Barre History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Among the all the peoples of ancient Scotland, the first to use the name Barre were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in Ayrshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages. It is generally thought to have been a habitational name, taken on from any of various place names in southwestern Scotland, in particular in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. These place names derive from the Gaelic word barr, meaning "height," or "hill." 
Further to the south in England, one of the early noteworthy people in the family was Richard Barre " (fl. 1170-1202), ecclesiastic and judge, [who] acted as the envoy of Henry II to the papal court, both shortly before and immediately after the murder of Thomas Becket. On the first occasion he was the bearer of a haughty and even minatory message from the king demanding that the pope should absolve all those who had been excommunicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Barre was entrusted with the custody of the great seal on the coronation of the heir apparent in 1170, but on the revolt of the prince in 1173 he offered to surrender it to the king. Barre probably succeeded Richard de Ely, otherwise FitzNeale, as archdeacon of Ely in 1184." 
Early Origins of the Barre family
The surname Barre was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire. "The surname is most frequently found at the present day in the district around Glasgow, and is a common surname in the Kilbarchan Commissariot Record. Atkyn de Barr was bailie of Ayr c. 1340. John Bar or de Barre was burgess of Edinburgh in 1423." 
However, some of the family were first found further south at Tollerton in Nottinghamshire, England. "This place, which takes its name from Torlaston, one of its possessors before the Conquest, in the reign of Stephen became the manor of Radulphus Barre, with whose descendants it still remains." 
"His wife must have been a De Lisle, for his son Richard, in one of his deeds, speaks of Ranulf de Insula, his grandfather, and Matilda Malebisse, his grandmother. Fifth in descent from Richard was Thomas, Dominus de Teversall (or Tearsall), who first called himself Barry, as the family continued to do till it ended with John Barry in the reign of Henry VI. A branch seated at Torlaston lasted about one hundred years longer. These Barres or Barrys were benefactors to the monks of Beauchief." 
Richard de Barra was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as holding lands in Somerset at that time. 
In Northamptonshire, William Barre, or Barry, of Great Billing, held one fee of Courcy in 1165.  Anger de la Barra was listed at Clerkenwell, London c. 1216-1217. Later John ate Barre was recorded in Sussex in 1283. Edricius de la Bartre was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Staffordshire in 1170 and William de Barre in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1199. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Gunilda de la Barre in Hertfordshire and Philip de le Barre in Huntingdonshire. 
Early History of the Barre family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barre research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1551, 1554, 1565, 1600, 1612, 1686, 1600, 1170, 1202, 1170, 1173 and are included under the topic Early Barre History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Barre Spelling Variations
The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Barre has appeared as Barr, Barre and others.
Early Notables of the Barre family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Barre (fl. 1170-1202), an English ecclesiastic and judge who acted as the envoy of Henry II to the papal court, both shortly before and immediately after the murder of Thomas Becket. On the first occasion he was the bearer of a haughty and even minatory message from the king demanding that the pope should absolve all those who had been excommunicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The mission, it need hardly be said, failed of its object. The letter from Alexander III to the Archbishop of York, which Foss connects with it...
In the United States, the name Barre is the 9,744th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name.  However, in France, the name Barre is ranked the 148th most popular surname with an estimated 21,027 people with that name. 
Migration of the Barre family to Ireland
Some of the Barre family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:
Barre Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Barre Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Barre Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Barre Settlers in United States in the 20th Century