Barrer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Barrer as a surname were the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name 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."

Early Origins of the Barrer family

The surname Barrer 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." [1]

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." [2]

"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." [3]

In Northamptonshire, William Barre, or Barry, of Great Billing, held one fee of Courcy in 1165 [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Gunilda de la Barre in Hertfordshire and Philip de le Barre in Huntingdonshire. [5]

Early History of the Barrer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barrer 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 Barrer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barrer Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Barrer has been spelled Barr, Barre and others.

Early Notables of the Barrer 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...
Another 180 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barrer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Barrer family to Ireland

Some of the Barrer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Barrer migration to the United States +

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Barrer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Barrer, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [6]
Barrer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Juan Barrer, aged 40, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [6]
  • Frederick Barrer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1836 [6]
  • Maria Jos Barrer, who arrived in Brazil in 1856 [6]


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  4. ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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