The surname of BARNABY was a locational name 'of Barnby' a spot near Doncaster. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village where he held his land: this name identified his whole family and followed him wherever he moved. It could have been his place of birth, or the name of his land-holding. Early records of the name mention BERNODEBI (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name was documented as BERNALDEBY (without surname) in 1231. Richard de Barneby, 1273, County Yorkshire. Thomas de Barby of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Barnaby and Margaret Wallop, who were married in London in the year 1524. Eustance Barnaby registered at Oxford University in the year 1621. John Barnaby married Elizabeth Tree at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1756. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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