The surname of BARRETT was originally a baptismal name 'the son of Berold'. This great surname appears as a personal name in the Domesday Book of 1086 as BARET. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066 and families of this name came to Ireland with the Anglo-Norman invasion. It is said that those who settled in County Cork were originally Barratt, while the Connacht settlers were always Barrett; the name is now usually spelt Barrett everywhere in Ireland. In Cork the family established themselves in what became the Barony of Barretts, whence they spread into Kerry and Limerick. The Connacht Barretts held the territory of Tirawley in north-western Mayo, where, Gaelicized, they formed themselves into a sept with a chief like the indigenous inhabitants. Their descendants still live in County Mayo and County Galway, but are not nearly so numerous as the Munster family. Early records of the name mention Stephanus filius Beroldi, who was recorded during the reign of Henry II ( 1154-1189 ). Agnes Baret was documented in County Cambridge in 1200.
Berard de Wattlesfeld, County Somerset, 1273. Harvey Barrett of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Edward Barret of County Devon, registered at Oxford University in the year 1575.
Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) was the wife of Robert Browning the English poet and author of numerous philosophical and dramatic lyrics and plays.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered in Ireland.
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