A 'Huguenot' locational name strongly associated with the West Country but originally from Bearn, now in Switzerland but in the 17th Century under French influence. The name is recorded Healdically in Rietstap's as the Countes of Bearn, the Coat of Arms being two red hills on a gold field. The entry into the U.K. was believed to be after the Revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685, but the first recording shown would suggest an earlier entry to England. In 1846 at the height of the Irish Potato Famine Emigration one James Bearne emigrated to America from Liverpool on the ship Stephen Whitney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francis Bearne. which was dated 1680, buried August 19th St. James, Barbados. during the reign of King Charles 11 the Merry Monarch 1660 - 1685. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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