The history of the Bernan family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in any of the various places called Burnham in Buckinghamshire
, or Suffolk
. These place names derive from the Old English words burna
Early Origins of the Bernan family
The surname Bernan was first found in Herefordshire
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest
and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Bernan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bernan research.Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1619 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Bernan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bernan Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bernan include Burnham, Burnam and others.
Early Notables of the Bernan family (pre 1700)
Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bernan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bernan family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bernan or a variant listed above: Thomas Burnham, who came to Barbados in 1635; William Burnham, who arrived at St. Christopher in 1635; John Burnham, who arrived in Virginia in 1643; Thomas Burnham who settled in Hartford, Conn. in 1649, beginning a distinguished line in America.