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Irish Surname - Barry

Registered as de Bari, Du Barry, Dubarry, De Barry, Barrie and Barry, this surname has three possible origins. One theory is that it could be from the French word "bari", meaning a rampart or castle; secondly it could be of Scottish origins - from the village of Barry in the former county of Angus - meaning the rough, grassy hill. The third theory is that it may be of Welsh-Norman origin, coming from the name of the estate in Glamorgan in South Wales that belonged to Nesta (known as the Helen of Wales) and her husband, Gerald de Barri. Their son, Philip de Barri, came to Ireland with the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1170, and in 1179 he was granted extensive parcels of land in Munster. From then onwards the name Barry has been mainly associated with County Cork. The Barrys originally settled around Buttevant in north Cork, named after the family motto, boutez en avant, meaning strike forward.

The town of Bunclody in Wexford was bought by the Barry-Maxwell family in 1719 and was known as Newtownbarry until 1950, after which the name was changed to Bunclody, which in Irish means the mouth of the River Clody.

Famous People

County Wexford born John Barry (1745 - 1803), is widely credited as ‘The Father of the American Navy’. He was an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He was appointed Captain in the Continental Navy in December 1775 and was the first Captain placed in command of a US warship commissioned for service under the Continental flag. After the war, he became America's first commissioned naval officer, at the rank of Commodore, receiving his commission from President George Washington in 1797.

Peter Barry (born August 1928) is a retired Irish Fine Gael politician and businessman from Cork city. He served as a TD from 1969 to 1997, he was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1982 to 1987 and he served for a short time as Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) in 1987. His father, Anthony Barry, was also a Fine Gael TD and a major shareholder in the family company, Barry's Tea.

Motto

Boutez en avant, meaning strike forward.

Researching Irish Surnames

We have researched many sources for the origins of Irish surnames and extracted a fair representation of the origins of each. As there are many variations we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection.

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