Show ContentsBanville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Banville date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in one of two villages called Bamfyld in the counties of Devon and Somerset. The place names literally mean "dweller at a field where beans grew." 1 2

Early Origins of the Banville family

The surname Banville was first found in Devon, at Poltimore where John Baumfield was the original ancestor of this family having been granted lands there during the reign of Edward I. His pedigree can be traced for three generations before that period. 3 The family were bequeathed the manor of Poltimore in 1298 by William Pontyngton, Canon of Exeter Cathedral. Today Poltimore House is a 18th-century country house having gone through many changes from the original grant. The current iteration of Poltimore House was built by Richard Bampfylde (d.1595) about 1550 or so.

Banwell is a village and civil parish on the River Banwell in the North Somerset and dates back to Saxon times when it was first listed as Bananwylle in 904. 4

By the time the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name has evolved to being known as Banwelle. 5 "The manor has been in the possession of the bishops of Bath and Wells since the time of Edward the Confessor. A monastery was founded at Banwell by one of the early Saxon kings, to the abbacy of which Alfred the Great appointed Asser." 6

"The Bampfyldes have been settled at Poltimore, [East Devon] since the reign of Edward I., and entered the ranks of the baronetage in 1641. Sir John Bampfylde became for a time Governor on behalf of the Parliament of the town of Plymouth, and his son, Sir Copleston Bampfylde, took a leading part in the restoration of Charles II. The family were raised to the peerage as Barons Poltimore in 1831. Among the houses with which the Bampfyldes are allied, or whom they represent, are Pederton, St. Maure, Copleston, Codrington, and Gorges. " 7

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. Richard de Bamfeld was found in Hertfordshire in 1272 and Thomas Bamfeld was found here in 1462. Matthew Bampfeld was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1492 and laster, John Bampfyld was registered in Devon in 1642. 8

Early History of the Banville family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Banville research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1272, 1462, 1492, 1560, 1575, 1581, 1582, 1585, 1597, 1621, 1622, 1626, 1628, 1629, 1633, 1642, 1658, 1659, 1671, 1679, 1683, 1685, 1692, 1752 and 1766 are included under the topic Early Banville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Banville Spelling Variations

Banville has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Banville have been found, including Bamfield, Bammfield, Bramfield, Bamfeld, Bampfeld, Bampfield, Banfilde, Bampfild, Bampfyld, Bamfeild, Banfield and many more.

Early Notables of the Banville family

Distinguished members of the family include Richard de Bamfield, a prominent 13th century landholder in Hertfordshire; Sir Amyas Bampfylde (1560-1626), an English Member of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Devon (1597); his son, John Bampfield (born ca. 1585), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Tiverton (1621-1622) and Devon (1628-1629) with Sir Francis Drake; and...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Banville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Banville Ranking

In Quebec, Canada, the name Banville is the 837th most popular surname. 9

United States Banville migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Banvilles to arrive on North American shores:

Banville Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Madeleine Banville married in the same town in 1793
  • Charles Banville married in Louis-Gazes in 1794

Canada Banville migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Banville Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Marie-Elisabeth Banville married in Rimouski in 1763
  • Jean-Baptiste Banville married in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec in 1773
  • Jean-Baptiste Banville married in Rimouski in 1789
  • Marie-Joseph Banville married in Rimouski in 1792
  • Antoine Banville married in Rimouski in 1796
Banville Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Jacques Banville, who married in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec in 1747, the first of 62 individuals who arrived from France onto Canadian shores between 1600 and 1900

Contemporary Notables of the name Banville (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Banville (b. 1985), Irish sportsperson
  • PJ Banville, Gaelic footballer from County Wexford, Ireland
  • Melanie Louise Banville (b. 1987), Canadian gymnast
  • Théodore Faullain de Banville (1823-1891), French poet and writer
  • William John "John" Banville (b. 1945), Irish novelist and screenwriter
  • D Banville, Canadian government administrator

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  8. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  9. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec, on Facebook