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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Benefield family come from? What is the English Benefield family crest and coat of arms? When did the Benefield family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Benefield family history?

The distinguished surname Benefield is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin. The name is derived from the Old English words "bean," meaning "bean," and "feld," meaning "field." This name is borne by several places in England, such as Benfield in Northamptonshire, Benville Manor in Dorset, and the now-lost Benfield in Sussex. Thus, the progenitor of the surname was most likely either someone who hailed from one of these places, or someone who lived near a bean field.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Benefield include Benfield, Benefield, Benfeld, Benefeld, Benefiel and others.

First found in Hertfordshire, where Goduin de Benefelle was recorded as a land-holder in the Domesday Book. After the Norman Conquest of 1066, King William granted the lands of England to the barons that had served him in the Battle of Hastings. These barons followed the Norman practice of adopting the name of their land holdings; thus, it is possible that one branch of the Benefield family is descended from Richard, who was granted lands in the village of Benefield, Northamptonshire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benefield research. Another 263 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1160, 1296, 1381, 1559, 1630, 1613 and 1648 are included under the topic Early Benefield History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benefield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Benefield or a variant listed above:

Benefield Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Ernest Benefield, aged 25, who landed in America from Dover, England, in 1907
  • Harry Benefield, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1908
  • George Benefield, aged 50, who emigrated to America, in 1917

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  • Barry Benefield (1877-1971), American writer
  • Daved Benefield (b. 1968), former professional American football player
  • Kim S. Benefield, American Democratic member of the Alabama Senate
  • Sebastian Benefield (1559-1630), English clergyman and academic
  • James Patrick Benefield (b. 1983), English footballer


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  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Benefield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Benefield Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 November 2013 at 19:54.

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