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Origins of the Barnes surname

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What does the name Barnes mean?

There are two major hypothesised origins of the Barnes surname, thought to be English and Scottish. Firstly, Barnes is a locational surname, relating to people from one of the number of places named 'Barnes' or 'Bearn'. The surname Barnes can also be topographical, given to someone who lives at or near a barn and their descendants.

Alternative variations of the name Barnes

Barnes, Barns, Barnis, Barness, Bairnes

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 Barneses live?

In 1921, most Barneses 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 Barneses

How common is your surname?

85th most common surname in the UK

We have 362,000 records for the Barnes surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Barneses most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Barneses.

What are the most common Barnes first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

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

Common jobs for Barneses

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

Common Female occupations for Barneses in 1921
Cotton Weaver






Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


Common Male occupations for Barneses in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer




Farm Labourer


Coal Miner


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