The name is English, coming from the Middle England era. Taken originally as a nickname for someone who was a quarrelsome or deceitful person. The Middle English term; 'barat' can also mean a market trader.
Most people with the name Barrett in 1880s were farmers.
In United States most live in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
In England, most with this surname are in the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire and the London area.
Famous: Syd Barrett (English singer, songwriter, guitarist and artist of the late 20th century), Elizabeth Barrett (married name Browning; an English port of the 19th century), Roma Barrett (American gossip columnist and businesswoman), Ray Barrett (Australian and British actor), Ryan Barrett (British featherweight boxing champion), Nancy Barrett (actress), Tom Barrett (American politician, elected in 2004 Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Mario Barrett (pop singer) and Ronnie Barrett (founder of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Co.)