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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

The ancient history of the Barnsdale name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided at or near the granary or barn in the valley. The first part of the surname Barnsdale is derived from the Old English word barn, which refers to a barn or granary house. The word barn itself was originally derived from the Old English words bern, which mean barley, and oern, which means house. The last portion of the name is derived from the Old English word doel, which means valley or dale.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Barnsdale include Barnsdale, Barnesdale, Barndale and others.

First found in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnsdale research. Another 246 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1550 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Barnsdale History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled 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 ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Barnsdale or a variant listed above:

Barnsdale Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Christopher Barnsdale who settled in Virginia in 1642

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  • William Barnsdale, American politician, Mayor of Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1878-80


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  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. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
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The Barnsdale Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barnsdale 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 15 January 2016 at 12:55.

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