Last name: Barr

This interesting name has three possible sources the first being that it is of Scottish origin and is locational from two places so called, in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, and derives from the Gaelic "barr", height or hill. Great Barr in the West Midlands has a derivation akin to this, the Celtic or Welsh "barr" with the same meaning as above. It could also be a Norman locational name from two places in France, Barr-en-Ouche, or Barr-de-Semilly which have their derivation in the Olde French "barre", meaning a barrier or gateway. There is a Middle English word "barre", with the same meaning, thus it is thought that this name could be topographical for one living near a place of that description. Hugo Barr was recorded in the Danelaw Documents relating to Lancaster in 1155, while the Assize Rolls of Stafford mention a William de Barre in 1199. In Scotland Albyn de Barr was baillie of Ayr in 1340. Anne Barr married John Bickerton on October 21st, 1731 at Christchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Barra, which was dated in the Domesday Book of 1086, Somerset, during the reign of William 1, known as "the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Mark Barr

My family has a long history in West Virginia I believe they came to America from Ireland

Margery Darlene Barr

Having just read all the comments from the Barr people out there I am amazed to learn all of the fascinating history and also how many of you and/or your ancestors are William Barr. My great grandfather William Barr from Edinburgh graduated with a medical degree and moved to Canada and his son (Grandfather Barr) also named William moved to Cleveland, Ohio where my father Robert William was born in 1913. Dad was blond and had three sisters, all with different physiques and hair color: Isabel-blond and short-statured, Evelyn-red-head and thin, and Melba-brunette and buxom. My grandmother Barr (Chatterton) was born in England and moved to Quebec where she married William before moving to Ohio. I've heard that there is a huge Barr reunion near the St. Laurence Seaway in upstate NY every summer...does anyone know more about it? Years ago at work I met a computer installer named Bob Barr and he told me about the reunion of hundreds of Barrs.

K Barr

Hi am a Barr from the Bahamas does anyone know how we end up there.

Tim Barr

Has anyone traced the Barr name back to a marriage to someone from the Brown family. There is also American or Canadian indian heritage as well. I am from a long line of John Barrs that were from Minnesota but could have come from the Eastern USA before that. Email

Julie Barr

My great grandfather Daniel Barr bc1837 came from Ireland? where I don't know. His parents were John and Ellen but no other details. Wish I could find their origins.

My Names Barr And I Come From Derry.

Richard Barr
I'm related to the Archibald Barr of Barr and Stroud from Glasgow :)

Mike Barr
My Barr family is from northern Indiana (Noble County). Dad born 1954 indelaware County, IN was Michael Paul Barr Sr. Grandpa was Henry Paul Barr born 1927 Jay Co., IN. G-Grandpa was James Henry Barr born 1902 Delaware Co., IN. GG-Grandpa was William Perry Barr born 1868 Delaware Co., IN. GGG-Grandpa was James Barr born 1834 Richland Co., OH. GGGG-Grandpa was James Barr born around 1793 in Centre Co., PA. My problem is in verifying my GGGG-Grandfather back. My dad had fire-red hair and was always said to have the old Irish temper. I would appreciate anyone with a link. Thanks.

Barr is a strong Scottish name. Thats not to say your forefathers didn't migrate into England or Ireland before coming to this country.

damo barr
it is said that my family history comes from scottland but had possibly migrated from northern ireland nd i live in new zealand

Fiona Barr

I have extensive info on the Barr family in NZ ( I am a Kiwi). I am descended from John Barr of Dunedin ex Paisley Scotland 1840s. If you think we are related let me know and I will share what I have.

libby Slayton
My grandmother on my dad's side was a Barr. She had bright red hair. She lived by Lake Erie I'm PA.

K Barr
My great grandfather came to North Dakota from Scotland with his blacksmith tools in a beautiful trunk that my parents have, but I don't have any additional information about where in Scotland he was from or when he arrived in the U.S. Anyone know anything about Barrs that ended up in Grafton ND?

Len Erickson

My great-grandfather was also a blacksmith in Grafton so perhaps there is a connection. His name was Robert Barr. I believe he was born in Ontario, Canada and emigrated to the US. My files are packed so excuse my memory but his children, at least some, were Mary, Lila, Lorne, Bill?,

J Barr
Originally from the Irish monk Barr-fhionn* who around the year 593 left Dalriada as a missionary to the Britons living in southwest Scotland (formally Carrick, now South Ayrshire). Travelling along the river Stinchar he had his cell in what is the present day village of Barr. He left the area, probably at the time of the Angle invasion under Ethelfrith king of the Angles (603) He sailed for the island now called Barra in his name. The church of St. Barr was completed there in 620 A.D. The name Barr is a place name. People who left that area were originally called de Barr (1250- 1320). The "de was eventually dropped. Note: Meaning; Barr (top) Fhionn (fair) = fair haired

Fiona Barr

NICE. Note my name. :-)

My mother's maiden name was Barr. Her family lived in Derry/Londonderry Northern Ireland and there are still a lot of Barrs living there.

Kati Barr
Joe, yes my husband has been in contact with the barrs from that area! So I'm assuming you must be or if my husbands cousins

I am one of the Barrs from Derry.....My Dad fathers name is Neil Barr and his father (my grandfather) was called Noel Barr

My Great-Great Grandfather, William Barr, was born in 1810 in Newtonstewart near Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland and his wife, my Great-Great Grandmother, Eliza Moore, was also born in 1816 in Newtonstewart as well. Do either of these names ring a bell to any of you?

Please e-mail me at re my previous message. Thanks.

Susan M Barr
Hi, my name is Susan Barr and I am from Evansville, Indiana USA. I have a family tree/record researched back to a John Barr that immigrated from Ireland in the late 1700s....never could find out what county in Ireland tho. His descendants ended up living mostly in Tennessee, with some moving north to Kentucky. Does anyone know if its possible that the Irish Barrs may have originally come from Barr in Ayshire, Scotland? It seems that the village/parish of Barr in Ayshire is geographically close to the Irish Sea & thus Ireland. Its nice to know there are so many Barrs out there. There are other Barrs in Evansville, but they arent related to our family is African-American, and the other set hails from Kentucky. Anyone with info can email me at Thank you!

Kati Barr
how very interesting. My husband was doing research on his family and he was able to track his line from John Barr a preacher i believe who immigrated to the the US from Ireland. So you must be somehow related to my husband.

Susan M Barr
That would be interesting to find out - I will see if I can find the paperwork & possibly provide you with some other details.

evans barr
I was told by different barr family members in louisville ky. that my grandfather came from indiana to settle in louisville ky. I was told that there was a statue of a col. or gen. barr at fort knox. it must have been around 1920s my father was born in louisville around 1923.He met my mother in 1945 I was born in 1946.My fathers name was John fredrick Barr'.My mother was native american I guess they didn't like that.

Ray Bacher
Anyone with the first name of Barr? I have a great grandmother from the Glasgow area whose maiden name was Barr. So in our family Barr is a carry over in first names. We were told it meant strength as would be in a girder. I see on the net it talks about it meaning high ground. Which is it?

katie barr
wey hey to all the barr families out a barr my grandfather john barr moved from scotland (lanerk)when he was 14 to bristol he now would be 89....he was a twin to a brother andrew barr i think he has a sister ivy barr who i belive still lives in is important,just wondering if any connections out there..he was 1 of ten children and grew up on a fishing farm(salmon) any one think there could be a connection!!! thankz to all you barrs......

Trevor Barr
Trevor Barr from Ontario Canada. Father was Christopher J. Barr (died in 2004), his father was Keith D. Barr from Newcastle Ontario. Anyone out here have any info on Keith D. Barr? Keith Barr died in 1983 was married to Mabel (Benn) Barr - died in 2002. Beyond grandfather Keith there is no family connection that he left us with. Any info if anyone from Ontario knows of this would be greatly appreciated. I also saw a list of Jewish names which indicated Barr is Jewish as well. Thanks.

Laura Barr
Living in Germany the Name "Barr" is very rare. But I am Canadian from my fathers side and his sister and Brother live in Ontario, Canada. I know that my grandfather, Kenneth J. Barr, used to live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada before coming to Germany due 2nd WW, in Order to help with his Funktion in the Salvation Army.

Connor Barr

I am a barr from N.Y. everyone lives in N.Y. although I live in north Carolina now

Tommy Barr

I am Barr born in Texas but have no info about my father's family. My father's name is John Raymond Barr. I would like to know how I could find out about my heritage.

Patrick James Barr from Walsall,West Midlands.I have 4 brothers so the name is alive and well in this area for the time being dad was James Henry Barr,he died some time ago in Wolverhampton. His mom was married twice and he had siblings with a different surname to him and 2 parents divorced when we were quite young and i never really knew a lot about my dad or his family.I have a daughter name Lucy and my brothers have several children between them so the name is regenerating slow but sure. long live the BARRS!!!!!!

Ralph A Barr Jr (Rusty)
That is great news that the name lives on. I do not have a brother and my dads only brother was killed at Normandy during WWII but I have a son and he has two son's. So as you say long live the Barrs.

Thomas Barr
My great-grandfather, John Barr, family originally from Berkshire, left London for the U.S. in 1879 and settled in Ohio. My father returned to England as a soldier in WWII and was critically wounded at the Battle of Normandy on 15 August 1944. By the way, I live in Lebanon, Ohio.

Annette carter nee barr
My dad was Archibald bell barr from forth Lanarkshire born 24-05-1912 his parents are believed to be samual barr who married margaret surname unknown, any info would much appreciate

Tracy Stevenson nee Barr

Hi Anne, I spotted you on another site looking for the Glenrothes Barr's, headed up by George Barr and Grace Sloan. I am their grandaughter, daughter of Neil. Nice to meet you.

Luke A Barr.
Barr from Battersea, London. grandfather was Donald Barr sn also from Battersea.

Ralph A. Barr Jr.
Sorry I hope I didn't confuse anyone. I really meant related to me with the last name Barr. I have lost of family in the area.

Ralph A. Barr Jr.
Great stuff I am from Lebanon Pennsylvania and my Grandfather moved to Lebanon from Tower City. His name was Calvin. His father's name was William. I remember having a second cousin William Barr but beyond that the only Barr's left in the area related to me are my father, my son and his son. I would love to run into other Barr's that are related to me someday. Thanks for the info about Scotland. My dad and I were red headed and blue eyed (now we are gray and bald).Take care.

Kati Barr
Hello Ralph, My father-in-law is William Barr. Although he did not live in PA his has many relative still there. I wonder if this would be your second cousin? Any idea what age your cousin might be?

Ralph A. Barr Jr
He would be late fifties early sixties but if he never lived in Pa I doubt it is him. But you should ask him if he knows a Ralph Barr or Calvin Barr.

Kirsteen (Kirsty) Jackson
I am from a family of Barrs (by marriage Jacksons) now in Ontario, Canada. My grandfather was Archibald Barr (dob. 1911) married to Rona McKay.

Dolores W.
My grandfather was William Barr and he was an African-American ( my mother's father). This name goes as far back as 1800 for my relatives in America.

K. Barr
Funny how my Grandfather (mother's father) is William A Barr who is African-American/Bahamian. I remember being showed a really old picture, by one of his brothers, of a Red-headed, blue eyed, wealthy dress Irish/Scottish man with a woman also wealthy dress of African decent. I was young and don't remember exactly what was said other than what I've been reading to be true.

Rusty Barr
My great-grandfather's name was WIlliam Barr and he wasn't African American but my Son Married an African American girl. :)

Dolores W
My grandfather, William Barr, who was born around 1873 married a woman named Ellen in 1892, who had my mother, Carrie born in 1897, Early (was born first) then came Anna, John, Lottie, and they were of African-American descent. All came from Marion, South Carolina. I was doing my family tree and discovered thru DNA that I have 10% Irish in my blood line. Knowing that we inherit 50% from each parent according to genetics. My Grandfather was William Barr, his father James Barr, Jr. remarries in 1876 a mulatto slave named Cornelia who was born in 1860 ( she was just 16 yrs. old) and resembled her dad (I have her photo) who was a slave owner in South Carolina. During slavery it was common for slave women to birth mulatto children from rape but not the other way around. One could tell just from the color skin tone and features. Many of my relatives from South Carolina are fair-skinned and some have Native American traits from those along the Pee Dee river. I was told from the clerk's office that in 1800's there were 289 Barrs in this area and they were all African-American. DNA is amazing....we try to have a reunion every two years in Marion, S.C. Thru there is a connection of Barr's thru DNA! Truly amazing!!!

Dolores W.
I few years ago I met three brothers, nice young men...... all from South Carolina who were African-American/Bahamian descent (University S.C. alumni ) and we had similar family names. DNA will tell just what is in your bloodline and this is truly amazing!!! It doesn't lie.
You can never say..."It was not me!"

Neil Barr
Oh....I was meant to say that my great grandfather on my fathers side and all of his forefathers originate from west of Scotland, particularly Glasgow, Renfrewshire, and Ayrshire. Also my mother is Scottish with the Irish name of Brannan which originates from the same area of Ireland as Barr. Quite ironic when you consider that before Barr 'moved over to Scotland it was Irish. Sorry for being so proud but I am a TRUE BARR. and I love it :-)

Neil Barr
My name is Neil Andrew Barr, a more Irish/Scottish name you couldn't find. Although my father is from Barnsley in south Yorkshire I ended up living in Kilwinning,north Ayrshire,situated only a few miles from the parish of south Barr which is mentioned above. I was the last male in my family to have the name Barr before my family name completely expired. Luckily I have 2 sons to carry on my bloodline and we are all very proud of our 'strong' name and it's deep roots. I suppose my family name has come full circle and my boys are where they originate from. Centuries have passed and our forefathers would be proud to know their name is back home.

Ralph A. Barr Jr.
Wow Neil that is great to hear that your boys are where the Barr name originated from.

Imogen Barr
I'm a Barr too, also from Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Does the name Cinderhill mean anything to you?

mervyn reger
Elizabeth Barr migrated from Dublin to Victoria Australia circa 1871 where she married John Ramsay. I am looking for date of travel, ports and name of ship. Any ideas??

William Barr
Interesting to learn about the Irish monk and his connection to the town of Barr in Ayrshire. I am not sure how much Scottish ancestry I have but I admire the land and people of Scotland greatly, particularly the late Queen Mother Elizabeth.

charmaine barr
barr`s are o`mazing xxx

Anyone got any links to the company Barr and Stroud? (or Archibald Barr)

Connie Barr-Reddick
I traced my Barr family back to Northern Ireland where they went from Scotland, supposedly. So now I know where in Scotland.

My Barr family was also from Northern Ireland - Newtonstewart to be exact. Is that where you ancestors originated as well. Message me at

Nancy O'Barr
Perhaps O'Barr should be added to the list of variants.

Stuart L. Barr
Correction: missionary to the Britons at the end of the 6th century. S.L.B.

Stuart L. Barr
Donegal Ireland; from Fionn Bharr an Irish monk (saint) - his decendants. South Ayrshire (Carrick) Scotland: from those who left the area of Barr and were required to have a surname by law (12th century). It in this case is a "place name". Barr is a village in South Ayrshire named from the site of the cell of Barr Fhionn (gaelic: barr (top), fionn (fair) = fair haired) the monk who came from Dalriada as a missionary to the Britons there at the end of the 5th century