Bejar, Bejarano, Behar, Bexar and other versions of the name are popular surnames for Sephardi Jews, many of whom were converted to Catholicism or killed in the Spanish Inquisition, who came from this region in Central Spain.
Following the Mexican War of Independence from Spain in 1821, most of the former territory of New Spain became part of the Republic of Mexico, including Texas. Because Texas was very underpopulated Mexico sought a policy of open immigration into the region. Under the auspices of Steven F. Austin Anglo-Americans began to immigrate into Mexican Texas. Conflict then arose because the Anglo settlers owned slaves and stubbornly ignored the strict anti-slave laws of Mexico, leading to the banning of further Anglo-American settlement in Mexican Texas. Illegal immigration by Anglo-Americans continued until white alien settlers outnumbered Mexican natives. The issue of slavery eventually lead to the Mexican-American War in 1846 where Texas became part of the United States. The surname "de Béjar" was dropped after becoming the city of San Antonio, Texas. The legacy of Béjar remains today in the incorrect spelling of Bexar County, Texas, where San Antonio is still located and is now the 7th largest city in the United States.