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Surname Barry - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'B'

A Personal Journey into Heritage and Identity: Unraveling the Significance of the Surname Barry Through an iGENEA DNA Test

The iGENEA DNA test has significantly transformed my perception of my heritage and personal identity. It's made me see the meaning and value of my surname, Barry, from a fresh perspective.

J. Barry

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Barry: What does the surname Barry mean?

The surname Barry is of Irish origin and has multiple interpretations. It is derived from the old Gaelic "O'Beargha," where "O" signifies a male descendant of, and "Beargha" is a nickname denoting sharp or pointed. Thus, it can be interpreted as "descendant of a sharp or pointed person," indicating someone who is sharp-minded or spirited. Alternatively, it may derive from "de Barra," signifying "spear" or "lance," connecting an ancestral Barry to a warrior with a spear. After the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century, the name was anglicized to de Barry, later shortened to Barry. Additionally, in Wales and Scotland, the name Barry is derived from a locality, Barri, from Barry Island in Glamorgan. The Welsh spelling of the name, "Barri," was derived from Saint Baruc, to whom the local church is dedicated.

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Barry: Where does the name Barry come from?

The surname Barry is of Irish origin, derived from the Irish "de Barra" or "Bairre," indicating a spear or sharp-pointed object. The O'Barrys, descendants of de Barra, were an important family in County Cork, Ireland, during the Middle Ages. The Barrys first came to prominence in the 1170s under Robert de Barry, an Anglo-Norman who assisted in the invasion of Ireland.

Today, the Barry surname is most commonly found in Ireland, maintaining a strong presence especially in the southern parts of the country. It's also prevalent in English-speaking countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The large Irish diaspora, due to emigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries, is the reason for the widespread dissemination of Irish surnames like Barry. The surname is also found in France, likely due to the Norman origins of the name.

Notable people with the surname Barry include visitors to the arts, politics, and sports, such as musical composer John Barry, American politician Marion Barry, and basketball player Rick Barry.

Variations of the surname Barry

The surname Barry is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic "O'Beara" or "O'Barra" meaning descendants of Beara. The surname has evolved over the centuries, resulting in several variations and spelling. These include Barrie, Berry, Bary, Baire, Barra, Barre, Berrie, Beary, de Barra, and O'Barry.

In some cases, the prefix "O" is dropped, resulting in the standalone surname, Barry. The addition of the prefix "Mac," meaning "Son of," is also common in some Irish surnames, thus leading to another variation, "MacBarry" or "McBarry."

Barry is a common surname in Ireland and is also widespread in English-speaking countries due to the Irish diaspora. However, it's important to note that not all individuals with the Barry surname necessarily have Irish roots. In England, Barry could be of locational origin from Barry Island in Glamorgan, Wales.

As with many surnames, the different spellings and variations often emerged due to the phonetic spelling used by early officials recording names, resulting in the diverse assortment of Barry surname variants we see today.

Famous people with the name Barry

  • Dave Barry: An American author and columnist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988.
  • John Barry: An English composer best known for his work in film music, particularly for the James Bond series.
  • Marion Barry: An American politician who served as the second Mayor of the District of Columbia.
  • Len Barry: An American vocalist, songwriter, and record producer.
  • Lynda Barry: An American cartoonist, author, and teacher.
  • Jeff Barry: An American pop music songwriter, singer, and record producer.
  • Kevin Barry: An Irish author who has written two novels and several short stories.
  • Fred Barry: An American actor best known for his role as Fred "Rerun" Stubbs on the 1970s television show "What's Happening!!".
  • Rick Barry: An American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • Philip Barry: An American dramatist best known for his plays Holiday (1928) and The Philadelphia Story (1939).
  • Duane Barry: Character from TV series "The X-Fields"
  • Raymond J. Barry: An American film, television, and stage actor.
  • Claudja Barry: A Jamaican singer, songwriter, and actress.
  • Spranger Barry: An Irish actor.

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