Welcome to the Barclay Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Barclay surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Barclay ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Barclay Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Barclay family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Barclay ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Barclay Ancestors
Keep an open mind when searching through Barclay records. Years ago many people were unable to read and write, thus a given ancestor's name could be spelled in a variety of ways depending on who recorded it. If you want to know How can city directories be used to help my Barclay research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Barclay
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Barclay records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Barclay family history resource today.
Origins of the Barclay Surname
While some countries have limited historical records for last name assignments, you are most likely to only find general guidance on the origin and meaning of the Barclay surname. Were you aware that Barclay is a common French surname? The article "Finding French - cherchez la famille" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 63], the surname BARCLAY is defined as Local. A corruption of Berkeley, a town in Gloucestershire, England, derived from the Saxon beorce, a beech-tree, and leagh or ley, a field, and so called because of the plenty of beech-trees growing there.
Barclay DNA Projects
Don't believe the hype! When DNA testing was first made available for genealogical purposes, some companies boasted how it could solve all your Barclay family tree mysteries. DNA testing can be a useful tool, when applied properly to a given research issue. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Barclay research, read "DNA Research and Your Family's History".
Barclay Family History
For most people, just about every aspect of their life has been influenced in some way by their ancestors. Look beyond the names and dates to understand how and why your Barclay ancestors lived and strived to make a better life for their descendants. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Looking at Our Ancestors" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Barclay family history.
Networking with Barclay Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "Are Your Queries Getting Results?" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Barclay queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Barclay ancestors.
Barclay Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Barclay was the 2705th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Barclay Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Barclay, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming Barclay Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Barclay booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "Reunions: Beyond Aunt Pat's Rhubarb Pie and Aunt Edna's Wet Kisses" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Barclay reunion.