Derived from the Olde English 'Barkhus'. The name is partly locational and also probably job descriptive for the Dweller and the Worker at the Bark-House, a Tannery. There are several alternative spellings Barkhous (1379, Yorkshire), Barkis (1640), Barkess (1689). The original name holder willed all his goods and chattels in his Sheffield Tannery at Beauchief to Ralph de Dore. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Barkhowse which was dated 1383, The Wills list of Derbyshire. during the reign of King Edward 1 The Hammer of the Scots 1272 - 1307 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.