The surname Burnett is of English origin. The surname represents ‘the son of Bernard’. The given name Bernhard is composed of the elements ‘ber(n)’, bear and ‘hard’, brave, strong, hardy. This was brought to England by the Normans, reinforcing the Old English ‘Beornheard’. The popularity of the given name among the Normans in the centuries immediately following the Conquest was greatly increased by virtue of its having been borne by St. Bernard of Clairvaux ( 1090-1153 ), founder and abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux, and in Holland and Northern Germany it vied with Arnold as the most popular given name during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Another sanctified bearer of this name was St. Bernard of Menthon ( 923-1008 ), founder of Alpine hospices and patron saint of mountaineers, whose cult accounts for the frequency of the name in Alpine regions. The surname may also be derived from the Old French, ‘burnete, brunette’, diminutive of ‘brun’, brown, dark brown; a nickname for one of brownish complexion. Brunet is one of the most commonest of French surnames. ‘Burnete’ was also used of a wool-dyed cloth of superior quality, originally of a dark brown colour; hose of burnet or coloured cloth. The surname might denote a ma… Coat of arms: Argetnt, threeholly-leaves vert, a chief azure. Mant…
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