"The name Barker, though not a very common one, made its appearance during the thirteenth century in parts of the country widely distant from each other, and it is not to be supposed that all those who bore it were in any way related to each other. It was probably derived from the office, or rather appointment, of Bercar, a sort of Inspector or Chief Shepherd, whose duty it was to superintend the stint of sheep on the common lands of the manor, especially on Manors of the Royal Demesne. One of the copyholders seems to have been chosen by the rest to act in this capacity; in 7 Edw. II (1313), for instance, in the Manor of Pattingham, adjacent to Worfield, John de Herdwyke was elected Bercar by the villagers in place of John Lovekyn. B.M. Add. Ms. 29.245,fol. 13a. In days when surnames were only gradually becoming hereditary the fact of a man holding this office for several years would be enough to establish it as his name. The only variant spellings which are met with, "Barcar" and "Berker," in early Claverley documents, both go to confirm this derivation. The first recorded occurrence of the name in Shropshire is in 1292, when one William Barker was an under tenant at Stanton Lacy, but the only Barker families of any standing in the county in later years believed, as will be seen, that the name was not their original one, but had been adopted in place of another by one of their ancestors."
"Note. The word Bercar or Barcar as used in the twelfth and following century was an Anglicised form of the Norman-French word Bercher, a shepherd, and the term Barkary for a sheepfold lingered till Elizabethan times. From about the fourteen century onward the word Barker was applied to a tanner, and at a still later date it came to mean a barker of trees, but these were comparatively modern uses of the word and only originated after family names had become established."
The Barkers of Shropshire
"The standard authority for the history of Shropshire families is the collection of manuscript pedigrees based on the Heralds' Visitations of 1584 and 1623, when representatives of such families as claimed the right to bear arms were summoned to appear before a Herald and give account of their ancestry. These pedigrees show five branches of the family of Barker to have been then settled in the county; at Colchurst, Haghmond, Wolverton, Hopton Castle, and Aston respectively; but the Barkers of Aston cannot have appeared in person, for their genealogy, though begun, is not brought up to date like those of the other branches. The Visitations trace all these five families to a common ancestor, "William Barker alias Coverall," who married "Margaret daughter and heire to Goulston of Goulston" and one of his sons is shown as the first Barker of Aston. The pedigrees are almost without dates, but as this William Barker alias Coverall was about five generations back from those living at the time of the Visitations he must be placed fairly early in the fifteenth century, and all the MSS. Concur in stating that he was descended from one Ralph or Randulph de Coverall, for whom a date is given, 12 Edw. II (1319)."
Barker Families of America
(from http://books.google.com/books?id=k7UNAQAAMAAJ&dq=John%20Barker%20alia%20Coverall&pg=PA165#v=onepage&q&f=false Google eBooks, not in copyright)
This is an old English family. Those of its members in the United States who are of colonial ancestry may trace their lineage from four ancestors, all of whom left their English homes in the seventeenth century to try their fortunes in the splendid heritage then opening to the English race. They were: Samuel Barker, born in 1648, settled in New Castle county, Del., in 1685; Robert Barker and his brother, John Barker (the latter sometimes erroneously called Francis), settled in Plymouth, Mass., in 1626, having doubtless came over with the Pilgrims in 1620; and James Barker, of Shropshire, England, born in 1617, -settled in Rhode Island in or about 1634, having come over on the ship Mary and John. Samuel Barker was a lineal descendant of John Barker, of Shropshire, England, who married, in 1549, Elizabeth Hill, a sister of Sir Rowland Hill, the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London. The two Massachusetts Barkers, Robert and John, were doubtless descendants of the same ancient and honorable Barker family of Shropshire, from which it has been found that Samuel Barker, of Delaware, and James Barker, of Rhode Island, are descended. The Barkers were for many centuries almost exclusively connected with Shropshire, a county equalled by few others in England as to the number of its old historic families.
The Herald's Visitations of Salap commence the.pedigree of this family, whose name appears to have been originally Coverall or Calverhall, with Richard de Coverall, who married Margaret Pigot, and then pass over the intermediate generations to William Barker, also called Coverall, who married the heiress of the Goulstons of Goulston. The connecting links have been supplied from the Court Rolls of the Manors of Warfield and Claverley, and after about 1560 one begins to find parish church registers. In Domesday Book, Nigellus, a clerk, was lord of the manor of Calverhall or Coverhall, after which it passed into the king's hands, and he gave it to William de Dunstanville, who sublet it under the feudal system to these de Calverhalls.
In the reign of Edward II, the overlord of the manor was Bartholomew de Bcdlcsmere. In the civil wars then continually waged, he was attainted and hanged. The undertenants of his manor probably shared in his disgrace and fall, and two of them appear to have fled southward, for in 1327 two men calling themselves le Bercer and le Smythe are found at Hallon and Hilton in the parish of AYarfield, where they probably followed the callings of shepherd and armorer respectively, and founded the two Warfield families of Barker and Smythe. Tradition averred that this Bercer was William de Calverhall; and his descendants, when after two hundred years they settled again the northern part of the county, at Claverley, Wolvcrton and Coleslrarst, seem to have reassumed the name of Covevf ll as an alias, so that they were known by both names. The name Barker is derived from the old Norman "bercer," which signified the elected herdsman of the village or manor.
This doesn't belong in Surnames, but it's not mine so I'm leaving it [Hatte Blejer 10/19/2011]
Roger and Alva Barker were my grandparents, my parents were Joseph O'dell Barker and Edna Blackburn Barker. Joseph Passed away in 1980. Edna is still living and is remarried to Clayton Clark. Roger and Alva have been deceased for many years. Roger and Alva had Joseph Barker, Cecil Barker, Larry Barker, Wayne Barker, Delma Barker, Marion Barker, Versie Barker, Dalton Barker. Joseph and Edna Barker had children named Robert Barker, Jerry Barker, Joseph Barker Jr. (hosea) Charles Barker, Harley Barker, Martha Barker, Joann Barker, Clariss Barker, Audrey Barker. Also a set of twins that passed away at birth Donny Ray and Donna Kay Barker. Wayne Barker and his wife Carolyn are both deceased. Cecil Barker is deaceased. Delma Barker, Marion Barker, Versie Barker are all deaceased.