This French surname of BARIL was derived from the Old French word 'baril' an occupational name 'a maker of casks and barrels' a cooper. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name has many variant spellings which include Baria, Barral, Barrau, Barraud, Barrault, Barraux and Barralier. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. The name was brought into England at an early date and has been Anglicized to Barrell. Early records of the name mention Turston Baril who was recorded in the year 1166 in County Norfolk and William Baril appears in 1185 County Worcestershire.A later instance includes Robert Barrell of County Somerset, who registered at Oxford University in 1600. The associated arms are recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in France. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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