Benfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Benfield family

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, 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]

Important Dates for the Benfield family

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

Benfield Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Benfield family (pre 1700)

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)...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benfield migration to the United States

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 [2]
Benfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nathaniel Benfield, who arrived in New York in 1843 [2]

Benfield migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Benfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Benfield, (b. 1834), aged 23, Cornish labourer departing from Plymouth on 5th June 1857 aboard the ship "Undaunted" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 20th August 1857 [3]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Benfield, (b. 1836), aged 21, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth on 5th June 1857 aboard the ship "Undaunted" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 20th August 1857 [3]

Benfield migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Benfield Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth A. Benfield, (b. 1829), aged 34, British needlewoman travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]
  • Mr. Henry Benfield, (b. 1842), aged 21, British farm labourer travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]
  • Mr. William Benfield, (b. 1849), aged 14, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]
  • Mr. Amos Benfield, (b. 1853), aged 10, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]
  • Mr. Richard Benfield, (b. 1856), aged 7, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Benfield (post 1700)

  • 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
  • Garrin Benfield, American singer-songwriter
  • Kenneth R. Benfield, American politician, Mayor of El Segundo, California, 1957-60 [5]
  • 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)
  • Christopher Benfield Carter (1844-1906), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Montréal division no. 5 (1904-1907)

Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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