Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > BERNARD

Origin and popularity of the name BERNARD


Bernard : English Scottish French Walloon Breton Dutch German Polish Czech Slovenian West Indian (mainly Haiti) and African (mainly Tanzania): from the personal name Bernard from an ancient Germanic name composed of the elements ber(n) ‘bear’ + hard ‘brave hardy strong’ (see Bernhard). It was borne by several Christian saints including Saint Bernard of Menthon (923–1008) founder of Alpine hospices and patron saint of mountaineers whose cult accounts for the frequency of the name in Alpine regions. The popularity of the personal name was also greatly increased by virtue of its having been borne by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090–1153) founder and abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux. In North America the English form of the surname has absorbed cognates from other languages e.g. Italian Bernardo. Bernard is the second most frequent surname in France. Compare Barnard Benore and Burnor.


Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, ©2021, University of the West of England
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England

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Surname frequency

Geographic distribution of the 3,306,124 individuals with the name BERNARD on Geneanet.


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