Barnes is an English surname and rare given name. At the time of the British Census of 1881, the relative frequency of the surname Barnes was highest in Dorset (2.9 times the British average), followed by Wiltshire, Cumberland, Hampshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Huntingdonshire, Lancashire and Sussex.
There are multiple theories of the origin of the surname; it is variously suggested to be of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, or Irish provenance. According to one etymology, the name is derived from Old English (warrior), which is in turn of Old Norse origin. In another account, it was simply an occupational name for a person who works in a barn, or a topographic name for a person who lives near a barn.
Barnes family tree and history-related websites