The English surname Barlow is an habitational name from any of several places called Barlow, especially those in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. The former is named with Old English bere ‘barley’ + hlaw ‘hill’; the latter probably has as its first element the derived adjective beren or the compound bere-ærn ‘barn’. There is also a place of this name in Derbyshire, named with Old English bar ‘boar’ or bere ‘barley’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’, and one in Shropshire, which is from bere ‘barley’ + leah. The first written reference to the name is in 1260 when Thomas de Barlowe was a witness witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire.
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