Barns History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Barns was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a small child. The surname springs from the middle English bairn, of the same meaning. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Barns family

The surname Barns 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]

Early History of the Barns family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barns research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1200, 1495, 1540, 1532, 1587, 1569, 1609, 1569, 1661, 1627, 1710, 1654, 1712, 1675 and are included under the topic Early Barns History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barns Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Barnes, Barns, Barnis, Bernys, Barness and others.

Early Notables of the Barns family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Robert Barnes (1495-1540), English Protestant divine and martyr, a Norfolk man, born in the neighbourhood of Lynn. "Barnes and his two companions, as heretics, were committed to the flames." [8] Richard Barnes (1532-1587), Bishop of Durham, born at Bould, near Warrington, in Lancashire, son of John Barnes and Agnes Saunderson, his wife. His son, Barnabe Barnes (1569?-1609), English poet, born in Yorkshire...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barns Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Barns family to Ireland

Some of the Barns family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Barns migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Barns or a variant listed above:

Barns Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Barnabie Barns, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Thomas Barns, who landed in Marlboro(ugh), Massachusetts in 1656 [9]
  • Rich Barns, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [9]
  • James Barns, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [9]
  • Tis Barns, aged 60, who arrived in New York in 1681 [9]
Barns Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Barns, who landed in New York in 1760 [9]
  • Mark Barns, who landed in New England in 1775 [9]
Barns Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Barns, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [9]
  • Hurdman Barns, who landed in New York in 1844 [9]
  • Mrs. L Barns, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [9]
  • D M Barns, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [9]
  • W Barns, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [9]

Canada Barns migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Barns Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jona Barns, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Robert Barns, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • William Barns, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Major John Barns U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 served in the New Jersey Volunteers [10]

Australia Barns migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Barns Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Barns, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1848 [11]

New Zealand Barns migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Barns Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Barns, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1841
  • Mr. James Barns, (b. 1819), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Olympus" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 20th April 1841 [12]
  • G Barns, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "New Great Britain" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 10th August 1863 [13]
  • Mr. William S. Barns, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "England" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th February 1867 [13]
  • Mrs. Catherine Barns, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "England" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th February 1867 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Barns (post 1700) +

  • Cornelia Barns (1888-1941), American artist and political cartoonist
  • Paul D. Barns, American politician, Justice of Florida State Supreme Court, 1946-49 [14]
  • Newton S. Barns, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Fairmont, West Virginia, 1885-90 [14]
  • Natalie C. Barns, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Orange County 1st District, 1940 [14]
  • L. W. Barns, American Republican politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 10th District, 1953-54 [14]
  • Kitty Barns, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1940 [14]
  • John Barns, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Charlotte County, 1777-78 [14]
  • Howard D. Barns, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1952 [14]
  • Doretha Barns, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Monongalia County, 1968 [14]
  • Claude T. Barns, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1940 [14]
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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)
  8. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Hooghly.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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