The surname Barret is of English origin. It is derived from the Germanic personal name, Bernard, introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest. The given name is composed of the elements ‘ber’, bear and ‘hard’, brave, hardy, strong. This given name was popular amongst the Normans in the centuries immediately following the Conquest and its popularity was greatly increased by virtue of it having been borne by St.Bernard of Clairvaux ( 1090-1153 ), founder and abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux. Another sanctified bearer of the name was St.Bernard of Menthon ( 923-1008 ), founder of the alpine hospices and patron saint of mountaineers. The surname Barrett may also be derived from a nickname for a quarrelsome or decietful person, from the Middle English ‘baret’, signifieing trouble, strife, deception, cheating ( the Old French ‘barat’, commerce, dealings, a derivative of ‘barater’, to barter, haggle ). The surname may also be a nickname or occupational name from the Old French ‘barette’, cap, bonnet; a mak… Coat of arms: Gules, on a chief indented argent, three esca…
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