This surname of BABY was applied to an infant or young child at the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 in England. The name is a derivative of the name BARBARA which was a Catalan habitation name from a place in the province of Tarragona, so called from the Latin Barbarianum meaning 'the place of Barbarius'. The name was borne by an enormously popular but almost certainly, non-existent saint, who according to legend was imprisoned in a tower and later put to death by her own father for refusing to recant her Christian beliefs. Occasionally the name was used of a foreigner, in particular for a Moor or one from the Barbary coast, and hence was applied to a man of swarthy appearance. The name has numerous variant spellings which include BARBARA, BARBERY, BARBARIN, BARBAROUX and BARBERAN. Surnames can be divided into four categories; place names, occupation names, nicknames and patronymics. PLACE NAMES are the largest group and covers all those names first applied to people who lived in or nearby to a particular place. For example, Grove, Wood, Field, Meadow, and Street are obvious. Occasionally names were taken from obscure villages or hamlets which no longer exist and this can make research confusing. OCCUPATION NAMES cover nearly all trades which existed in the Middle Ages. These are numerous. It does not necessarily follow that such names as King, Duke, Earl and so on mean your ancestors were of noble blood. It is much more likely that such named people worked for the person referred to. NICKNAMES. This is a smaller group but in many ways more interesting. They usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. For instance the name Black would denote a dark man, Little, someone small (or even somewhat ambiguously) someone tall. PATRONYMICS. This group covers all names which derive immediately from the owner's father. Many christian names which are also surnames have, over the years, lost the possessive form but the origin is still the same. Examples of this could be names such as Peter,Thomas, Henry - all names which became both christian and surnames over the years.
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