Benin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Benin family took their surname from a place name. The roots of this place name lie with the ancient Viking settlers. The Benin surname comes from someone having lived in the old barony of Binney, in the parish of Uphall, in the county of West Lothian.

Early Origins of the Benin family

The surname Benin was first found in the West Lothian, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

One of the first records of the family was William Bennings ( fl. 1180), an English judge, "was, according to Giraldus Cambrensis, sent to Ireland by Henry II in 1176 as one of four envoys, of whom two were to remain with the viceroy, Richard FitzGilbert, earl of Striguil, and two were to return, bringing with them Reimund Fitzgerald, whose military exploits had aroused the king's jealousy. " [1]

William Benyng or De Binn (fl. 1250), was an early Scottish "biographer, [who] may be presumed to have been a native of Binning in Linlithgowshire. He was proir of the Cistercian abbey of Newbattle until 1243, when he was elected abbot of Cupar. He resigned this office on 29 Sept. 1258, probably on account of old age. The date of his death is unknown. " [1]

Early History of the Benin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benin research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1243, 1411, 1627, 1653, 1666 and 1258 are included under the topic Early Benin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benin Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were quite undeveloped in the Middle Ages. Consequently, the spelling of Scottish names was an inconsistent practice, usually governed by the unique ear of the scribe recording the name. Over the years, Benin was spelled Binney, Binning, Binnie, Benning, Bennyng, Bynnie, Bynny, Bynnyng, Byning, Bynning and many more.

Early Notables of the Benin family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Hugh Binning, (1627-1653), Scottish philosopher and regent of the University of Glasgow. He was the son of John Binning of Dalvenan, Ayrshire. His maternal uncle was "one of the youthful martyrs of Scotland - Hugh...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Benin migration to the United States +

Opportunity and land greeted those who made it all the way. Some had the opportunity to solidify their new freedom by fighting in the American War of Independence, while others went or stayed north as United Empire Loyalists. Recently, the ancestors of those brave settlers have been able to recover much of their heritage through Clan societies and other patriotic organizations. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Benin:

Benin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Christian Benin, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Benin (post 1700) +

  • Morice Benin (1947-2021), born Moïse Ben-Haïm, a French singer-songwriter


The Benin Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtute doloque
Motto Translation: By valour and craft.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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)


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