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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French, German

Where did the English Barney family come from? What is the English Barney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Barney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Barney family history?

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Barney family name to the British Isles. They lived in Norfolk and Kent, where they settled after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Barney family originally came from Bernay in Calvados, Normandy, and it is to that location that their name refers.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Barney, Berney, Barny, Berny, Barnie, Bernie, Bernaye, Bairney, Bearnie, Bearny, Bernais, Berneys, Berneyes, Bearnay and many more.

First found in Norfolk and Kent, where they were settled after the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barney research. Another 183 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1558 are included under the topic Early Barney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Barney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Barney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Barney or a variant listed above were:

Barney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jacob Barney who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1620
  • Jacob Barney, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jacob Barney who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Jacob Barney settled in Salem/Massachusetts in 1635
  • James Barney settled in Virginia in 1650

Barney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Barney arrived in Connecticut in 1720
  • John Barney, who landed in Connecticut in 1720

Barney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Barney, who landed in America in 1804
  • Patrick Barney, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • R. Barney, aged 27, settled in New Orleans in 1823
  • J. N. Barney arrived in San Francisco in 1850
  • B N Barney, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Barney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Barney settled in St. John's Newfoundland in 1821, he was from Pitdown, Kilkenny, Ireland
  • Rebecca Barney, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833


  • Joshua Barney (1759-1818), American Commodore in the United States Navy in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812
  • Matthew Barney (b. 1967), American sculptor, actor, director, and writer
  • Jay Barney (1912-1985), American actor
  • Scott Barney (b. 1979), Canadian professional (NHL) hockey player


  • Descendants of Jacob Barney: Salem, Massachusetts, 1634 by Mary E. Westbrook.
  • Genealogy of the Barney Family in America by Eugene Dimon Preston.

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  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
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  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Barney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barney 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 17 May 2013 at 12:24.

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