Bence History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the name Bence are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the English personal name Bennett. That name is derived from the medieval name Benedict, which comes from the Latin Benedictus, meaning blessed. It owed much of its popularity to St. Benedict, who remained famous well into the Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Bence family

The surname Bence was first found in Yorkshire where Ernisius filius Bence was first listed the Pipe Rolls of 1175. Three years later, Aernulfus flius Benze was listed in the the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland in 1178. [1]

Osmund Benz was lord of six estates in Nottinghamshire in 1066 at the time of the Conquest. By the Domesday Book of 1086, his estates had been reduce to two, both still in Nottinghamshire. [2]

There may be a Norman connection as sources there show Robert and William Bence there (1180-1198) [3] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 list William Bence. [1]

"Kentwell Hall [in Long Melford, Suffolk], the residence of the family of Bence, is a venerable structure in the ancient domestic style, and contains much old painted glass." [4]

Early History of the Bence family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bence research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1688, 1659, 1676 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Bence History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bence Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bence family name include Bence, Bense, Benche, Bencke, Bench, Benchley and others.

Early Notables of the Bence family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bence Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bence migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Bence surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Bence Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bence who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • John Bence, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [5]
  • William Bence, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [5]
  • William Bence who settled in Virginia in 1654
Bence Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Adam Bence who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Andrices Bence, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [5]
Bence Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • F. Bence, who settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1823

Australia Bence migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bence Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Bence, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Woodstock" in 1851 [6]
  • Margaret Bence, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bence (post 1700) +

  • John Bence, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for New York State Assembly from Kings County 10th District, 1901, 1902
  • Amelia Bence (1914-2016), née María Amelia Batvinik, an Argentine film actress, one of the divas in the Golden Age of Argentine Cinema (1940-1960)
  • Alfred Henry Bence (1908-1977), Canadian lawyer and politician, Member of the Canadian House of Commons
  • Cyril Raymond Bence, British toolmaker, and politician, member of the UK Parliament
  • Bence Toth (b. 1989), Hungarian football player


The Bence Motto +

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: Virtus castellum meum
Motto Translation: Virtue my castle.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WOODSTOCK 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Woodstock.htm
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1851 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anna-maria/1851


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