Bear Family History

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Bear Name Meaning

English: from the Middle English nickname Bere meaning ‘bear’ (Old English bera, which is also found as a byname), or possibly from a personal name derived from a short form of the various Germanic compound names with this first element. Compare for example Bernhard. The bear has generally been regarded with a mixture of fear and amusement because of its strength and unpredictable temper on the one hand and its clumsy gait on the other, and in the medieval period it was also thought to typify the sins of sloth and gluttony. All these characteristics are no doubt reflected in the nickname. Throughout the Middle Ages the bear was a familiar figure in popular entertainments such as bear baiting and dancing bears. English: variant spelling of the habitational name Beer. Probably a translation of cognates of 1 in other languages, for example German Baer, and also an Americanized spelling of German Bahr.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Beer, Dear, Bean, Beard, Beal, Lear, Pear, Bar, Baar, Beck

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Bear Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Bear name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Bear. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • European Jewish


  • Norway


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Bear Family Origin

Where is the Bear family from?

Bear Family Occupations

What did your Bear ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, the most common Bear occupation in Canada was Farmer. 34% of Bear's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Bear family was Hunter. Farmer, Going To School and Fisherman were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Bear.

View Census data for Bear | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Going To School

  • Fisherman

  • Hunter


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Bear ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Bear Historical Records

What Bear family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 140,000 census records available for the last name Bear. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bear census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1881 Canadian census records for Bear

Passenger List

There are 5,000 immigration records available for the last name Bear. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Card

There are 18,000 military records available for the last name Bear. For the veterans among your Bear ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Bear family history.

Bear Life Expectancy

What is the average Bear lifespan?

Between 1943 and 2004, in the United States, Bear life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 1994. The average life expectancy for Bear in 1943 was 39, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bear

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Bear ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Bear Family Ancestors

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