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

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

The ancestors of the Benham surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Norfolk.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Benham include Baynham, Bayneham, Bainham, Banham, Banam and others.

First found in the county of Norfolk, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benham research. Another 254 words(18 lines of text) covering the year 1476 is included under the topic Early Benham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Benham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 108 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Benham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Benham, who landed in Massachusetts in 1631
  • Anam Benham, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Temperance Benham, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Benham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mathew Benham, who arrived in Virginia in 1714

Benham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mr. Benham, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • J Benham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Watson R Benham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Christina Benham, who landed in America in 1860

Benham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Jane Benham, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Florentia"
  • Jane Benham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Florentia" in 1849
  • Henry Benham, English Convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

Benham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Benham arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863


  • Elsa Benham (b. 1908), American actress
  • Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham (1832-1905), American admiral, eponym of the Benham (DD-49), an Aylwin-class destroyer and two other destroyers
  • Robert Benham (b. 1946), first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Chris Benham (b. 1983), English cricketer
  • Joan Benham (1918-1981), English actress
  • Mr. Frederick Benham (d. 1912), aged 29, English Second Class Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Donald Benham (b. 1954), Canadian journalist, teacher and politician


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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. 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 Benham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Benham 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 31 January 2015 at 19:04.

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