Show ContentsBenefield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Benefield is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin. The name is derived from the Old English words "bean," meaning "bean," and "feld," meaning "field." This name is borne by several places in England, such as Benfield in Northamptonshire, Benville Manor in Dorset, and the now-lost Benfield in Sussex. Thus, the progenitor of the surname was most likely either someone who hailed from one of these places, or someone who lived near a bean field.

Early Origins of the Benefield family

The surname Benefield was first found in Hertfordshire, where Goduin de Benefelle was recorded as a land-holder in the Domesday Book. After the Norman Conquest of 1066, King William granted the lands of England to the barons that had served him in the Battle of Hastings. These barons followed the Norman practice of adopting the name of their land holdings; thus, it is possible that one branch of the Benefield family is descended from Richard, who was granted lands in the village of Benefield, East Northamptonshire.

"There are two villages about a mile apart, distinguished as Upper and Lower Benefield, the road from Oundle to Great Weldon proceeding through both." 1

Early History of the Benefield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benefield research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1160, 1296, 1381, 1559, 1630 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Benefield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benefield Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Benefield include Benfield, Benefield, Benfeld, Benefeld, Benefiel and others.

Early Notables of the Benefield family

Notables of the family at this time include

  • Sebastian Benefield (1559-1630), English divine and professor of theology at Oxford University. He was a native of Prestbury (or Prestonbury), Gloucestershire, where he was born on 12 Aug. 1559

Benefield Ranking

In the United States, the name Benefield is the 4,294th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. 2

United States Benefield migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Benefield or a variant listed above:

Benefield Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ernest Benefield, aged 25, who landed in America from Dover, England, in 1907
  • Harry Benefield, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1908
  • George Benefield, aged 50, who immigrated to America, in 1917

Contemporary Notables of the name Benefield (post 1700) +

  • Kim S. Benefield, American Democratic member of the Alabama Senate
  • Daved Benefield (b. 1968), former professional American football player
  • Barry Benefield (1877-1971), American writer
  • Loyd Benefield, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1956; Oklahoma Democratic State Chair, 1958 3
  • J. W. Benefield, American politician, Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, 1982-85 3
  • James Patrick Benefield (b. 1983), English footballer
  • Sebastian Benefield (1559-1630), English clergyman and academic

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from on Facebook