The English surname Barker is of two distinct origins. It may be of occupational origin as the name for a tanner of leather, from the Middle English term bark(en) meaning “to tan”, the bark of a tree having been used as the tanning agent. The name may also be an occupational name for a shepherd, from the Anglo-Norman French term bercher (Late Latin berbicarius, from berbex ‘meaning a ram’, genitive berbicis).The first recorded reference to the name is One Hordan le Barkere, appears as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Essex (1255). Today there are almost 86,000 people with the surname Barker resident in The United States.
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