Show ContentsBeers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Beers family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having 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. [1]

"A gentleman in Kent, some years since, rejoiced in the Christian and sur-(or rather un-Christian and sur-ly)names of Savage Bear (English Sum.) Although I do not recollect any other instance of this name in modern English, the nomenclature of many European countries, both personal and local, abounds with it in various forms." [2]

Early Origins of the Beers family

The surname Beers 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. [2] The earliest reference of the name was in Devon where it was listed as Bera in the Domesday Book [3]

"Two places on the banks of the Tamar, in co. Devon, are called Beer-Alston and Beer-Ferris, while two others in Dorsetshire bear the names of Beer-Hacket and Beer-Regis." [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." [4] 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 English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Robert le Ber, Kent; Adam le Bere, Cambridgeshire; Clement le Bere, Oxfordshire; Walter le Bere, Oxfordshire; Lucy de la Bere, Devon; Elyas dela Byare, Devon; John de la Byare, Devon; and Reginald de Bere, Devon. [5]

In Somerset, John de Bere and Robert atte Bere were listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [6]

Early History of the Beers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beers research. Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1534, 1614, 1713, 1634, 1680, 1684, 1799, 1354, 1355, 1524 and 1493 are included under the topic Early Beers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beers Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Beers include Beare, Bear, Beer, Bere, Beares, Bears, Beers and many more.

Early Notables of the Beers 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 Beers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beers Ranking

In the United States, the name Beers is the 3,397th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [7]

United States Beers migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Beers were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Beers Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Beers, who landed in Watertown Massachusetts in 1635 [8]
  • Richard Beers, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1637 [8]
  • Anthony Beers, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1657
Beers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Beers, age 32, who settled in New York city in 1812
  • Edward Beers, who arrived in New York in 1822 [8]
  • Ellis Beers, who landed in New York in 1826 [8]
  • Thomas Beers, who landed in Maryland in 1834 [8]
  • G F Beers, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Beers (post 1700) +

  • William George Beers (1843-1900), Canadian dentist and patriot who helped establish the Victoria Rifles of Canada, referred to as the "father of modern lacrosse"
  • Rand Beers (b. 1942), United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2013)
  • Betsy Beers, American two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominated executive producer for ABC, known for her work on Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, and How to Get Away With Murder
  • Robert O. Beers (1916-2005), American politician, Member of the Pennsylvania Senate (1963-1970)
  • Bob L. Beers (b. 1951), American politician, Nevada State Assemblyman (2006-)
  • Robert "Bob" Beers (b. 1967), American former NHL hockey player and current radio commentator for the Boston Bruins
  • Alanson Beers (1808-1853), American pioneer and politician, Member of the Executive Committee of the Provisional Government of Oregon (1843-1844)
  • Ethelinda Lynn Beers (1827-1879), American poet
  • Clarence Scott Beers (1918-2002), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Robert Charles Beers (b. 1967), retired American professional ice hockey defenseman
  • ... (Another 50 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Beers +

  • The Beers Genealogy by Mary Louise Regan.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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) on Facebook