A Scottish and English surname, the family name of Barnes refers to a barn or what was called a barley house. A Gaelic term ‘bearn’ also means gap or spear. From the English came the term ‘beorn,’ and from the Old Norse the term ‘barn’ which means young warrior.
The French spelling is similar to Bern.
Three other spellings for Barnes are Parnes, Bernes and Barns.
In England most Barnes families live in Dorset, Wiltshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, Norfolk and Hampshire counties. In Scotland, most with the Barnes surname live in the southern counties, especially in Lanarkshire. The name is popular in Australia and Canada.
Within the United States most of the eastern half of the country has Barnes families. There are high numbers also in Texas and California. Within the southeast, North Carolina and Georgia have a higher percentage of Barnes families.
Famous: Bill Barnes (19th century baseball player), Harry Elmer Barnes (historian), James Barnes (Civil War Union general), Florence Pancho Barnes (pioneer female aviator), Thomas Wilson Barnes (19th century champion chess player), Walt Barnes (professional football player), Priscilla Barnes (actress) and Jim Barnes (professional golfer).