This French surname can be either job-descriptive or habitational. It is of medieval origins, and generally describes either a maker of bonnets or other items of apparel, other than garments, or it describes one who lives by a "little gate", i.e., the gatehouse of a castle or manor (barre and petit). In spite of its apparently humble origins, the nameholders have succeeded in reading the aristocracy. The Coat of Arms granted to Barette of Lorraine being a silver prancing horse on a blue field, whilst other Arms have been granted to the Italian Baretta nameholders, originally resident in Venice. Recordings of the surname include the following examples: Michael Barette, who married Marie Lucette at Allichamps, Haute-Marne, on June 2nd 1696; Charle Barette, christened at Malzeville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, on April 14th 1738; and Claude Barette, who married Margueritte Baudinet on June 20th 1747, at Hoeville, also in Meurthe-et-Moselle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Barthelline Barrette, which was dated September 1st 1539, christened at Amboise, Indre-et-Loire, France, during the reign of King Francis 1 of France, 1515 - 1547. 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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