julian Francis Barnes (1889-1961), American Commanding General 153rd Field Artillery Group (1946)
  • Priscilla Barnes (b. 1955), American actress known for her role as nurse Terri Alden on the television sitcom Three's Company
  • Robert F. Barnes, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1960; Mayor of McAllen, Texas, 1961-63

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  • Barnes and Related Families, Past and Present by Raymond Curtis Barnes.
  • Barnes Families of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 1858-1909 by Marjorie Barnes Thompson.
  • The Westward Migration of One Line of the Descendants of Thomas Barnes of Hartford and Farmington,Connecticut by Clair Elmer Barnes.
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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. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ 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)

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. 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).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Barnes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barnes 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 28 March 2016 at 15:05.

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