This site is the site of the Barwise Rootsweb mailing list, which currently has 40 members interested in the genealogy of the Barwise family.
The earliest mention of the family to appear in records is Alan de Berewyse, who was apparently settled by the 13th century at what is still called Barwise Hall, near Appleby in Westmorland. From the 15th century onwards the name had disappeared from Westmorland, but was scattered around various parts of Cumberland. Here the large majority of the family remained until the 19th century, when family groups were found in Liverpool, the US, Australia, and Canada.
There were many variations of the spelling of the family name, but most commonly "Barwis" from about 1575, then "Barwise" from about 1750 in Cumberland (the earlier spelling persists if the family moved from Cumberland before 1750). According to Bashforth, the name was pronounced "Barrus" by some of its holders - there is the suggestion that the name "Barras" derives from the same root.