The surname Barker is of English origin. It was an occupational name for a tanner of leather, derived from the Middle English ‘bark(en)’, to tan ( from the bark of a tree which was used in the process; the word is of Scandinavian origin, and is probably a cognate with Old English ‘be(o)rc’, a byform of ‘bi(e)rce’, Birch ). In the conversation between Edward IV and the tanner of Tamworth it is said; “Cowe-hides! Cowe-hides! What things are those? I marvell what they bee. What, art thou a foole? the tanner reply’d, I carry one under mee. What craftsman art thou, said the king; I praye thee tell me trowe. I am a ‘barker’, sir, by my trade; Nowe tell me, what art thou?” The surname may also be an occupational name for a sheperd, from the Anglo-Norman-French ‘bercher’. Later, when Middle English ‘-er’ had become ‘-ar’, barker ‘sheperd’ became indistinguishable in form from barker ‘tanner’. The name dates back to the twelfth century were a Ralph Barker is recorded in historical archives. The name was brought to America predominately by English immigrants. One of the first fore fathers to bring this name to America is that of a… Coat of arms: Azure, a fesse or, be…
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