An Irish, Scottish, German, English and Italian surname, Bernard comes from the Old German terms ‘bern’ and ‘hard’ which meant a strong and brave bear. The spelling variations for Bernard include Bernyrd, Barnarde, Barnard, Bernhard, Barnert and Barnerd. In England the Bernard families first settled in Westmorland. Over the centuries they have spread all across the country and into parts of Wales. The main areas with the highest populations of Bernards are Lancashire and the city of London. In Germany the Bernard surname is very common. In Scotland the Bernard families primarily live in Fife, Midlothian and Lancashire counties. Within the United States the Bernard families first settled in Massachusetts, Virginia, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Famous: Crystal Bernard (actress), Dave Bernard (professional football player), John Henry Bernard (the Archbishop of the Church of Ireland in Dublin), Jeffrey Bernard (journalist in England), David Bernard (orchestra conductor), Emile Bernard (artist from France) and Alain Bernard (a champion swimmer for France).