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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The German state of Prussia, which reached the zenith of its power in the late 19th century, is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Benecke. In the medieval era, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the German lands were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known as Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. The colorful history of Brandenburg-Prussia provides a glimpse at the oldest origins of the Benecke family.

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The surname Benecke was first found in Brandenburg, where the name Benckendorf emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Benecke include Benckendorf, Benkendorf, Beneckendorff, Benckendorff, Benckenndorf, Benkkendorf, Benkendorfer and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benecke research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the year 1757 is included under the topic Early Benecke History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Benecke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Since medieval times, the state of Prussia has played an important part in the history of Germany. The state's military powers were historically very strong, and endured until after the Second World War, when the territory was broken up and divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. A spurt of migration followed, with some Prussians going elsewhere in Europe and many others crossing the ocean to North America. Most entered the United States through Philadelphia. Some remained there, while more moved on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others traveled to Canada and settled Ontario and the prairie provinces. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Benecke or a variant listed above:

Benecke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Heinr Benecke, who arrived in America in 1780
  • August Benecke, who arrived in Long Island in 1781
  • Conrad Benecke, who arrived in America in 1783
  • Friedrich Benecke, who arrived in America in 1783
  • Carl, Benecke Sr., who landed in Pennsylvania in 1793


Benecke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • P A Benecke, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Heinrich Benecke, who landed in America in 1850
  • Gottfried Benecke, who landed in Texas in 1858
  • Frederick Benecke, who landed in Texas in 1858

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  • Robert Benecke (1835-1903), German-born American photographer
  • Mark Benecke (b. 1970), German forensic biologist
  • Emil Benecke (1898-1945), German water gold and silver medalist polo player at the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics
  • Georg Friedrich Benecke (1762-1844), German philologist


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  1. Gottschald, Max. Deutsche Namenkunde unsere Familiennamen nach ihrer Entstehung und Bedeutung. München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1932. Print.
  2. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  3. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  6. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  7. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  8. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  9. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  10. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  11. ...

The Benecke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Benecke Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 October 2015 at 07:51.

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