This interesting surname of French origin is an occupational name for a barber, deriving from the Anglo Norman French "barber", Old French "barbier". A barber in the Middle Ages was a person who not only cut hair and shaved beards, but also practised surgery and pulled teeth. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include John le Barbur (1248), witness, "The Feet of Fines, Essex", Thomas le Barber (1281) "The Calendar of Letter Books of the city of London", and Robert le Barbier (1299), Cambridgeshire "Calendar of Letter Books of the city of London". The parish records of the French Huguenot Church of Threadneedle Street, London, include Jean, son of Jean and Catherine Barbier who was christened on May 21st 1620, and Jean, son of Paul and Marie Barbier was christened on December 8th 1695. A coat of arms was granted to a Barbier family in Paris which depicts three red roses between a gold chevron on a blue field and on a silver chief a black lion passant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan le Barbur, which was dated 1221, the Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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