The surname Barnsley 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)."  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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barnsley research. Another 49 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 155 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Barnsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Barnsley have been found, including Barnsley, Barnsely, Barnseley, Barnsly and others.