Origin, Meaning, & Etymology
Barlow is a habitational name denoting a person who came from any of several places called Barlow, including locations in West Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Derbshire from the Old English word bere, meaning “barley”, and hlaw, meaning “hill”, or from the compound bere-ærn, meaning “barn”, or from the Old English word bar, meaning “boar” or bere, meaning “barley”, and leah, meaning “woodland clearing”. The name generally translates as “clearing where barley grows”. Others translate the name as “the bare hill”. In Derbyshire, the name is recorded as Barleie in the Domesday Book. In Lanacashire, the name was spelled Berlawe.
Early Bearers & Early Family History
Some of the earliest bearers of this surname include Thomas de Barlowe (Lancashire 1260 AD) and Johannes de Berlowe (Yorkshire 1379 AD). The surname was found in Barlow, Manchester, England in early centuries.
Roger Barlow (1461-1525), son of Alexander, and grandson of Nicholas, married Cathertine Prestwick and had issue with her named Elizabeth and Ellis. Ellis Barlow, Esq. had a son named Alexander. This Alexander Barlow Esq. (d. 1584) had three issue: Elizabeth, Alexander III, and Edward.
Ambrose Edward Barlow (1585-1641), son of Sir Alexander Barlow III (1557-1620), and Mary, daughter of Sir Urian Brereton, was born at Barlow Hall, Manchester. He was arrested four times during his mission work, where he offered mass to Catholics. He was drawn, hanged, dismembered, quartered, and boiled in oil. His head was put on a pike, and his skull was later rescued by his cousin, Francis Downes, Lord Wardley. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
Thomas Barlow (1608-1691) was an academic and cleric who came Provost of The Queen’s College, Oxford, and Bishop of Lincoln. He was the son of Richard Barlow of Long-fill, Orton, Eden, Westmorland (now Cumbria).
Barlow of Slebetch
Sir John Barlow, 1st Baronet of Slebetch (c. 1652-1695), was the High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire. He was the son of George Barlow (c. 1587-1647) and Joan Lloyd. He was the grandson of Captain John Barlow. He married Katherine Middleton. He was succeeded by his son Sir George Barlow, 2nd Baronet.
Slebech Hall was sold to Roger Barlow (c. 1485-1553). It was inherited by his descendants: his son John (1532-1510), then to George (c. 1560-1630), and to Colonel John Barlow (c. 1588-1671). Colonel John’s grandson was Sir George Barlow, 1st Baronet (c. 1652-1695).
Barlow of Fort William
Admiral Sir Robert Barlow (1757-1843) was an officer of the British Royal Navy who fought in the American Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. He was the son of William Barlow (c. 1730-1798), a wealthy mercer, and Hilaire Butcher.
Sir George Hilaro Barlow, 1st Baronet of Fort William (1763-1846), brother of Admiral Sir Robert, served as Acting Governor-General of India. He was created a baronet in 1803.He married Elizabeth, daughter of Burton Smith, and had fifteen children. However, he discovered that one had been fathered by a relative of his, George Pratt Barlow, and his marriage was dissolved by act of parliament in 1816.
Barlows in America
The earliest settlers in America bearing this surname include Henry Barlow (Virginia 1623), George Barlow (Massachusetts 1637), Audrey Barlow (Massachusetts 1634), William Barloe (Virginia 1635), Tymothy Barloe (Virginia 1635), Jon Barlow (Virginia 1642), Stafford Barlow (Virginia 1642), John Barlow (Connecticut 1650), Bartholomew Barlow (Massachusetts 1645), and Henry Barlow (Maryland 1657).
Several members of this family fought in the American Revolution, including Corporal Daniel Barlow (Connecticut), Private Lewis Barlow (Virginia), Private Abner Barlow (New Hampshire), Private Nathan Barlow (New Hampshire), Private Richard Barlow (Virginia), Private Jona Barlow (New York), and Samuel Barlow (Vermont).
Several veterans of the war received land grants from the government in return to their service: Private Christopher Barlow of North Carolina (640 acres), Private George Barlow of North Carolina (640 acres to his heirs), Private Robert Barlow of North Carolina (640 acres to his heir), Private Thomas Barlow of Pennsylvania (200 acres to his assignee), and Private Thomas Barlow of Virginia (100 acres).
Joel Barlow (1754-1812) was an American poet, diplomat, and French politician. He was the son of Samuel Barlow (1709-1773) and Esther Hall. He was the grandson of Samuel Barlow (1682-1745). He was born in Connecticut and graduated from Yale. He published an anti-slavery poem entitled “The Prospect of Peace”. He was an argent supporter of the American Revolution.
Stephen Barlow (1779-1845) was a member of the US House of Representatives for Pennsylvania from 1827-1929. He was born in Redding, CT, the son of Aaron Barlow (1750) and grandson of Samuel Barlow (1709-1773).