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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The Bentley name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in one of the many places called Bentley. These included parishes in the counties of Suffolk, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Derby, and Essex, as well as a myriad of small hamlets throughout the counties of England. The surname is derived from Benet-legh which literally means the field of Benedict.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Bentley has undergone many spelling variations, including Bentley, Bentli, Bentlie, Bently and others.

First found in Lancashire and Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bentley research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1662, 1742, 1896, 1662 and 1742 are included under the topic Early Bentley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Bentley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Bentley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bentley were among those contributors:

Bentley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Bentley, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • William Bentley who sailed aboard the "Free Love" in 1624 from England, who settled in Virginia
  • Mary Bentley settled in New England in 1635
  • Abram Bentley, aged 20, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Alice Bentley, aged 15, landed in America in 1635

Bentley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Bentley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1703
  • Fra Bentley, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Richd Bentley, who arrived in Virginia in 1704

Bentley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Bentley, who arrived in New York in 1825
  • Joseph Bentley, who landed in New York in 1838
  • G Bentley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Bentley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. John Bentley U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783

Bentley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Mirun Bentley, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • Randall Spencer Bentley, who landed in Canada in 1834
  • David and William Bentley were fishermen of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1871

Bentley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Bentley, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Bentley, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • James Bentley, aged 57, a carpenter, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Cheapside"
  • James Bentley, aged 24, a carpenter, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Cheapside"
  • James Bentley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cheapside" in 1849

Bentley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Henry Bentley landed in Karori, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Bentley landed in Wellignton, New Zealand in 1840
  • Rachel Bentley, aged 18, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1841850
  • George Bentley, aged 13, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1841850
  • John Bentley, aged 20, a miller, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842


  • Dierks Bentley (b. 1975), American country music artist
  • Arthur Fisher Bentley (1870-1957), American political scientist and philosopher
  • Stephanie Bentley (b. 1963), American country music singer
  • Eric Bentley (b. 1916), English-born, American critic, editor, and translator
  • Cy Bentley (1850-1873), American Major League Baseball player
  • John Bentley (1787-1859), English professional cricketer
  • Jack Bentley (1942-2007), English professional footballer
  • William John "Bill" Bentley (b. 1947), English former professional footballer
  • Mark James Bentley (b. 1978), English footballer
  • Roy Thomas Frank Bentley (b. 1924), retired English footballer



  • Bente, Bentley by Sylvia B. Lee.

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: Viva ut vivas
Motto Translation: Live that you may live forever.


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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Bentley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bentley 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 23 August 2015 at 17:52.

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