Besnard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud French name Besnard originated in Provence, a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France.

Early Origins of the Besnard family

The surname Besnard was first found in Provence at Bénar, the ancient capital of Provence. [1]

Ironically, one of the first listings for the family was found not in France, but in England. For it is there, that John Bannard ( fl. 1412), was an Augustinian friar at Oxford. "According to Wood he flourished about 1412, and is stated to have been professor of theology, and afterwards Chancellor of the University. " [2]

Early History of the Besnard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Besnard research. Another 34 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1573, 1666, 1789, 1807, 1808, and 1844 are included under the topic Early Besnard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Besnard Spelling Variations

Changes of spelling have occurred in most surnames. The earliest explanation is that during the early development of the French language, names were not yet fixed in spelling. Usually a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. This depended on accent, and local accents frequently changed the spelling of a name. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there are some spelling variations of the name Besnard, including Benard, Bénard, Benar, Bénar, Besnard, Bésnard, De Bénard and many more.

Early Notables of the Besnard family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family in this period was Laurent Bénard, the prior at Cluny College who was born in 1573 in Nevers, France. He wrote at least five works during his lifetime. The De Bénard family owned much land, property and manors, and members of this family were barons of Sauveterre (in Blaisois), and also held the title of Lords of Ligny and of Arville. From this family...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Besnard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Besnard Ranking

In France, the name Besnard is the 288th most popular surname with an estimated 13,771 people with that name. [3]

Canada Besnard migration to Canada +

French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. Despite the loss of the Colony to England, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Besnard surname were

Besnard Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Francoise Besnard, who arrived in Montreal, Que. in 1653
  • Francoise Besnard, who landed in Montreal in 1653
  • Rene Besnard, aged 24, who landed in Montreal in 1653
  • René Besnard, son of Jean and Madeleine, who married Marie Sédilot, daughter of Louis and Marie, in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on 2nd February 1661 [4]
  • Mathurin Besnard, son of Louis and Mathurine, who married Marguerite Viart, daughter of Pierre and Catherine, in Quebec on 11th October 1672 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Besnard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • René Besnard, son of Mathurin and Marguerite, who married Anne Gibault, daughter of Jean and Anne, in Montreal, Quebec on 28th July 1710 [4]
  • Pierre-Louis Besnard, son of Gabriel and Geneviève, who married Jeanne Desry, daughter of Maurice and Madeleine, in Charlesbourg, Quebec on 27th July 1717 [4]
  • Joseph Besnard, son of Joseph and Marguerite, who married Marie Favreau, daughter of Mathurin and Madeleine, in Boucherville, Quebec on 27th July 1722 [4]
  • Jean Besnard, son of Claude and Marguerite, who married Marie-Madeleine Périllard, daughter of Nicolas and Jeanne, in Montreal, Quebec on 12th June 1724 [4]
  • Denis Besnard, son of Jean and Françoise, who married Marie Croquelois, daughter of Jacques and Françoise, in Montreal, Quebec on 27th July 1728 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Besnard migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Besnard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Captain Besnard, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Diana" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th July 1840 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Besnard (post 1700) +

  • Florent Besnard (b. 1984), French professional football player
  • Pierre Besnard (1886-1947), French revolutionary syndicalist
  • Paul-Albert Besnard (1849-1934), French Painter
  • David Besnard (b. 1977), Australian race car driver

  1. ^ Dionne, N.-E., Les Canadiens-Francais Origine Des Familles. Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 1969. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^
  4. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook
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