Clan Barrett

My mother was born in Lisburn, Co. Down,  and was the granddaughter of a Barrett. They were a Norman clan who came to Ireland with Strong Bow and whose ancestry can be traced back to 1066 in England, and, according to some research, back through France to medieval Italy, where they were known as Barretti in the northern city of Alessandria and were makers of felt hats (other authorities refute this claim, though). There are two Barrett Castles in Ireland. 
     My branch of the family fought at the Battle of the Boyne for William of Orange, but don't see red if you're wearin' the green-I'm for peace and unity in Ireland.   

When I was a kid, we'd go to my grandfather's house where on the wall. I would see a large watercolor copy of the original Barrett coat of arms, which had belonged to a close relative of his. At that age, I figured these things must be pretty common, but only once since then-in Ireland-have I  seen a coat of arms displayed in anyone's home.
     Now that we have the Web, I can hang one here in my cyber-parlor and pass on something about my forbearers.
                                                                           -Glenn Barrett Weiser
Our History

Barrett is a well known Irish clan which includes various septs including MacPadine, MacWattin, MacEvilly (Mac an Mhileadha), and MacAndrew. There are two Barrett clans in Ireland which were believed to be unrelated before recent research proved otherwise. They are Norman in origin, and trace their ancestry to a John Baret who came over from France with William the Conquerer in 1066. The name Baret can be found in the Roll of Battle Abbey, the monument William erected to honor those who fought with him at Hastings.  They are later mentioned under the name of Baret in the Domesday book of 1086. The Barretts then came to Ireland with the Norman warlord Strongbow (Richard Le Clare, the Duke of Pembroke) at the end of the twelfth century. 
     The first branch of the clan are the Munster Barretts of Co. Cork, and the other is the Barrett clan of Connacht, most numerous in the Mayo-Galway mountain region. This clan was thought to be Gaelic in origin, although it known that they came to Ireland with the Norman invasion. They were hired mercenaries from Wales. To this day, the Barretts and the Barrys of Connacht are known as "the Welshmen of Tirawley". 
     The similarity of the names of the two Barrett clans was thought purely coincidental. The view prevailed that the Barretts of Cork derived their name from the Norman-French "Barratt," while the Barretts of Connacht derived their name from the gaelic name "Bairéad" which means quarrelsome or warlike . In fact, many daughters and sons of the clan, living in Connacht, are still called Bairéad (or mac Bairéad, as the case may be). But the English pipe rolls of the 13th century clearly indicate that the overlords of both the Cork and the Mayo Barretts were exactly the same people, and the records further indicate that both families came from Pendyne in Wales.
     Both branches of the Barrett clans were fully assimilated into Irish culture and married into many old Irish families, they are said to have become "more Irish than the Irish themselves". 
You will find many Barretts/Bairéads in Irish history serving the Irish nation such as Col. John Barrett who raised a regiment of infantry for King James' army in Ireland, afterwards he and his clan suffered a wrath of genocide and land confiscations dealt by the Williamite armies in 1691. There was Ríocard Bairéad "The poet of Erris", a prominent United Irishman; to name a few.

Our Coat of Arms-Have Sword, Will Travel-
August 22, 1485 on the battlefield of Bosworth in Wales, Henry Tudor became the King of England. King Henry VII began one of the most celebrated dynasties in English history, where his son, Henry VII and his granddaughter, Elizabeth I, attempted to rebuild England, Ireland and Wales.  Historical sources regarding the actual battle at Bosworth were practically non-existent.  Medieval battles were confusing to describe and observers were not standing there taking notes.
     Another interesting fact about the Battle of Bosworth, was that Welsh and Irish mercenaries were hired and later knighted by King Henry VII. The Clan Barrett, from County Cork, was one of those clans. As the story goes, these clans rode swift Irish ponies and overtook the heavily armored knights. After the battle was won, the King of England led the  remainder of forces back to Pembroke.

Researching the Clan Barrett further, in 1100 A.D., they migrated to Wales
with Strongbow during the Norman Conquest and settled in a county called
Pendyne. Later, they migrated to Munster Ireland, County Cork, and became
known as the Master Lords of Tirawley.
      Their motto was: “Frangas non Flectes: virtus probitas” meaning  ‘Unbowed, Unbroken, Honor and Courage.’ Their Coat of  Arms Barry consisted of of ten per pale argent and gules counterchanged. The Crest:  A demi-lion rampant sable ducally crowned per pale argent and  gules. This in laymen’s terms was the crowned lion atop a shield striped with red and white.

Another version of the Barrett coat of arms

Barrett Clan Tartan

The Poem - The Barretts, along with the Lynotts, are the subject of the old Irish ballad, 
"The Welshmen of Tirawley  The Barretts, like many Normans back then. were pretty barbaric  They did manage to improve a bit, though.

                                                       -From Internet sources, and added to by me.



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