Bearly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Bearly comes from when the family resided 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 Bearly family

The surname Bearly 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 Bearly family

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

Bearly Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bearly include Barley, Barly, Barely, Barle, Barlay and others.

Early Notables of the Bearly 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 Bearly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bearly family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: 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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