Recorded as Barwick, Barwack, Berrick, Berwick, Borwick and no doubt others, this is an English and sometimes Scottish, surname. It is locational from Barwick in Norfolk, recorded as "Bereuuica" in the Domesday Book of 1086, or Barwick in Somerset, recorded as "Berewyk" in the Feet of Fines of 1219. The name may also be a variant of any of the following placenames Berrick, Berwick and Borwick. All have the same derivation, from the Olde English pre 7th century word "berewic", meaning an arable farm, from "bere", meaning barley or corn, and "wic", an outlying farm. Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and other early examples of the surname include: Edward Barwyk, mentioned in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1463, and John Barycke in "The East Anglican" in 1547. A coat of arms granted in Northumberland has the blazon of a gold shield, charged with three black bears' heads erased, the crest being a gold stag. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Laurence de BerewykeThis was dated 1278, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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