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Bear Family History

Bear Name Meaning

English: variant of Beer English: from the Middle English nickname Bere meaning ‘bear’ (Old English bera which is also found as a byname) or from a personal name derived from a short form of the various ancient Germanic compound names with this as the first element (compare e.g. 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. Compare Beer Native American: translation into English (and shortening) of a personal name based on a word such as Lakota and Dakota Sioux mato and Meskwaki (Fox) makwa meaning ‘bear’. The great cultural significance of the bear to Native Americans is reflected in their traditional personal names many of which were adopted as surnames (translated into English) e.g. Black Bear (see Blackbear ) Little Bear (see Littlebear ) Standing Bear (see Standingbear ) and Young Bear (see Youngbear ). Americanized form (translation into English) of cognates of 2 above in other languages for example German Baer and Slovenian Croatian Ukrainian and other Slavic Medved and also an Americanized form of German Bahr .

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

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

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Where is the Bear family from?

You can see how Bear families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Bear family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Bear families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 115 Bear families living in Ontario. This was about 32% of all the recorded Bear's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Bear families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Bear surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Bear ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Housekeeper were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Bear. 43% of Bear men worked as a Farmer and 50% of Bear women worked as a Housekeeper. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bear were Laborer and Rationed. .

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*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1921

  • Farmer
  • Trapper
  • Labourer
  • Laborer

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Housekeeper
  • Rationed
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What Bear family records will you find?

Census Records

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.

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Passenger Lists

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 Cards

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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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

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