Berkis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain were the first to use the name of Berkis. The name had a practical origin since it came from when its initial bearer worked as a person who stripped trees of bark for tanning. "It is confined to the northern half of England and to the eastern counties north of the Thames. It is very frequent in Yorkshire, and is also well represented in the counties of Derby, Lincoln, and Norfolk." [1]

The name evolved from "from the trade or occupation of 'barker,' an obsolete name for the bark-stripper or rather for the man who prepared the bark for the tanner. Later the word was synonymous with 'tanner.' " [2]

"A tanner, from his using bark of trees in his trade. In the old ballad of the King and the Tanner in Percy's Reliques, the latter calls himself "a Barker, Sir, by my trade." English Sum. Barcarius and Le Barkere." [3]

Early Origins of the Berkis family

The surname Berkis was first found in Yorkshire where Ralph Berker was a Knights Templar in 1185. A few years later, Aluredus le berkier was found the in the Pipe Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1193. Later again, John le Bercher was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for Hampshire in 1212. Jordan le Barker was found in the Assize Rolls for Essex in 1255 and John le Barker was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1260. [4] The previous entries that include "le", meaning "the", point the the occupational nature of the name as by example, "John the Barker."

Another source notes, Alan le Barkere who was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls listed Robert Barcarius in Lincolnshire. [5]

Early records in Scotland include: "Patrick Bercar and his son [who] held land in Dunipace c. 1200. Alisaundre le Barker, provost of the burgh of Haddington, rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England]. Richard le Barker of Tyningham, tenant of the bishop of St. Andrews in the county of Edneburk also rendered homage in the same year. Thomas Barkar in the parish of Fyvy was excommunicated in 1382, William Barcar held a land in Edinburgh in 1400, and Alexander Barcare was vicar of the parish of Pettinain in 1486." [2]

Early History of the Berkis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berkis research. Another 317 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1577, 1600, 1619, 1652, 1700, 1722, 1734, 1774, 1788, 1804, 1806, 1808, 1809, 1609, 1652, 1635, 1664, 1655, 1696, 1680, 1696, 1685, 1731, 1708, 1715, 1722, 1619, 1698, 1623, 1702, 1678, 1679, 1739, 1749 and 1793 are included under the topic Early Berkis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berkis Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Berkis include Barker, Barkers, Barkes, Barkess, Barkere, Barkar and others.

Early Notables of the Berkis family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Christopher Barker, a distinguished British diplomat and court official in the 16th century; Sir John Barker, 1st Baronet (c.1609-c. 1652); and his son, Sir John Barker, 2nd Baronet (c.1635-1664); and his son, Sir John Barker, 4th Baronet (1655-1696), an English Baronet and politician, Member of Parliament for Ipswich (1680-1696); and his son, Sir William...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Berkis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Berkis family to Ireland

Some of the Berkis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Berkis family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Berkis or a variant listed above: Edmund Barker, who sailed to Maine in 1625; Alice Barker to Virginia in 1648; Samuel Barker to West New Jersey in 1664; Elizabeth Barker to Barbados in 1669.



The Berkis Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide sed cui vide
Motto Translation: Trust, but in whom take care.


  1. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook