Show ContentsBarnsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Barnsley was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Barnsley family lived in Worcestershire and Yorkshire, where they held an ancient seat and estates.

Early Origins of the Barnsley family

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)." [1] 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 Barnsley family

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.

Barnsley Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Barnsley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Barnsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Barnsley migration to Australia +

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

Barnsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Barnsley who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Mr. William Barnsley, British Convict who was convicted in Carlisle, Cumbria (Cumberland), England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [3]
  • Charles Barnsley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Barnsley (post 1700) +

  • Godfrey Barnsley (1805-1873), Derbyshire-born, American businessman and cotton broker
  • Michael Fielding Barnsley (b. 1946), American mathematician who has worked on fractal compression; he holds several patents on the technology
  • Geoffrey Robert Barnsley (b. 1935), English former professional footballer
  • Ernest and Sidney Barnsley, English Arts and Crafts movement master builders, furniture designers and makers associated with Ernest Gimson
  • Emily Grace Barnsley (1896-1975), English pottery decorator, daughter of Sidney Barnsley
  • Edward Barnsley (1900-1987), English furniture designer and maker, son of Sidney Barnsley
  • Alan Gabriel Barnsley (1916-1986), English writer and Professor of English at Washington State University
  • Victoria Barnsley OBE (b. 1954), British businesswoman and entrepreneur, founder of the publishing house Fourth Estate in 1984
  • Craig Jonathan Barnsley (b. 1983), South African born Welsh cricketer

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ANNA MARIA 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook