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This name is often spelt 'Fullerton' and the principal family of this name held the barony of Fullarton in Ayrshire. The name itself may be a derivative of ‘Fowler’, and relate to the keeping of birds, or may come from ‘Fuller’, meaning a ‘bleacher of cloth’. The family are said to be of Anglo-Saxon or Norman origin, and the first recorded instance of the name occurs towards the end of the thirtee.....

Heraldry Database: Barry


Surname:  Barry
Branch:  Barry
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:   Recorded as de Bari, De Barry, Du Barry, Dubarry, Barrie, and Barry, this very interesting surname has three possible origins. Firstly it may be French from the word "bari", meaning a rampart or castle, and later applied to the suburbs below the rampart. Secondly it can be Norman - Irish either from the first origin or as an anglicized form of O' Baire, meaning the male descendant of Fionnbharr, or fair head. Thirdy it could be of Scottish locational origin from the village of Barry in the former county of Angus, and meaning the rough, grassy hill. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters include Richard de Barri in the tax records known as the Feet of Fines of the county of Suffolk in 1195, whilst in Scotland William de Barry was a collector of contributions in Gowry sub Yleff in 1360. In Ireland Ho Barry circa 1591, is regarded as the first Irish dramatist while John Barry (1745-1803), is generally regarded as "The father of the American Navy". Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860), designed the new houses of Parliament in London in 1836. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of Nest de Barri. This was dated 1185, in the rolls of the Knight Templars (Crusaders) of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189.

Motto:  Boutez en avant, Drink first.
Arms:  Ar. three bars gemels, gu.
Crest:  Out of a castle with two towers, ar. a wolf`s head sa.
Supporters:  Two wolves ducally gorged and chained or.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

Though not peculiar to Ireland, Barry is one of the names introduced into the country following the Anglo-Norman invasion—like Burke, Roche, Fitzgerald, etc.—which can now be regarded as essentially Irish. As early as 1179 Philip de Barn obtained extensive grants of land in Co. Cork (in the baronies of Barrymore, Orrery and Kinelea). Philip’s posterity prospered and multiplied, and the several branches of the family formed septs somewhat in the Irish fashion, the chief of which were the important Barry Mór, Barry Og, Barry Roe, while minor branches became Barry Maol (bald) and Barry Láidir (strong). The Barrys of Rathcorinac, Co. Cork, adopted the surname MacAdam, taken from one Adam Barry—Adam being a common Christian name in Anglo-Norman families. The baronies of l3arrymore and Barryroe were so named from the two most important of these septs. The former is very large and the latter very small, due to the fact that by Elizabethan times when the boundaries of the baronies became stabilized, the area of the Barryroe lordship had been very much reduced.

The name, since the twelfth century, has always been principally associated with Co. Cork, and modern statistics indicate that quite fifty per cent of the Barrys in Ireland belong to that county, the majority of the remainder being also from the province of Munster. In this connexion it should be stated that there is a Gaelic sur­name 0 Beargha belonging to a sept which, at one time, were lords of a territory in the barony of Kenny, Co. Limerick. Except in cases where a pedigree is preserved, or a family tradition exists, it is not possible to be certain of the origin of the Barrys in Co. Limerick and north Cork, but it is probable that even there many, if not most A them, are of Norman stock—though, of course, continued intermarriage with their Gaelic neighbours has made them indistinguishable from the older race. One of the leading descendants of Philip de Barn became Baron Barry in 1490, and his family was advanced in the peerage as Viscount Buttevant in 1535 and Earl of Barrymore in 1627. The Four Masters record that in 1507, Barry Roe, ac­companied by the chief men of his people, went from Cork on a pilgrimage to Spain and that all were lost at sea on the return journey.

Among the many distinguished Irishmen of the name are two soldiers of the 1641 war: David Barry, Earl of Barrymore (1605—1642), and Gerald Barry who was also an author of note; the former was killed in that w r and the latter outlawed and exiled to Spain. There was a Capt. Barry in the Irish Brigade in France who would have been arrested for his anti-revolutionary sympathies at the time of the French Revolution but for the fact that the letter he had written, expressing these views, was in the Irish language and there was no one among his captors who could translate it. Kevin Barry (1902—1920) may also be included in this category for he was an active member of the I.R.A. in the Irish War of Independence and was hanged for his part in it.

In the field of literature “ Lo” (probably James) Barry (b. c. 1591) is regarded as the first Irish dramatist; John Mimer Barry (1768—1822), Sir Samuel Barry (1696—1776) and Sir David Barry (1780—1835), all physicians, wrote widely on medical subjects ; while James Greene Barry (1841—1931) did valuable work as a historian in his native Co. Limerick. In art James Barry (1741—1806) was a celebrated painter, and Sir Charles Barry (1795—1860) was the architect of the London Houses of Parliament. Spranger Barry (1719—1777), himself a fine actor, built theatres in Dublin and Cork. The most renowned of all Irish Barrys did not, like most of the foregoing, come from Co. Cork: he was John Barry (1745—1803), who was born in Co. Wexford and is known as the “ father of the American navy “. He is one of the few individuals who have been commemorated by the issue of an Irish postage stamp. Another who made a name in America was also born far from Co. Cork— Belfast-born Patrick Barry (1816—1890), leading horticultural authority in the U.S.A.

Gerald de Barn, or Barry (c. 1145—c. 1220), better known as Giraldus Cambrensis, though famous for his commentary on twelfth century Ireland, was, of course, him­self Welsh not Irish."

Name Variations:  Barry, de Bari, Bari, De Barry, Du Barry, Dubarry, Barrie, Barrie, Barre, de Barri, Barri, Barrey, Barree.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.
The Book of Irish Families Great and Small.
Surname Database: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Barry


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