nickname in the Old French. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.
In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends that portrayed animals behaving as humans. The Old French nickname Birrearde, meant someone who was "as strong as a bear" having derived from Old French nickname berart.
Early Origins of the Birrearde family
Brittany, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They held a family seat in that province at Demaine where they were nobility from about the times of the Norman invasion of England in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Birrearde family
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Birrearde Spelling Variations
Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Berard, Barrard, Berad and others.
Early Notables of the Birrearde family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Birrearde family to the New World and Oceana
Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Birrearde family to immigrate North America: Francois Berard, who was settled in Quebec in 1748; and a Berard who sailed to Philadelphia in 1796.
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