Barnslay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Barnslay family lived in Worcestershire
, where they held an ancient seat and estates.
Early Origins of the Barnslay family
The surname Barnslay 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 Barnslay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnslay research.Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 155 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Barnslay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Barnslay Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Barnsley, Barnsely, Barnseley, Barnsly and others.
Early Notables of the Barnslay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Barnslay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Barnslay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Barnslay or a variant listed above: Richard Barnssley and his wife who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766.