Barnewall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname is one of the Anglo-Norman surnames that came to Ireland in the 12th century. Ireland already had an established system of hereditary surnames, often the two traditions blended together quite well, but the incoming Anglo- Normans also brought with them local surnames, such as Barnewall. Local names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born, some from places in Normandy, or more typically, from England. Originally, the place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname if the place name began with a vowel or was eliminated entirely. The Barnewall family appears to have originally lived in either of the settlements called Barnwell in the English counties of Cambridge and Northumberland. The Gaelic form of the surname Barnewall is de Bearnabhal.

Early Origins of the Barnewall family

The surname Barnewall was first found in County Meath at Crickstown Castle. "De Bernvale, accompanied William the Conqueror to England in 1066. He came from Lower Brittany, and was allied to the dukes of that province" [1]

Another source is more specific: "Sir Michael de Berneval, a scion of the family founded by the Norman knight, joined the English expedition fitted out against Ireland and affected a descent upon Beerhaven in County Cork, previously to the landing of his chief, Earl Strongbow, in Leinster. Sir Michael is mentioned in the records of the Tower of London, as one of the leading captains in the enterprise; and in the reigns of Henry II. and Richard I. he was Lord, by tenure, of Beerhaven and Bantry. " [2]

"The Barons Trimleston, like the Viscounts Kingsland, descend from the De Bernevals of Brittany. Sir Christopher Barnewall of Crickstown, in the county of Meath, was Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland in 1445-1446. After the subjection of Ireland in the time of Henry II, Michael de Berneval, who served under Strongbow, obtained large grants of land at Beerhaven, county Cork, of which the O'Sullivans had been dispossessed. Here the Bernevals flourished in great prosperity until the reign of John, when the Irish rose against them, and destroyed every member of the family but one, who happened to be in London learning the law. The latter, returning to Ireland, was settled at Drumnagh, near Dublin, where his posterity remained until the reign of James I. " [3]

Early History of the Barnewall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnewall research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1646, 1640, 1470, 1538, 1534, 1538, 1592, 1663, 1622, 1534, 1550, 1560, 1704, 1779, 1779, 1842, 1500, 1552, 1522, 1575, 1592 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Barnewall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barnewall Spelling Variations

A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Barnewall has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Barnewall, Barnwall, Barnwill, Barnewill, Barnewell, Barnewelle, Barnwelle, Barnwell, Bernwell, Barneville and many more.

Early Notables of the Barnewall family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was John Barnewall, 3rd Baron Trimleston (1470-1538), High Chancellor of Ireland; John Barnewall, 3rd Baron Trimlestown (1534-1538.) Nicholas Barnewall, 1st Viscount Kingsland (1592-1663), who belonged to the family of Barnewall, or De Berneval. [3] Sir Patrick Barnewall or Barnwall (d. 1622), was the eldest son of Sir Christopher Barnewall of Turvey, Gracedieu, and Fieldston, son of Sir Patrick, who in 1534...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barnewall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Barnewall family to Ireland

Some of the Barnewall family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 114 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Barnewall migration to the United States +

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Barnewall:

Barnewall Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Luke Barnewall, who landed in Maryland in 1666 [4]
Barnewall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Barnewall, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Barnewall (post 1700) +

  • Amy M. Barnewall, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1960 [5]
  • Anthony Barnewall (1721-1739), English officer in the German army, the sixth and youngest son of John, 11th Lord Trimleston [6]
  • Sir Reginald Robert Barnewall (b. 1924), 13th Baronet Barnewall of Crickstown, Co. Meath, Airline President
  • Matthew Barnewall (d. 1834), 6th Viscount Barnewall, nobleman in in the Peerage of Ireland


The Barnewall 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: Malo mori quam foedari
Motto Translation: I would rather die than be disgraced.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019


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