Recorded in several spellings including Barras, Barrass, Barrasse, Baress, Barus, Barrus and even Beeres, this is an English surname. It is either locational from the village of Barras in the former county of Westmorland, or it is topographical for somebody who lived by a "bearwes", or a grove of woods. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say surnames given to people after they left their original homes, as an easy form of identification for a stranger. Spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the adoption of "sounds like" spellings. In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: John Barus, who was christened at St. Stephans, Coleman Street, on October 24th 1541, whilst on July 31st 1549, Joane Beeres married William Burham at St. Michael Poultry. Roberte, the son of John Barrasse was christened at St. Martin Ludgate, London on July 14th 1566, and Mary Barrass married Borert Severns at Allhallows, London Wall, on December 19th 1710. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Barewes. This was dated 1192, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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