Beken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Beken is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Beken family lived in Dorset and Gloucestershire. The geographical derivation of the name, however, does not stem from these locations, but relates to numerous areas in France, which are so named.
Early Origins of the Beken family
The surname Beken was first found in Dorset and Gloucestershire, where "Roger de Belmont appears in [the] Domesday [Book] as chief tenant. According to Sir H. Ellis, he was a near kinsman of the Conqueror, being lineal descendant of that king's great grandfather. Some trace the noble English families from the Viscounts Beaumont of Normandy, and others from the blood-royal of France." 
The chapelry of Ryall in Northumberland is of particular interest to the family. "This was the lordship of John, Lord Beaumont, who died seised of Ryall about the year 1396, leaving it, with many other estates in this county and elsewhere, to his son and heir, Henry, then sixteen years of age, who was knighted at the coronation of Henry IV." 
Upper Whitley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to another branch of the family. "The founder of the ancient family of Beaumont here, was a Knight Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, who received the manor on condition of performing certain military services in the time of Henry III. Whitley Hall has ever since been the principal residence of the family, and is now in the possession of R. H. Beaumont, Esq. [(c. 1860)]" 
Robert de Beaumont (d. 1118), was Count of Meulan, a feudal statesman and son of Roger de Beaumont ('de Bellomonte' in the Latinized form) and grandson of Humfrey de Vielles. 
His son, Robert de Beaumont Earl of Leicester (1104-1168), was Justiciary of England, and a twin with his brother Waleran.
Waleran de Beaumont Count of Meulan (1104-1166), was a warrior and feudal statesman and twin brother of Robert, Earl of Leicester.
Robert de Beaumont Earl of Leicester (d. 1190), was a baronial leader and son of Robert de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester. 
Important Dates for the Beken family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beken research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1198, 1584, 1616, 1929, 1305, 1340, 1309, 1438, 1507, 1585, 1616, 1616, 1699, 1638, 1689, 1679, 1689, 1636, 1701, 1685, 1689, 1676, 1668 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Beken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Beken Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Beken have been found, including Beaumont, Beaumond, Beamond, Beamont, Beamonte, Beamonde, Bellmont, Belmont, Beomont, Beumond, Bewmont, Bewmonte, Bellemont, Beumont, Beaumount, Bewmount, Bowmont, Bowmaunt and many more.
Early Notables of the Beken family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Viscount Allandale; Henry de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Buchan (circa 1305-1340), a military tactician, who was made the 1st Baron Beaumont in 1309; Sir William de Beaumont, 2nd Viscount Beaumont (1438-1507), fought in several of the major battles of the Wars of the Roses, probably knighted before the Battle of Northampton; Francis Beaumont (c.1585-1616), a British playwright...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Beken family to Ireland
Some of the Beken family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Beken migration to the United States
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. 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 Beken were among those contributors:
Beken Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Loro Beken, who settled in Wisconsin in 1918
Beken migration to New Zealand
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Beken Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mrs. Eleanor Beken, (b. 1825), aged 34, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 
- Mr. Thomas Beken, (b. 1832), aged 27, English carpenter from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 
- Mr. Henry Thomas Beken, (b. 1856), aged 3, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 
- Mr. William Fred. Beken, (b. 1858), aged 1, English settler from Middlesex travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 
Contemporary Notables of the name Beken (post 1700)
- Dom Beken, British musician, known for his work with the Transit Kings
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html