Berber History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Berber begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from a baptismal name meaning son of Barbara. [1] In some instances, the name may have also been a nickname for someone, such as a Moor or Berber, who appeared to be of North African heritage. In such a case the name is a reference to the Barbary Coast of North Africa.

Another source notes that the name may be Norman in origin as he notes that "Barberi, famous of Old Forits Abbey (1170), is a parish near Falaise, in Normandy." [2]

Early Origins of the Berber family

The surname Berber was first found in London, where the Barberry spelling was the most popular. Late marriage records show: William Grosse and Barbery Marbeck were married at St. Antholin (London) in 1581. (Note the use as a forename) Helline, daughter of Henrie Barbery, was buried at St. James, Clerkenwell in 1609. Barbery, daughter of Jeremiah and Barbery Bird married at St. Mary Aldermary in 1696 and Francis Lee and Catherine Barberry were married at St. James, Clerkenwell in 1715. [1]

Early History of the Berber family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berber research. Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1500, 1609, 1674, 1715 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Berber History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berber 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. Berber has been recorded under many different variations, including Barberry, Barbary, Barbery, Barberrie, Baberie, Berberry and many more.

Early Notables of the Berber family (pre 1700)

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


United States Berber migration to the United States +

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 Berber or a variant listed above:

Berber Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Wilh Berber, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [3]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ 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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