This rare and interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is a variant of Baron, which derives from the Middle English and Old French titles of nobility, "baron, barun". It is unlikely to be a status name denoting a person of rank as the great baronial families of Europe had their own distinctive surnames, but it was used as an occupational surname for someone employed in a baronial household. The term was also applied to freemen of the cities of London and York who were homagers of the king, and also to the freemen of the Cinque Ports who had the feudal service of bearing the canopy over the head of the sovereign on the day of the coronation. In Scotland, "baron" denoted a member of a class of minor landowners who had a certain degree of jurisdiction over the local populace. Geoffrey le Barun is noted in the 1236 Assize Rolls of Hampshire, and John Baron is listed in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. The final "d" does not appear until the 16th/17th Century. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Jardas, son of Edward Barrand, on September 6th 1678, at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney; the christening of David, son of George and Barbara Barrand, on July 20th 1621, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster; and the christening of Richard, son of Libiae and Ann Barrand, on November 21st 1623, at the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lefwine Barun, which was dated 1095, in the "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmund's", Suffolk, during the reign of King William 11, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. 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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