Bernat History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Bernat is derived from the French personal name Bernard, making this surname a patronym, or derived from the name of a parent or other ancestor. This type of surname belongs to the category of surnames, known as hereditary surnames. Patronymic surnames arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin. In some cases the exact same name appears in many other European countries. The personal name Bernard is derived from the Germanic name Bernhard, which is composed of the Old German elements bern, which meant bear, and hard, which meant hard or strong. The personal name therefore meant "as strong as a bear."
Early Origins of the Bernat family
The surname Bernat was first found in Provence, where the family has held a family seat since very early times.
Bernard ( fl. 1093), of Neufmarché (de Novo-mercatii), "often called in English 'of Newmarch,' was the son of Geoffrey, son of Thurcytel, Lord of Neufmarché by the forest of Lions, and of Ada, daughter of Richard of Hugleville, famous for his faithfulness to his duke, William, in the war of Arques, and a grandson of Richard the Good by his daughter Papia. Bernard emigrated to England with the Conqueror, and his name appears as a witness to two charters granted by William to his abbey of Battle. " 
However, not all of the family moved to England. By the 16th century this ancient family was well established and several members of this remarkable family were distinctive through their active contributions to the King, country, and fellowman and therefore were rewarded with lands, titles, and letters patent confirming their nobility.
Among these distinguished members was M. Bernard of Feissal who, in recognition of his achievement, both politically and culturally, acquired the title of Lord of the Tour Saint-Vincent.
Descending from the original line of Provence were several impressive members who received their letters of nobility, and their descendants maintained their noble status in 1668. Claude Bernard, 1813-1878 was a famous professor of Collége de France, wrote "Introduction to the study of experimental Medicine".
Participating extensively in the affairs of his community, Charles Bernard became a Counsellor at the Court of Aix and acknowledging his capabilities he was made the Leader of the Barristers of Nice from 1845 to 1915. In 1901 in recognition of all his impressive accomplishments Bernard was granted the title of a Roman Count.
Jean Bernard, born in 1638, son of Jean and Catherine (née Fauden), travelled from Tionville, Germany to New France in 1663. He settled on a farm in île d'Orléans, Quebec where he worked as a farmer and a wagon maker. He married Marie de Bure, daughter of Vincent and Suzanne (née Golin), in Quebec and on 27th December 1666. In February 1698, Jean was found dead from hypothermia on Saint-Pierre Lake. 
Early History of the Bernat family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bernat research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1651, 1668, 1739, 1813, 1845, and 1878 are included under the topic Early Bernat History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bernat Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Bernard, Bernerd, Bernat, Bernarde, Barnard, Bairnard, Burnard, Bernaurd and many more.
Early Notables of the Bernat family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the names at this time was Jacques-Samuel Bernard (1615-1687), a French miniature painter and engraver; Samuel Bernard (1651-1739), a financier, loaned money to Louis XIV and Louis XV; Jacques Bernard...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bernat Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bernat migration to the United States +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Bernat Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Jose Bernat, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1860 
Contemporary Notables of the name Bernat (post 1700) +
- Bernat Martínez Mas (1980-2015), Spanish motorcycle racer
Related Stories +
The Bernat Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fortitudo and mansuetudo
Motto Translation: The strength and gentleness
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
- ^ 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)