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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Portuguese


The prestigious family surname Bernhard originated in the territory that eventually became the German state of Prussia. In the 19th century, this state was virtually unrivalled militarily, and its rapid industrial growth made it a contender for economic superiority in Europe as well. However, in the medieval era, Prussia was fragmented and inhabited by numerous barbarian tribes, who fought amongst themselves for control of the land. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms, which were established after the fall of the Roman Empire, changed repeatedly. The region that came to be known as Prussia was roughly divided between the territories of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia and East Prussia. The Bernhard family emerged in Brandenburg- Prussia, which is essentially the birthplace of modern Germany. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.

Bernhard Early Origins



The surname Bernhard was first found in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, and throughout the lands that would later form the Prussian Empire, where the name became noted for its many branches, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the regions. In their later history the name became a power unto themselves and was elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family. In its mediaeval context, the literal meaning of the name was "baerenkuehn," that is, "bear-brave." The name began its rise to prominence as one of the most popular first names of northern Germany in the Middle Ages before becoming firmly grounded as a surname.

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Bernhard Spelling Variations


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Bernhard Spelling Variations



One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Bernhard include Bernhard, Bernhardi (Alemannic), Bernhardy (Latin genetive form found along Rhine and Danube rivers), Bernardt, Bernhardt, Bernehard, Bernehardt and many more.

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Bernhard Early History


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Bernhard Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bernhard research. Another 343 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1604, 1623, 1639, 1728, 1762, 1763, 1769, 1810, 1818, and 1820 are included under the topic Early Bernhard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Bernhard Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Bernhard Early Notables (pre 1700)



Prominent bearers of the family name Bernhard during this time period were Duke Bernhard of Saxen-Weimar (1604-1639), who was a celebrated general in the Thirty Years' War. He was born in 1604 in Weimar as the eleventh son of John, duke of Saxen-Weimar. At the outbreak of the Thirty Years'...

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bernhard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North Ameri ca. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Bernhard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Imp Bernhard, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Just Bernhard, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Johann Bernhard, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Johannes Bernhard, who landed in New York, NY in 1709
  • Ulrich Bernhard, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bernhard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Catharina Bernhard, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Adam Bernhard, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • George Bernhard, who arrived in New York in 1836
  • Wilhelmine Bernhard, who landed in America in 1839
  • Miss Bernhard, aged 33, arrived in America in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bernhard Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Ernestine Bernhard, aged 19, landed in Quebec in 1868

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Contemporary Notables of the name Bernhard (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Bernhard (post 1700)



  • Sandra Bernhard (b. 1955), American singer and comedian
  • Ruth Bernhard (1905-2006), American photographer
  • Timo Bernhard (b. 1981), German sports car racer
  • Thomas Bernhard (1931-1988), Austrian novelist, playwright and poet
  • Henriette-Rosine Bernhard (1845-1923), French actress, who used the stage name Sarah Bernhardt

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Bernhard Historic Events


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Bernhard Historic Events




Hindenburg LZ-129

  • Mr. Alfred Bernhard (1905-1937), German Helmsman from Charlottenburg, Germany, who worked on board the Hindenburg LZ-129 and survived the Airship Fire on May 6, 1937, but later died in hospital from injuries

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Bernhard Family Crest Products


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Bernhard Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    3. Bahlow, Hans. Mecklenburgisches Namenbüchlein Ein Führer durch Mecklenburgs Familiennamen. Rostock: Carl Hinstorffs Verlag, 1932. Print.
    4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    6. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
    7. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
    8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    9. Hildenbrand, A.M. Wappenfibel. Handbuch der Heraldik. Neustadt an der Aisch: 1970. Print.
    10. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
    11. ...

    The Bernhard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bernhard Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 18 September 2016 at 01:19.

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