The name Barnesley reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Barnesley family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Barnesley family lived in Worcestershire
, where they held an ancient seat and estates.
Early Origins of the Barnesley family
The surname Barnesley was first found in Gloucestershire
and South Yorkshire
at Barnsley. Of the locales, the town in Yorkshire
is by far the larger originating in the historic West Riding of Yorkshire
. This town dates back to the Domesday Book
of 1086 where it was listed as Berneslai. However, the Gloucestershire
parish which was originally part of historic Lancashire
dates back further to 802 when it was listed as Bearmodeslea. It too was listed in the Domesday Book
but had a different spelling of Bernesleis. Both locales were derived from the Old English personal name
+ "leah" and literally meant "woodland clearing of a man called Beornmod (Beorn)." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
The family is conjecturally descended from a Norman noble Ilbert de Lacy who settled in the village of Barnsley in the West Riding of Yorkshire
at the time of the Norman Conquest
. Ilbert was Lord of the Manor of Barnsley.
Early History of the Barnesley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnesley research.Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 155 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Barnesley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Barnesley Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Barnsley, Barnsely, Barnseley, Barnsly and others.
Early Notables of the Barnesley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Barnesley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Barnesley family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Barnesley name or one of its variants: Richard Barnssley and his wife who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766.