Show ContentsBenard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud French name Benard originated in Provence, a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France.

Early Origins of the Benard family

The surname Benard was first found in Provence at Bénar, the ancient capital of Provence. [1]

Ironically, one of the first listings for the family was found not in France, but in England. For it is there, that John Bannard (fl. 1412), was an Augustinian friar at Oxford. "According to Wood he flourished about 1412, and is stated to have been professor of theology, and afterwards Chancellor of the University. " [2]

Early History of the Benard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benard research. Another 34 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1573, 1666, 1789, 1807, 1808, and 1844 are included under the topic Early Benard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benard Spelling Variations

Throughout the course of history most surnames have undergone changes for many reasons. During the early development of the French language, a son and father may not have chosen to spell their name the same way. Many are simple spelling changes by a person who gave his name, phonetically, to a scribe, priest, or recorder. Many names held prefixes or suffixes which became optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, we have many spelling variations of this name, Benard some of which are Benard, Bénard, Benar, Bénar, Besnard, Bésnard, De Bénard and many more.

Early Notables of the Benard family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family in this period was Laurent Bénard, the prior at Cluny College who was born in 1573 in Nevers, France. He wrote at least five works during his lifetime. The De Bénard family owned much land, property and manors, and members of this family were barons of Sauveterre (in Blaisois), and also held the title of Lords of Ligny and of Arville. From this family...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benard World Ranking

In the United States, the name Benard is the 14,412nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3] However, in Quebec, Canada, the name Benard is ranked the 845th most popular surname. [4] And in France, the name Benard is the 264th popular surname with an estimated 14,290 people with that name. [5]

United States Benard migration to the United States +

In 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Migration was slow. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Benard has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Benard were

Benard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mathurin Benard is recorded to have lived in Villiers-Charlemagne in 1650
Benard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacques Benard, aged 36, who landed in Louisiana in 1720 [6]
Benard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Desire Benard, aged 50, who arrived in New York, NY in 1852 [6]
  • Louis Benard, who arrived in Texas in 1869 [6]

Canada Benard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Benard Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • René Benard, who arrived in Montreal in 1653 and who became corporal in 1661 He was married in Trois-Rivières
Benard Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Pierre Benard, who settled in Ste. Genevieve, near Quebec, at the age of 24

Contemporary Notables of the name Benard (post 1700) +

  • Maurice Benard (b. 1963), American film actor
  • Charles-Marie-Eugene-Pierre Benard (1867-1931), French explorer, who later founded the French Society of Oceanography in Gascogne
  • Henri Jean Émile Bénard (1844-1929), French architect and painter
  • Benard Ighner (1945-2017), American jazz singer, musician, songwriter and record producer

  1. Dionne, N.-E., Les Canadiens-Francais Origine Des Familles. Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 1969. Print
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec,
  6. 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