Benchlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Benchlay came 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 Benchlay family
The surname Benchlay 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. 
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. 
There may be a Norman connection as sources there show Robert and William Bence there (1180-1198)  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 list William Bence. 
"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." 
Early History of the Benchlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benchlay research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1688, 1659, 1676 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Benchlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benchlay 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 Benchlay family name include Bence, Bense, Benche, Bencke, Bench, Benchley and others.
Early Notables of the Benchlay family (pre 1700)
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benchlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benchlay family
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 Benchlay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Bence who settled in Virginia in 1653; William Bence who settled in Virginia in 1654; Adam Bence who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738.
Related Stories +
The Benchlay 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.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ 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.