The history of the Barnselay family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Worcestershire
, where they held an ancient seat and estates.
Early Origins of the Barnselay family
The surname Barnselay 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 Barnselay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnselay research.Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 155 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Barnselay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Barnselay Spelling Variations
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 Barnsley, Barnsely, Barnseley, Barnsly and others.
Early Notables of the Barnselay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Barnselay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Barnselay family to the New World and Oceana
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 Barnselay or a variant listed above were: Richard Barnssley and his wife who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766.