Barrelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Barrelay is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in the county of Hertfordshire, where they took their name from the parish of Barley. This parish dates back to Saxon times when it known as Beranlei c. 1050. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Berlai and probably meant "woodland clearing of a man called Be(o)ra," from the Old Egnlish personal name + "leah." [1]

The township of Barley in Lancashire dates back to at least 1324 when it was known as Baylegh. [1] It has a similar origin but in early days had a different spelling.

Early Origins of the Barrelay family

The surname Barrelay was first found in Herefordshire where the Saxon name Leofric de Berle was recorded c. 975. [2] In Warwickshire, Jordan Barlie was listed there in the Assize Rolls for 1221. In Cambridgeshire, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include William de Berele. [3]

According to Reaney, Barleyman is an interesting variant. It is a "metonymy for a maker or seller of barley-bread or cakes." and in this case, Josce Barlibred who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk for 1185 is the first entry. [2]

Early History of the Barrelay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barrelay research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1451, 1521, 1501, 1466, 1487, 1529, 1529, 1557, 1565 and 1614 are included under the topic Early Barrelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barrelay Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Barrelay has been recorded under many different variations, including Barley, Barly, Barely, Barle, Barlay and others.

Early Notables of the Barrelay family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Barley (1451-1521) of Albury, Hertfordshire. He was attainted of treason for his support of Perkin Warbeck and lost all his lands. Pardoned in 1501, he was once again in possession of his lands, including the manors of Wicken, Elsenham, Albury, Wickhamstead and Moulsham. he was High Sheriff of...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barrelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Barrelay family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Barrelay or a variant listed above: Anthony Barley who settled in Virginia in 1653; Elizabeth Barley settled in Barbados in 1654; Michael Barle arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1751.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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