What is the origin of the last name Barr?

The last name Barr can be traced back to several possible origins. One is the Old English word "baer," meaning boar, which may have been a nickname for someone resembling or associated with a boar in some way. Another possibility is its derivation from the Gaelic word "barr," meaning top or summit, suggesting that the name could have indicated someone who lived near or on a hilltop. Additionally, Barr could also have Ashkenazi Jewish or Yiddish origins, derived from the Hebrew word "bar," meaning son, indicating a patronymic surname. As with many surnames, the specific origin of Barr may vary depending on geographical location and historical context.

Countries of origin for the last name Barr

The last name Barr has Scottish origins. It is a variant of the surname Barrie, which is derived from the Scottish place name Barry. The name Barry itself comes from the Gaelic word “barrach,” meaning “spear.” The surname Barr has multiple different meanings depending on its specific origin and context.

In some cases, Barr is an English habitational name for individuals who lived near a barrier or gate, derived from the Old English word “bearu” meaning “barrier” or “restraining device.” It could also be derived from the Old English word “bearoh” meaning “grove” or “woodland,” indicating that the bearer of the name either lived in or near such a place.

The surname can also be of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic word “barr,” meaning “top” or “crest.” In this context, it might have been a descriptive name for someone who lived at the top of a hill or had a prominent or pointed feature on their land.

Additionally, Barr can be a surname of Jewish origin. It is an Ashkenazic Jewish surname derived from the Hebrew word “bar,” meaning “son.” This was typically used as a patronymic surname to indicate a person’s father’s name.

Variant spellings of the surname Barr include Barrs, Barre, Barris, Barra, Barrese, and Barrios among others. Similar-sounding surnames that are not directly related to Barr include Bahr, Bar, Baer, Bauer, and Barry.

The Barr surname has been found in various records throughout history, including ship passenger lists, census records, court documents, and land records. It is not an extremely common surname, but it can be found in different parts of the world, including Scotland, England, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Individuals with the last name Barr have made contributions to various fields such as politics, law, arts, science, and sports. The surname has also been passed down through generations, maintaining a sense of lineage and family heritage.

While the origins and meanings of the Barr surname are known, there are still possibilities for further research and exploration. Various branches of the Barr family tree may hold untapped stories, connections, and historical details. As genealogical research continues and new information is uncovered, the understanding of the Barr surname and its significance may continue to evolve.

Interesting facts about the last name Barr

  • The surname Barr is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic word “bàrr,” which means “top” or “summit.”
  • In Scotland, the surname Barr is associated with families who lived near or on the top of a hill or mountain.
  • There are various spellings of the surname, including Bar, Barre, Bär, and Barrs.
  • The name Barr is relatively common in Scotland and can also be found in other English-speaking countries.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Barr include Robert Barr, a Scottish-Canadian writer, and Victoria Barr, an American actress.
  • The Barr name may also have Jewish origins, particularly among Ashkenazi Jews.
  • Historically, individuals with the surname Barr have been involved in various professions, including law, medicine, and academia.
  • There are several places in the United States named Barr or with Barr in their name, including Barr Township in Pennsylvania and Barr Lake State Park in Colorado.
  • In heraldry, the Barr coat of arms features a gold shield with three horizontal red bars.

Name Rank


There are around 44130 people with the last name Barr in the US

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