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

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.


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

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.


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 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Benfield History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 55 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


  • John Benfield, American actor, known for his work on Cassandra's Dream, The Best Offer (2013) and 101 Dalmatians (1996)
  • Warren A. Benfield (1913-2001), American classical double bass player for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was professor at Northwestern University
  • Kenneth R. Benfield, American politician, Mayor of El Segundo, California, 1957-60
  • Garrin Benfield, American singer-songwriter
  • Andrea Benfield (b. 1978), now known by her married name Andrea Byrne, an English journalist and presenter for ITV News: Wales at Six
  • Tommy Benfield (d. 1918), English footballer
  • Gary Benfield (b. 1965), award-winning English illustrator
  • Frederick Angus "Fred" Benfield (1937-2007), Australian bronze medalist Olympic rower at the 1956 Summer Olympics who later became a songwriter, and Judge of the District Court of New South Wales in 1988
  • Derek Benfield (1926-2009), British playwright, and actor, known for The Brothers (1972), Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996) and Lifeforce (1985)


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  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 18 January 2016 at 09:17.

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