Bear History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bear has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in Devon, where they took their name from one of the many places named Bear, Beare, Beara, etc., found in that county. The surname is likely to be derived from the Old English word bearu, which means grove. Several early instances of that name are in the form le beare, or the bear, from the Old English bera.

Early Origins of the Bear family

The surname Bear was first found in Devon where there are two places on the banks of Tamar called Beer-Alston and Beer-Ferris. In Dorset, place names include Beer-Hacket and Beer-Regis. [1] The earliest reference of the name was in Devon where it was listed as Bera in the Domesday Book [2]

In nearby Cornwall, another early listing of the family was found in the parish of St. Ervan. "Treravel, an ancient gentleman's seat, belonged in the days of Hals to George Bere or Beare, gentleman, who married Lanyon. This is now a farm house, the property of John Hicks, Esq." [3] The barton of Brynn, in the parish of Withiel, Cornwall was formerly a seat of the family of Beare, from whom it passed some time ago.

Early History of the Bear family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bear research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1684, 1354, 1355, 1524 and 1493 are included under the topic Early Bear History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bear Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Bear have been found, including Beare, Bear, Beer, Bere, Beares, Bears, Beers and many more.

Early Notables of the Bear family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard de la Bere, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1354 and 1355. Richard Bere (d. 1524), was Abbot of Glastonbury and was installed in 1493 as the election of Thomas Wasyn having been quashed by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. "He was a great builder. Leland tells us that...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bear migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Bear, or a variant listed above:

Bear Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Bear, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [4]
  • Win Bear, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [4]
  • Hans Jacob Bear, aged 17, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1730 [4]
  • Anna Maria Bear, aged 43, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1730 [4]
  • Hendrick Bear, aged 6, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1730 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bear Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Bear, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [4]
  • Charles Bear, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851 [4]
  • John Bear, who landed in America in 1853 [4]
  • Eustaquio Bear, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1884 [4]

Australia Bear migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bear Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bear, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Mr. William Bear, (b. 1813), aged 35, Cornish miner from Germoe, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Fairlie" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th August 1848 [6]
  • Mrs. Mary Bear, (b. 1815), aged 33, Cornish settler from St. Breock, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Fairlie" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th August 1848 [6]
  • Mr. William Bear, (b. 1840), aged 8, Cornish settler from Germoe, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Fairlie" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th August 1848 [6]
  • Mr. John Bear, (b. 1842), aged 6, Cornish settler from St. Breock, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Fairlie" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th August 1848 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Bear migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bear Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James P. Bear, British school master travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [7]
  • Mr. Bear, British settler travelling from London via Cape ports aboard the ship "Pembroke Castle" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th November 1889 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bear (post 1700) +

  • Gregory Dale Bear (b. 1951), American science fiction author
  • Danny Little Bear (1926-1991), American professional wrestler
  • Elizabeth Bear (b. 1971), American fiction author, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and winner of the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Short Story
  • Peter D. Bear, American Democrat politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly, 1977-78; Member of Wisconsin State Senate 13th District, 1979-80 [8]
  • Perry Bear, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1924 [8]
  • Max L. Bear, American politician, Mayor of Pensacola, Florida, 1936-37 [8]
  • Franklin Bear, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 5th District, 1962 [8]
  • Alexander Bear, American Democrat politician, Member of University of Nebraska Board of Regents, 1875-76; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1876; Mayor of Norfolk, Nebraska, 1896-97 [8]
  • Anthony Bear, Professor of Cybernetics at Manchester University
  • Bear Bryant (1913-1983), American college football coach


Suggested Readings for the name Bear +

  • 4446 "The Genealogy of Henry Baer (also Bear Family) of Leacock, Pennsylvania" by Willis Nissley Baer.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate