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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Benfield family come from? What is the English Benfield family crest and coat of arms? When did the Benfield family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Benfield family history?

The distinguished surname Benfield 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.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Benfield 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. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Benfield include: Benfield, Benefield, Benfeld, Benefeld, Benefiel and others.

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 Benfield family is descended from Richard, who was granted lands in the village of Benefield, Northamptonshire.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benfield research. Another 263 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1160, 1296, 1381, 1559, 1630, 1613 and 1648 are included under the topic Early Benfield History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Benfield or a variant listed above:

Benfield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Benfield, who landed in Maryland in 1680

Benfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Nathaniel Benfield, who arrived in New York in 1843

Benfield Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William T. Benfield, aged 23, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waikato" in 1874
  • Esther Benfield, aged 23, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waikato" in 1874
  • William A. Benfield, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waikato" in 1874


  • Warren A. Benfield (1913-2001), American classical double bass player
  • Garrin Benfield, American singer-songwriter
  • Tommy Benfield (d. 1918), English footballer
  • Andrea Benfield (b. 1978), English journalist
  • Gary Benfield (b. 1965), award-winning English illustrator
  • Frederick Angus Benfield (1937-2007), Australian Olympic-level rower, songwriter, and Judge
  • John Benfield, British actor
  • Derek Benfield (1926-2009), British playwright, and actor


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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. 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).
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Benfield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Benfield 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 12 June 2013 at 10:30.

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