Barnesslay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Barnesslay family lived in Worcestershire
, where they held an ancient seat and estates.
Early Origins of the Barnesslay family
The surname Barnesslay 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 Barnesslay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnesslay research.Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 155 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Barnesslay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Barnesslay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Barnsley, Barnsely, Barnseley, Barnsly and others.
Early Notables of the Barnesslay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Barnesslay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Barnesslay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Barnesslay or a variant listed above: Richard Barnssley and his wife who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766.