- Recorded as de Bari, De Barry, Du Barry, Dubarry, Barrie, and Barry, this very interesting surname has three possible origins. Firstly it may be French from the word "bari", meaning a rampart or castle, and later applied to the suburbs below the rampart. Secondly it can be Norman - Irish either from the first origin or as an anglicized form of O' Baire, meaning the male descendant of Fionnbharr, or fair head. Thirdy it could be of Scottish locational origin from the village of Barry in the former county of Angus, and meaning the rough, grassy hill. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters include Richard de Barri in the tax records known as the Feet of Fines of the county of Suffolk in 1195, whilst in Scotland William de Barry was a collector of contributions in Gowry sub Yleff in 1360. In Ireland Ho Barry circa 1591, is regarded as the first Irish dramatist while John Barry (1745-1803), is generally regarded as "The father of the American Navy". Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860), designed the new houses of Parliament in London in 1836. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of Nest de Barri. This was dated 1185, in the rolls of the Knight Templars (Crusaders) of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.