This interesting surname is a dialectal variant of "Barwise", itself an English habitational name from the hamlet of "Barwise" in Westmorland, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "beorgas" meaning "hills". The placename is recorded as Berwis (1235, 1490) in "The Register of the Priory of Wetherhal". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Fraunces, daughter of John Barwis, who was christened on May 15th 1572, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, Thomas Barwise married Margaret Blanch Headding on October 9th 1748, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, and Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel Barwise, was christened on August 8th 1680, at St. James, Westminster. One William Barwise, aged 23 yrs, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Henry-Clay" bound for New York on April 26th 1847. John Adolphus Barwise is recorded in the death column of the Daily Telegraph dated January 6th 1894. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Barweis, which was dated 1292, The Hundred Rolls of Derbyshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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