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Bear Family History

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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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 the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 241 Bear families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 63% of all the recorded Bear's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Bear families in 1840.
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 1940, Farmer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Bear. 19% of Bear men worked as a Farmer and 13% of Bear women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bear were Proprietor and Stenographer.

View Census data for Bear | Data not to scale

*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 1940

  • Farmer
    19%
  • Laborer
    15%
  • Salesman
    7%
  • Proprietor
    3%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Teacher
    13%
  • Housewife
    11%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
  • Stenographer
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

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

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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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