Show ContentsBerman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Berman family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in any of several places of this name in the counties of Middlesex and Kent having derived from the Old English words beorg, meaning hill, and ham, meaning homestead. [1]

Early Origins of the Berman family

The surname Berman was first found in Kent, where Barham is a village and civil parish in the City of Canterbury. An ancient Saxon village, it was listed as Bioraham in 799 [1] and later as Bercheham in the Domesday Book. [2] There are also parishes in the Dioceses Ely, Chichester, and Norwich.

The first record of the surname was Warine de Berham, as holding lands in Kent in 1203. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included some early spellings for the name: Simon de Bernham in Norfolk; and Walter de Bernham in Suffolk. [4]

The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III listed John de Bernham, Kent, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign) and Thomas de Bernham, Suffolk.

"The family were lords of Barham, in Kent, at an early period, and according to Philipot, the Kentish genealogist, descendants of Robert de Berham, son of Richard Fitz-Urse, and brother of one of the assassins of Thomas a Beckett. " [5]

"The Sussex Barhams are probably connected with the ancient Kentish family of Barham. In the 13th century Baham was a Suffolk name. " [6]

Early History of the Berman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berman research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1535, 1535, 1390, 1391, 1634, 1621, 1595, 1667, 1625, 1626, 1577, 1670 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Berman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berman Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Barham, Bareham, Barrham, Braham, Bearham, Bereham and many more.

Early Notables of the Berman family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard de Berham, Sheriff of Kent (1390-1391); Sir Edward Barkham (died 1634), an English merchant, Lord Mayor of London in 1621; and Sir Edward Barkham, 1st Baronet of South Acre (1595-1667), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1625 and 1626. Nicholas Barham (d. 1577), was an early English lawyer, "a native of Wadhurst, Sussex. His family had been settled there for some generations, being a branch of...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Berman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berman Ranking

In the United States, the name Berman is the 2,322nd most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [7]

United States Berman migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Berman name or one of its variants:

Berman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Margaret Berman, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [8]
Berman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Berman, who landed in New York in 1709 [8]
Berman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • N Berman, aged 25, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1826 [8]
  • Pincus Berman, who landed in Arkansas in 1867 [8]
  • Emanuel Berman, aged 36, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1868 [8]
  • Johann Berman, aged 20, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879 [8]
Berman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sam Edward Berman, who arrived in Alabama in 1913 [8]
  • Samuel Berman, who landed in Alabama in 1917 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Berman (post 1700) +

  • Harris A. Berman (1938-2021), American physician from Concord, New Hampshire, Dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Arthur L. "Art" Berman (1935-2020), American lawyer and politician from Chicago, Illinois, member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1967 to 1976
  • Maxine L. Berman (1946-2018), American politician, Member of the Michigan House of Representatives between 1983 and 1996
  • Sheldon Leonard "Shelly" Berman (1926-2017), American comedian, writer, teacher, and actor; he won the first Grammy Award for a spoken comedy recording in 1959
  • Maurie Berman (1926-2015), American restaurateur, co-founder of the Superdawg drive-in hot dog stand with carhop service in Chicago, Illinois, listed in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
  • Herbert Berman (1933-2014), American politician, Member of the New York City Council (1975-2001)
  • Marshall Berman (1940-2013), American philosopher and Marxist Humanist writer
  • Brigadier-General Morris Berman (1891-1945), American Commander of San Antonio Air Service (1943-1944) [9]
  • Richard Keith Berman (b. 1945), American television producer perhaps most famous for his work as the executive producer of several Star Trek series and movies
  • Helen M. Berman (b. 1943), American Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Berman +

  • Genealogy of the Berman and Related Families by Julian Berman.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. 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)
  9. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) Morris Berman. Retrieved from on Facebook