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Origins of the Barber surname

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What does the name Barber mean?

The origin of the Barber surname is English, it is believed to have Anglo-Norman roots. Barber is an occupational surname, deriving from the current work of the same name and given to those who cut hair, trimmed beards and performed similar undertakings, along with their heirs. The job was broader than in the modern era, and barbers also performed surgery, bloodletting and dentistry, a reason for the red and white traditional poles used at their places of work (red would represent blood).

Alternative variations of the name Barber

Barber, Barbar, Berber, Baber, Barbers, Barbour

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Barbers live?

In 1921, most Barbers lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Barbers

How common is your surname?

196th most common surname in the UK

We have 188,000 records for the Barber surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Barbers most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Barbers.

What are the most common Barber first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Barber family members

Common jobs for Barbers

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Barbers in 1921


Domestic Servant




General Servant Domestic


Living On Own Means


Common Male occupations for Barbers in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer




Farm Labourer




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