Surname Origin: English, French, German
Alternate Surname Spellings: BERKER, BERCHER, BERGER, BERGEY, LE BARKERE, BARKE, BARKA, BARKAR
This surname, with variant spelling Berker, has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a metonymic occupational name for a tanner of leather deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "be(o)rc" and Middle English "bark(en)" meaning to tan (from the bark of a tree, which was used in the process). One Hordan le Barkere, appears as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Essex (1255). The surname may also have derived from the Old French "berch(i)er", "berk(i)er" a shepherd. With the change of "-ar-" to "-er-" in Middle English ("barker" meaning shepherd) this became indistinguishable in form from "barker" a tanner. Alurdeus le Berkier, is noted in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire (1193), and John le Bercher, appears in the Curia Regis Rolls of Hampshire (1212). The marriage of Ann Barker and Thomas Bulstrod took place on June 16th 1541, at St. Martin Pomeroy, London, and Edward Barker married Margaret Stevenson at St. Peter Cornhill, London on February 4th 1551. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Mary Barker, aged 20 yrs., who departed from the port of London aboard the "Mathew", bound for St. Christopher's, in the Barbados, on May 21st 1635.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Berker, which was dated 1185, in the "Records of the Templars in Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry II, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189.
This interesting surname was introduced into Ireland by the Anglo-Norman invaders of 1169 and 1170. One branch of the family, initially called Barratt, settled in County Cork and their name was rendered "Baroid" in Irish. The second branch called Barrett established themselves in the Connacht counties of Mayo and Galway, where the name was Gaelicized as "Bareid". The former is regarded as Norman-French, deriving from the old French male given name Baraud, ultimately from the Germanic Ber(n)wald, composed of the elements "ber(n)", bear, plus "wald", rule. The latter is Anglo-Saxon having its origins in the old English Beornheard or the old German Bernhard, personal names composed of the elements "ber(n)", bear, plus "hard", brave, strong.
Eventually, the surname was spelt Barrett in both Munster and Connacht and the county Cork family were influential enough to give their name to an extensive territory i.e., Barrett's Country. The North Mayo Barretts were Lords of Tirawley and the chief of this sept (founded on the Irish model) was known as MacWattin. The names of several of the Mayo Barretts are included in the "Composition Book of Connacht", dated 1585. Richard Barrett, (circa 1740 - 1818), known as "the Poet of Erris" was also a prominent United Irishman. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baireid, which was dated circa 1350, "The Annals of Connacht", during the reign of King Edward III of England, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377.
The Butcher surname is of French origin and is an occupational name for a butcher or slaughterer, an important occupation in medieval England. The derivation is from the Old French "bouchier" and the Middle English development "bo(u)cher". The following examples illustrate the name development after 1184 (see below), Richard le Bucher (1240 Feet of Fines of Essex), William Bochier (1327 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex), Alan le Boucher (ibid), Thomas le Bouker (1332 Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire). In the modern idiom the variants include Bucher, Bou(t)cher, Boucker, and Bowker. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by an individual, and later became hereditary. One Richard Butcher (1583 - 1665) was town clerk of Stanford (1646) and the name is recorded in Barbados, on the Baptismal Register of December 1678, in St. Michael's parish, with the baptism of Richard, the infant son of John and Mary Butchep.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailwardus le Bochere which was dated 1184, in the Pipe Rolls of London, during the reign of King Henry II, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189
Recorded in the spellings of By, Bye, Buy, and Buye, this is a surname of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It is residential, and describes one who lived by a 'byge'. This was a prominent bend of a river, or perhaps a feature of the countryside such as a hill or rock outcrop, which may have appeared to be distorted in someway. It is unlikely to have referred to a bend in a road, although this is possible as in these early times original Roman roads from the 3rd century were still in use. In its spelling as 'By' the surname is the shortest in the British registers, and is one of a tiny group consisting of only two letters. Originally their were a number such as Ea and Ay, meaning one who was resident by a river, but most are now extinct.
The late Professor Reaney considered that B(u)y(e) may in some instances have been a personal name, and if so examples may be Thomas filius Bye of Cambridge in the Hundred Rolls of 1279, and John Bye also of Cambridge in 1327. All other examples of the surname at this period refer to a person who was either de, de la, ate, or 'in the' bye, a clear reference to a location. These early examples include Alicia de Bly of Berwick in 1266, John ate Bey in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Cambridge, and William in the By in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset, for the year 1327. Later examples taken from various rolls include Robert Bye, who married Susan Martin at St Antholins church, London in 1568, Robert Bye of London in the 1588 register of students of Oxford University, and Grizwell Buy, married at St Lukes church, Chelsea, London, in 1682.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de la Bye, which was dated 1243, the Assize Court registers of the county of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry III, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272.
A Waddelow Connection:
Walter Bye, (b 1871) married Albina Barrett, (b 1870), daughter of William Barrett & Mary Waddelow, (b 1834) of Little Downham
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The Waddelow Society is a non profit Family History Group, established in 1988, interested in reasearching the Waddelow/Wadlow name.
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