This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places called "Beer", for example in Devonshire, Dorset and Somerset, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Bera", "Bera" and "Bere". These places derive from either the Olde English pre 7th Century "bearu" a grove, wood or "baer", pasture. Locational names were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname may also derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bera", Middle English "bere", a bear, and would have been used as a nickname for someone bearing a fancied resemblance to a bear. The bear has generally been regarded with a mixture of fear and amusement, due to its strength and unpredictable temper on one hand, and to popular entertainments such as bear baiting and dancing bears in the Middle Ages on the other. The surname has many variant spellings ranging from Bear, Beara and Beare to Beers and Bere. Henry del Beer is noted in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Derbyshire. On July 14th 1689, Samuel Beer married Susana Chant at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Theodoricus le Bere, which was dated 1166, in the "Cartulary of Oseney Abbey", Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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