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The Barry Project, in collaboration with University College Dublin, is pleased to announce the Earls of Barrymore DNA Project.  This is the first effort to do DNA testing on the remains of a member of the Irish nobility. For further information go to the project website here.

The Irish Barry surname is most commonly considered to be of Anglo-Norman origin.  Among the Norman invaders who accompanied William the Conqueror was a nobleman who was granted estates in Wales for his service. These included Barri Island in Glamorgan. According to English-language sources, Barri Island, was named after the 6thcentury Welsh saint, Baruc and the Barry surname is derived from this location. But more recent, Continental European, sources indicate that the family name originated from the village of Barri, near Tournai in Flanders, the ancestral home of the Barrys who later came to England, Wales and Ireland. In the 12thcentury, descendants of this man, who were by then known by the surname deBarri, participated in the Norman-Welsh invasion of Ireland. The family name was Anglicized to Barry and initially was associated primarily with County Cork where several branches developed.  The best known of these were the Barry Mor (Great or Elder Barry)and Barry Roe (Red Barry), which were closely interrelated, and the Barry Og (Younger Barry).  In later centuries this Barry family dispersed throughout Ireland and its members can be found today in every county, as well as in North America, England, Australia, New Zealand and in every location of the Irish Diaspora.

Other members of the Anglo-Norman family had variations on their names such as Barry Bhán/Barrivane (White Barry) and Barry Laidir (Strong Barry).  There were also compound names including the MacRobinson/MacRobston Barrys, the Mac James (FitzJames Barrys), the MacAdam Barrys and the Smith Barrys.

Some descendants of the Anglo-Norman Barrys fled to France in the 15th century, adopting the surname DuBarry.   There are also men who trace their origins directly to the family's putative place of origin in Flanders.  Some of these men use the surname deBary or its variants. That name is found in many places in Northern Europe as well as in America. Other Barrys are native Irish, rather than Anglo-Norman in origin, having descended from O’Beara or O’Bearagh families.  In addition, some Barry families changed their name to Berry for various reasons.  If this was the case in your family, please consider joining both this project and the Berry surname project at

One of the major goals of this project is to sort out the various branches of the Barry family and confirm or refine the information on these diverse groups and their origins.


The following surnames are covered in this project: Barry, Barre, Barree, Barrie, Barrey, Barrivane, Barrymore, deBarra, deBarre, deBarri, deBary, DuBarry, O’Barry, O’Beara, O’Bearagh, O’Beare and other regional variations.  Men with the surname Berry or its variants may also have Barry ancestors. Please contact the administrator if you are unsure whether your surname is appropriate to this project.


The Barry project is open to all women and men who have direct Barry ancestors on any line of descent.  Men who are, or suspect they may be, direct paternal Barry descendants should begin with YDNA testing, as described below. Women, and men whose Barry ancestors are on other than paternal lines, should begin with an autosomal DNA test, which evaluates all direct ancestral branches.

YDNA Testing Recommendations

There is no minimum testing requirement, but we recommend a YDNA test of at least 37 markers, and preferably more.  There is a discount for testing through Family Tree DNAfor project members. If you have tested with another company, you may be able to transfer and supplement your results at a low cost.  For more information, visit Family Tree DNA’s product listing at

We also suggest that you do additional YDNA testing to determine your haplogroup, or paternal ancestral group.  You can do this in two ways, by joining the National GeographicGeno 2.0 project at or by ordering tests of individual haplogroup markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms—SNPs) through Family Tree DNA.  Some Barry men have tested positive for the Z49 and L21 SNPs.

We recommend that men who take the YDNA test supplement it with an autosomal DNA test such as FamilyTree DNA’s Family Finder.  Autosomal testing covers all branches of your family tree and can help you to focus your search for your Barry ancestors in locations where you have other relatives.

Autosomal Testing Recommendations

Autosomal testing is available through Family Tree DNA's Family Finder test.  Individuals who tested with or with 23 and Me can transfer their results to Family Finder for a fee.  Lists of all autosomal matches and other information will be available through your Family Tree DNA Home Page. There is also a special web site, open only to Barry Project participants, that provides further analysis of autosomal test results.


The following is a list of books that contain specific information on the Barry family. Many are available online by searching for the title or on microfilm from Family History Centers (search the catalog at ; others may be available through interlibrary loan:

Barrymore: records of the Barrys of County Cork from the earliest to the present time, with pedigrees.By Rev. E. Barry (Cork, Ireland, Guy & co., 1902). Available online.

The English conquest of Ireland, A.D. 1166-1185.  Based on the work of Geraldis Cambrensis (deBarri) (London, Early English Text Society, 1896).Available online.

The Barry family.By Arthur Collins; reprinted from The Peerage of Ireland (Frankford, PA, Martin& Allardyce, 1911). Available online.

Study of the History of the Family Bary-Barry. By André de Bary (Manuscript tr. by Edward O. de Bary, Sewanee,Tennessee, 1995). Available to project members online here:

A study on the history of the family Bary-Barry. By Charles de Bary, (Manuscript tr. by Edward Bary, Sewanee, TN 1927} parts i-ii. Available to project membersonline here:  

History and description of Santry and Cloghran parishes, county Dublin.  By Benjamin William Adams (London,Mitchell and Hughes, 1883). Available online.

The last earls of Barrymore, 1769-1824.  By JohnRobert Robinson (London, S. Low, Marston & co., 1894). Available online.

Notes on Barry genealogy in England and Wales. By Sir John Wolfe Barry (London, Waterlow & sons, limited, 1906).Available online

The Barry family records. By Laurence H. Parker (Boston, 1951).  Available online through subscription to and on microfilm from Family History Centers.

Barry Lore. By Sloan F. and Mary Lou Million. (Privately Printed, Colorado Springs, CO.) Available online and on microfilm through Family History Centers

Samuel Barry, born in Boston, 1761, and his descendants. By Herbert Barry (1941). Available through interlibrary loan.

William and Esther Barry and their descendants. By Esther Stetson Barry (Boston, T. R. Marvin & son, 1909). Available online

Buck Barry, Texas Ranger and frontiersman. By James Buckner Barry  (Waco, TX, Friends of the Moody Texas Ranger Library, 1978). Available online

Descendants of Thomas Barry and Mary Nagel Barry in America. By Mary Frances Dwyer (Evanston, IL,1953). Available through interlibrary loan.

The Pipe Roll of Cloyne, Eds. Paul MacCottr and Kenneth Nichols. (Middleton, Cork, Cloyne Literary and Historical Society, 1996). Available through interlibrary loan.

"Lordship in County Cork" by Kenneth Nichols in Cork: History and Society, Eds. P. O'Flanagan and C. G. Buttimer. (Dublin, Geography Publications, 1993). Available for purchase and from some Irish libraries.

Family Names of County Cork by D. O'Murchada. (Cork, Collins Press, 1996). Available through interlibrary loan.

Online Resources

There are a number of excellent online sources for researching your Barry family. They include:

National Archives of Ireland:

General Records Office Ireland:   

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland:

Irish Genealogy:

Irish Family History Foundation: 

Ask About Ireland:

There are also professional genealogists who specialize in Irish families, as well as experienced amateurs who are willing to help.  Contact the administrator for suggestions.


For questions or assistance with any aspect of this project, please contact the administrator at