The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066 brought the Bernays family name to the British Isles. They lived in Norfolk
, where they were established since the early Middle Ages. The family's name, however, derives from their former place of residence, the town of Bernai,
in the department of Eure, Normandy
. The popularity of this given name among Normans
in the centuries immediately following the Norman Conquest
of 1066 was greatly increased by virtue of its having been borne by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c.1090-1153) founder and abbott of a monastery at Clairvaux.
Early Origins of the Bernays family
The surname Bernays was first found in Norfolk
, where they claim descent from Berney, in the hundred
of North Greenhow. The local
has been lost through the years, but the family held a family seat
at Park Hall in the parish of Reedham. "The baronet's family are asserted to have been at Berney, near Walsingham, co, Norfolk
at the time of the Norman Conquest
a great improbability, although their very early settlement there cannot be questioned." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
What we have confirmed is the family seat was "acquired by the marriage of Sir Thomas de Berney with Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir William de Reedham in the reign of Edward III. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
Early History of the Bernays family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bernays research.Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1622, 1668, 1622, 1693, 1706, 1688 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Bernays History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bernays Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations
characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Berney, Berny, Bernay, Bernays, Bernys, Burney and others.
Early Notables of the Bernays family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bernays Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bernays family to Ireland
Some of the Bernays family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland
is included in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bernays family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England
, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bernays or a variant listed above: Clough Berny who settled in Virginia in 1635; William Burney, and his wife settled with their three sons, his mother and father William, in Louisiana in 1797.
Contemporary Notables of the name Bernays (post 1700)
- Edward L Bernays (1891-1995), American ( Austrian born), publicist, known as the "father of public relations"
- Michael Bernays (1834-1897), German academic, professor of German literature at Munich
- Jakob Bernays (1824-1881), German philologist
- Benjamin Bernays (b. 1992), Youngest Architecture Nobel Laureate
- Paul Bernays (1888-1977), Swiss mathematician born in London
The Bernays 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: Nil temere, neque timore
Motto Translation: Nothing rashly.