This page is dedicated to the history of the Barwick family of Norfolk.

The Barwick variant is the commonest of a group of relatively unusual related surnames including Berwick, Barwich and Burwick. It would appear that they had their origins in a variety of related placenames including Barwick (Somerset, Norfolk, Essex, Yorkshire), Berrick (Oxfordshire) and Berwick (Sussex, Shropshire, Essex, Dorset, Northumberland, Wiltshire, Scotland and Wales), derived from the Old English berewic meaning 'barley-farm'. While the Berwick variant had its highest concentrations by 1881 in Fife (Scotland) and Northamptonshire, the group as a whole was spread across the Danelaw, with marked concentrations in North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Norfolk. Early occurrences can be noted in Oxfordshire (de Berewyke, 1278 Rotuli Hundredorum), Yorkshire (Barwyk, 1463, Freemen of the City of York) and Norfolk (Barycke, 1547), and it would appear that each of these areas gave rise to a later concentration of the names.

The presence of the Barwick family in Norfolk is probably linked to the parish of Barwick, 9 miles north-west of Fakenham, and Barwicks were recorded in nearby Fring from at least the end of the 18th century. It would appear that a number of Barwick families spread out from this area, including branches that ended up in south-east Norfolk, Surrey and Canada.

By the early 17th century there was a Barwick family in Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast (recorded in wills, hearth tax returns), and it is possible that this line was antecedent to some of the later lines in the Itteringham and Briston areas, about ten miles to the south. By the 1730's, there were Barwicks in Oulton to the south of Itteringham (discussed by William Vaughan-Lewis on the website), and the Stephen Barwick baptised there (as son of William and Elizabeth Barwick) in 1771 was probably the one who married married Phoebe Brown (a native of Wickmere) on 24th April 1792 at Wickmere, six years after James Barwick (probably his brother or cousin) married Elizabeth Brown there. After their marriages, Stephen and Phoebe moved to Itteringham and had a family there, while James and Elizabeth stayed in Wickmere. The origins of the Oulton line remain opaque, although the first name patterns in the family are similar to those of the Fring family. An outline summary of the top of the tree and the connections of related researchers is attached. It is also worth noting that another contemporary Barwick, Jeremiah, married in nearby Briston in 1790, and it is possible that he was another brother of Stephen and / or James. This line is being researched by Charlotte Edwards. Another Briston line, descended from Edward and Mary Ann Barwick, is being researched by Fay Woods.


Anyone who is able to provide additional material or links relevant to the Barwick family is invited to contact the coordinator for this page Ian Hall.

This page was last updated 21 May 2007