Apparently recorded as Barau, Barrau, Baroux, Barroux, Barreau, and possibly others, this is a medieval French surname. It appears to be occupational and to have the meaning of "Little barrel." This suggests two possibilities that either it was a nickname for the son of a barrel maker (barralier), or a nickname for the son of a rounded person, one who was barrel shaped! Nicknames form one of the largest groups amongst surname listings, and it is generally accepted that at least 15% of all names do have nicknames origins. Indeed there are learned academics who claim that the real figure is much higher. This surname in the British Isles has often been listed with the English surname Barrow which has a totally different origin, and there are strong indications that as over the centuries France and England were almost permanently at war, most French spellings have been changed to Barrow. That said we do have some interesting examples of English recordings including Rose Yacinthe Barroux who married Eugene Gautier at the famous church of St Martins in Field, Westminster, on August 23rd 1839, and some forty years later that on September 10th 1871, of Charles Baroux. He was the son of Jean Baroux, and was christened at the French Huguenot church known as La Savoye, Spring Gardens, in the city of London. This is over one hundred years after the last of the true Huguenot refugees reached England from France.
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