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

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

The Benson surname is a patronymic, created from the Medieval given name Benne, which comes from the Latin word "benedictus," which means "blessed." Some instances of the surname may also be derived from the name of the village of Benson in Oxfordshire (Bennesingtun in Old English).

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Benson has been recorded under many different variations, including Benson, Benison, Bensone, Bennison, Gildea, Gilday, Gildee, Bennsone, Bennisoun, Bennisone and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire, where a Peter de Bensinton was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1208. Henry de Benson was recorded in that same county in Oseney, in 1269. A family of the name was established from ancient times in the vicinity of Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire. The Gildea, Gildee and other spellings were adopted in Ireland and are explained in more detail later.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benson research. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1326, 1200, 1332, 1393, 1667, 1640, 1676, 1731, 1711, 1713, 1829, 1896 and 1883 are included under the topic Early Benson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 99 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Benson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 233 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Benson or a variant listed above:

Benson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Henery Benson, who landed in Virginia in 1620
  • Dirck Benson, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620
  • Henry Benson, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Win Benson, aged 28, arrived in Barbados in 1634
  • Wm Benson, aged 28, landed in Barbados in 1634


Benson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Amy Benson, who came to Virginia in 1714
  • Amy Benson, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Mary Benson, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1744
  • Thomas Benson, who landed in America in 1794
  • Jacob Benson, aged 14, landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1799

Benson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Paul Benson, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Berkett Benson, who landed in New York in 1836
  • George K Benson, aged 33, landed in Buffalo, NY in 1840
  • Michael Benson, aged 25, arrived in Missouri in 1840
  • Heinr Benson, who arrived in America in 1844


Benson Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • August Hjalmor Benson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1920

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  • Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994), United States Secretary of Agriculture, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • D Frank Benson (1928-1996), Professor Emeritus of Neurology at University of California at Los Angeles
  • Kris Benson (b. 1974), American baseball player
  • Renaldo "Obie" Benson (1936-2005), American soul singer best known as the bass of Motown group the Four Tops
  • Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), American Impressionist artist, and a member of the Ten American Painters
  • Admiral William Shepherd Benson (1855-1932), American naval officer and the first Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), holding the post throughout World War I
  • Stella Benson (1892-1933), English-born, American novelist
  • Edward White Benson (1829-1896), English Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Sir Clarence Benson (1897-1980), English-born, Australian Methodist clergyman and journalist
  • Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925), English scholar and author

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  • The Benson Family; Descendants of Isaac Benson and Mary Bumpas, and Allied Families by Grace Hildy Croft.
  • Eastmond Benson Genealogy and Biography by T. L. Eastmond.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Si Deus quis contra?
Motto Translation: If God be with us who can be against us?.

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Benson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Benson 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 7 September 2014 at 20:45.

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