The name O'BERRY is numerous in Ireland, where it was taken by settlers in the 17th century, and is now fairly scattered. It is used as a synonym of Beary in County Offaly. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. The name was a locational name 'the dweller at the bury' the brow of the hill. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Gilbert de la Beru, 1202 County Cornwall. Hubert Bery, was documented in the year 1268, in the County of Suffolk. Edward Berrye of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Bery of County Oxford, registered at Oxford University in the year 1513. James Berrie of the Hey, parish of Wigan, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1609. They were the name of an old landed family 'of Tayfield' in Fife, and in Aberdeen the name is said to be a variant of Barrie. George Berrie (brewster) was recorded in Inverness in 1613. Andrew Berries was documented as being a shipbuilder in Dundee in the year 1756. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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