Explore the Family Name Barnes

The meaning of Barnes

1. English: habitational name from Barnes (on the Surrey bank of the Thames in London), named with Old English bere-ærn ‘barn, a storehouse for barley and other grain’, or a topographic name or metonymic occupational name for someone who lived by or worked at a barn or barns, from Middle English barn ‘barn, granary’. 2. English: variant of Barne, with excrescent -s, derived from either the Middle English personal name Bern, Barn (based on the Scandinavian personal name Biǫrn or Old English Beorn, both from a word meaning ‘warrior’), or from Middle English barn (Old Norse barn) ‘child’. The latter term is found as a byname for men of the upper classes; it might also have had the meaning ‘young man of a prominent family’, like Middle English child (see Child). 3. Irish: in Ireland in many cases this is no doubt the English name, but in others it is possibly an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Bearáin ‘descendant of Bearán’, a byname meaning ‘spear’. 4. French: variant of Bernes, a derivative of a short form of an ancient Germanic personal name formed with ber(n) ‘bear’, e.g. Bernhard. 5. Jewish: variant of Parnes.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Barnes in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname "Barnes" has seen a slight shift in its popularity over the years. In the year 2000, it was ranked as the 99th most common surname, whereas in 2010, it dropped down to the 110th position, representing a decrease of 11.11%. However, despite this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals with the Barnes surname increased from 210,426 in 2000 to 218,241 in 2010, marking a growth of 3.71%. The proportion per 100,000 people also saw a minor decline from 78.0 to 73.99 during the same period.

Proportion per 100k7873.99-5.14%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Barnes

When speaking about the ethnicity associated with the surname "Barnes", again based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, there have been some noticeable changes between 2000 and 2010. The majority of individuals identify as White, but this percentage decreased slightly from 67.45% to 64.81%. Meanwhile, the percentage of those identifying as Black increased marginally from 28.23% to 29.28%. Interestingly, there were significant increases in the percentages of people identifying as Hispanic (from 1.49% to 2.33%) and those reporting two or more races (from 1.71% to 2.35%). The proportions of Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian and Alaskan Native remained relatively stable, with only minor increases.

Two or More Races1.71%2.35%37.43%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.72%0.75%4.17%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.4%0.48%20%

Barnes ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Barnes is British & Irish, which comprises 53.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (22.1%) and Nigerian (3.9%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean, Spanish & Portuguese, and Italian.

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British & Irish53.0%
French & German22.1%

Possible origins of the surname Barnes

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Barnes have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom83.20%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom83.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom82.90%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.90%
Merseyside, United Kingdom82.80%

What Barnes haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Barnes is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and R-M405, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Davis, Williams, Thomas, Jones, Lewis, Morris, Richards, James, Brown, Walker.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Barnes surname are: H1, T2b, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

barnesPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Barnes have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Barnes" Surname 41.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Barnes" Surname 28.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Barnes" Surname 23.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Barnes" Surname 18.1%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Barnes?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Barnes are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%