This interesting and unusual name is a variant of "Barrow", an English surname deriving from two possible sources. Firstly it may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a grove or an English locational name from any places called Barrow in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire etc., both from the Old English word "bearo", "bearu", grove. "Barrow" may also be of topographical origin for a dweller by a hill or burial ground or an English habitational name for a place called "Barrow" in Leicestershire and Somerset, both from the Old English word "beorg", hill, barrow. The original root name first appeared in records in the late 12th Century, (see below) while "Barrass" appeared later. One John Barus was christened at St. Stephan, Coleman Street, London on October 24th 1541, while on July 31st 1549, Joane Beeres married William Burham at St. Michael Poultry with St. Mary Colechurch, London. Roberte, son of John Barrasse was christened at St. Martin Ludgate, London on July 14th 1566. Mary Barrass married Borert Severns at Allhallows, London Wall, London on December 19th 1710. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de (of) Barewe, which was dated 1192, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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