Barnes is an English surname and rare given name. At the time of the British Census of 1881, the relative frequency of the surname Barnes was highest in Dorset (2.9 times the British average), followed by Wiltshire, Cumberland, Hampshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Huntingdonshire, Lancashire and Sussex.
There are multiple theories of the origin of the surname; it is variously suggested to be of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, or Irish provenance. According to one etymology, the name is derived from Old English beorn (warrior), which is in turn of Old Norse origin. In another account, it was simply an occupational name for a person who works in a barn, or a topographic name for a person who lives near a barn.
People with the surname
- Annie Maria Barnes (1857–?; pen name, "Cousin Annie"), American journalist, or, author
- Barnabe Barnes (c. 1569–1609), English poet
- Carol Barnes (1944–2008), British newsreader
- Catharine Weed Barnes (1851–1913), American photographer
- Clive Barnes (1927–2008), theater and dance critic
- Djuna Barnes (1892–1982), American author
- Ernie Barnes (1938–2009), American painter
- F. C. Barnes (aka Fair Cloth Barnes, 1929–2011), American pastor and gospel musician
- Gustave Barnes (1877–1921) South Australian artist, musician and gallery curator
- Hazel Barnes (1915–2008), American philosopher, author, and translator
- Helen Barnes (1895–1925), American musical comedy actress
- Jason Barnes (drummer), American drummer with a robotic arm
- Jennifer Lynn Barnes, American author
- Jhane Barnes, American fashion designer
- Jimmy Barnes (born 1956), Scottish-Australian rock musician
- Julian Barnes (born 1946), British author
- Kevin Barnes (born 1974), Sunlandic musician
- Lucy Barnes (writer) (1780–1809), American writer
- Mae Barnes (1907–1996), American singer and entertainer
- Mahalia Barnes (born 1982) Australian singer-songwriter
- Nate Barnes, American singer
- Peter Barnes (playwright) (1931-2004), British playwright
- Priscilla Barnes (born 1955), American actress
- Ronald Barnes (carillonist) (1927–1997), American carillonist
- Rory Barnes (born 1946), British–born Australian author
- Steven Barnes (born 1952), American author
- Will Barnes, musician, known professionally as Will Toledo
- Clark Barnes (born 1950), West Virginia politician
- J. Franklin Barnes (1852–1914), New York politician
- J. Mahlon Barnes (1866–1934), American Socialist political functionary
- Jane M. Barnes (1926–2000), Illinois politician
- Lyman Barnes (1855–1904), Wisconsin politician
- Mandela Barnes (born 1986), Wisconsin politician
- Orlando M. Barnes (1824–1899), Michigan politician
- Orsamus S. Barnes (1830–1916), Michigan politician
- Ramona Barnes (1938–2003), Alaska politician
- Samuel H. Barnes (1808–1860), New York politician
- Tim Barnes (politician) (born 1958), Tennessee politician
- Tina Rose Muna Barnes (born 1962), Guamanian politician
- Wallace Barnes (1926–2020), Connecticut politician
- Alexander Barnes, American chemist
- Chester Barnes (born 1947), English table tennis player
- Elisabet Barnes (born 1977), Swedish long-distance runner living in the U.K.
- Emre Zafer Barnes (born 1988), Jamaican-Turkish sprinter
- Lacy Barnes-Mileham (born 1964), American discus thrower
- Paddy Barnes, Irish boxer
- Pinkie Barnes (1915–2012), English table tennis player
- Sid Barnes (1916–1973), Australian cricketer
- Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer of The Times
- Stu Barnes (born 1970), Canadian hockey player
- Sydney Barnes (1873–1967), English cricketer
- Deion Barnes (born 1993), American football player
- Nathanael C. Barnes (born December 30, 2005), American football player
- Derrick Barnes (American football) (born 1999), American football player
- Emery Barnes (1929–1998), American football player
- Joe Barnes (born 1951), American football player
- Johnnie Barnes (born 1968), American football player
- Kalon Barnes (born 1998), American football player
- Krys Barnes (born 1998), American football player
- Reggie Barnes (running back) (born 1967), American football running back in the Canadian Football League
- Reggie Barnes (linebacker) (born 1969), American football linebacker in the National Football League
- T. J. Barnes (born 1990), American football player
- Tavaris Barnes (born 1991), American football player
- Carnella Barnes (1911–1997), African-American minister in the Disciples of Christ church
- Edwin Barnes (1935–2019), British Roman Catholic priest
- Ernest Barnes (1874–1953), English mathematician, scientist, theologian and churchman
- Estela Barnes de Carlotto, Argentine human rights activist
- Hiram Barnes (1832–1917), Australian stagecoach pioneer
- Johnny Barnes (1924–2016), Bermudian eccentric
- Joshua Barnes (1654–1712), English scholar
- Pancho Barnes (1901–1975), American female aviator
- Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes, portrayed by Tom Berenger in the 1986 film Platoon, as the platoon sergeant of the fictional 25th Infantry Division platoon depicted in the film.
- Leslie Barnes, portrayed by Art Evans in the 1990 film Die Hard 2, as the fictional Chief Engineer of a Washington, D.C. airport.
- Norville Barnes, portrayed by Tim Robbins in the 1994 film The Hudsucker Proxy, as the fictional inventor of the hula hoop.
- Barnes, portrayed by rapper Common in the [2009 film Terminator Salvation, as John Connor's right-hand man.
- Spencer Barnes played by Charles Grodin and impersonated by Jim Belushi in the film Taking Care of Business.
- The Barnes family from The Five Year Engagement including Suzie, Violet, Sylvia and George.
- Amy Barnes, portrayed by Anne Heche in the film Volcano (1997 film), as a geologist and seismologist.
- Bucky Barnes, portrayed by Sebastian Stan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- The Barnes family is notable as the archrivals of the Ewings in the 1978–1991 soap opera Dallas as well as the 2012 revival series of the same name. Notable members include Cliff, Pamela, Digger and Rebecca.
- The Barnes family of the British soap opera Hollyoaks, most notably including Amy, Kathy, Leah, Mike, and Sara.
- Binky Barnes, a character on the animated television series Arthur.
- C. J. Barnes, a character on the situation comedy 8 Simple Rules, portrayed by David Spade.
- Troy Barnes, a character on the situation comedy Community, portrayed by Donald Glover.
- Zoe Barnes, a character on the Netflix political drama House of Cards, portrayed by Kate Mara.
- Bucky Barnes, portrayed by Sebastian Stan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.