Bearden last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Bearden is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Bearden.

Meaning of Bearden

One who lives near a wooded area or forest, derived from Old English "bearde" meaning "beard" or "forest".

Bearden, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Bearden surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Bearden in America

Bearden is the 2670th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Bearden surname appeared 13,499 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 people would have the surname Bearden.

We can also compare 2010 data for Bearden to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 2670 2543 4.87%
Count 13,499 13,051 3.37%
Proportion per 100k 4.58 4.84 -5.52%

The history of the last name Bearden

The surname Bearden is of English origin, with its roots dating back to the medieval period. It is a locational name, derived from the place name Beardon or Berden, which are villages in the county of Essex, England. The name is believed to have originated from the Old English words "bær" meaning "bear" and "dun" meaning "hill," suggesting a connection to a hill or elevated land inhabited by bears.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Berduna." This historical document, commissioned by William the Conqueror, served as a comprehensive survey of landholdings across England. The presence of the name in this important record indicates that individuals bearing the surname Bearden were already established in the region during the 11th century.

Throughout the centuries, various spellings of the name have emerged, including Berden, Beardon, Beerden, and Barden. These variations were likely influenced by local dialects and the preferences of scribes who recorded the name in official documents.

Notable individuals with the surname Bearden include:

  1. Thomas Bearden (1902-1971), an American physicist and author known for his contributions to electromagnetic theory and his work on the concept of "scalar waves."

  2. Sir John Bearden (1564-1628), an English politician and Member of Parliament during the reign of King James I.

  3. William Bearden (1787-1854), an American politician who served as a United States Representative from North Carolina in the early 19th century.

  4. Elizabeth Bearden (1889-1965), an American artist and painter who was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement.

  5. Romare Bearden (1911-1988), an influential African American artist and writer, best known for his collages that explored themes of African American life and culture.

The name Bearden has also been associated with various place names in England, such as Berden Hall in Essex and Bearden Park in Gloucestershire, further reflecting the locational origins of the surname.

As the centuries passed, individuals bearing the surname Bearden dispersed across different regions, with many migrating to North America during the colonial era and subsequent periods of immigration. Consequently, the name has become well-established in various parts of the world, particularly in countries with strong English heritage and cultural influences.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Bearden

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Bearden.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Bearden was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 88.88% 11,998
Non-Hispanic Black Only 6.37% 860
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.30% 40
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.74% 100
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.53% 207
Hispanic Origin 2.17% 293

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Bearden has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 88.88% 90.15% -1.42%
Black 6.37% 6.11% 4.17%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.30% 0.28% 6.90%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.74% 0.68% 8.45%
Two or More Races 1.53% 1.37% 11.03%
Hispanic 2.17% 1.41% 42.46%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Bearden was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Bearden, please contact us.

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"Bearden last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

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