The Strongbownian invaders added their Norman conventions for surnames to the previously established Irish system for hereditary surnames
. One of the most frequent forms of surnames for both cultures was the patronymic
surname, which was formed from the name of the bearer's father or grandfather. The Norman tradition that the followers of Strongbow
brought with them created such a surname through diminutive suffixes such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el. Occasionally, two suffixes were combined to form a double diminutive, as in the combinations of -el-in, -el-ot, -in-ot, and -et-in. The Normans
also formed patronymic surnames in a manner very similar to the Irish: they added a prefix to their father's name. These Anglo-Norman people, however, used the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word fils, and ultimately from the Latin filius
, which both mean son. Although this prefix probably originated in Flanders
, it can now only be found in Ireland
. The surname Birnarte is derived from the Germanic personal name
Bernhard, which consists of the elements ber or bern, which mean bear, and hard, which means brave, handy, or strong.
Early Origins of the Birnarte family
The surname Birnarte was first found in Westmorland
, where they had been granted lands by King William for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.Sir Theophilus, a Norman knight, who assisted William the Conqueror in the conquest of England
was succeeded by his son, Sir Dorbard, who took the surname Bernard. Sir Dorbard's descendants settled at Acornbank in the county of Westmorland, but stayed in good favor with the royalty. In 1172 King Henry II took Robert Fitz Bernard with him to Ireland
, in the invasion of Ireland, and entrusted to his care the counties of Wexford
Early History of the Birnarte family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birnarte research.Another 535 words (38 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1148, 1320, 1702, 1738, 1903, 1672 and 1697 are included under the topic Early Birnarte History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birnarte Spelling Variations
A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Birnarte has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations
over the years. A few of its variants include: Bernard, Barnard, Bernyrd, Barnerd, Barnart, Barnert, Barnarde and many more.
Early Notables of the Birnarte family (pre 1700)
Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birnarte Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birnarte family to the New World and Oceana
experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families
. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Birnarte: Nathanill Bernard, who arrived in St. Christopher in 1635; Francis Bernard, who came to Virginia in 1665; James Bernard, a servant sent to Virginia in 1662.
The Birnarte 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: Virtus probata florebit
Motto Translation: Tried virtue will flourish.