Show ContentsBench History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bench surname finds its earliest origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name 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 Bench family

The surname Bench 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 Bench family

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

Bench Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bench are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bench include: Bence, Bense, Benche, Bencke, Bench, Benchley and others.

Early Notables of the Bench family (pre 1700)

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

Bench Ranking

In the United States, the name Bench is the 12,684th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Bench migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bench or a variant listed above:

Bench Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bench, who arrived in Maryland in 1656 [6]
Bench Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Caspar Bench, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [6]
Bench Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Bench, who landed in New York in 1839 [6]
  • Fritz Bench, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [6]
  • Jacob Michael Bench, aged 24, who arrived in New York, NY in 1849 [6]
Bench Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Bench, aged 32, who arrived in New York City, New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mauretania" from Brest, France [7]
  • James Bench, aged 18, who arrived in New York City, New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mauretania" from Brest, France [7]
  • Edwin Bench, aged 16, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Royal George" from Southampton, England [7]
  • Frank Bench, aged 21, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Cedric" from Liverpool, England [7]
  • Ernest Bench, aged 21, who arrived in New York, in 1919 aboard the ship "Manitou" from London, England [7]

Australia Bench migration to Australia +

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

Bench Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Bench, English convict who was convicted in Bradford, Yorkshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bench (post 1700) +

  • Johnny Lee Bench (b. 1947), American former Major League Baseball catcher, two-time National League Most Valuable Player, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Clinton Bench, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Massachusetts, 2004; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 2004
  • John Joseph "Joe" Bench K.C. (1905-1947), Canadian lawyer and Senator; he was named King's Counsel at the age of 33, the youngest in the British Empire; he died from a heart attack at the age of 42

The Bench 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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook