This is an English name from the Olde English pre 7th century "baer", bare or naked, and "fot", foot and was used as a nickname for someone who habitually lived and worked without shoes on. It was used specifically of friars and pilgrims and those who went barefoot as a religious penance. There were similar examples in Medieval England for example "Barleg" and "Bareshanke". The friar in Shakespears "Romeo and Juliet" is described as "a barefoote brother". In the modern idiom the surname has several spelling variations including Barfoot, Burfoot and Berfoot. William King and Elizabeth Barfot were married in St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, in 1748. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Berfot, which was dated 1203, in the Pipe Rolls of Cumbria, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland" 1199 - 1216. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017