England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Benisley family lived in Norfolk and Suffolk. The name is derived from an Old Norse phrase which means an area where beans were grown.
Early Origins of the Benisley family
Norfolk and Suffolk, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They are descended from Benzelius, Archbishop of Upsal in the Viking kingdom of Sweden. Benzelinus accompanied William Conqueror into England. There are now 28 different forms of spelling of this name. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Benisley family
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Benisley Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Benisley are characterized by many spelling variations. 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. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Benisley include Bensley, Bensely, Benseley, Benesle, Bensle, Benslie, Benslee, Benisly, Benslow, Beanslie, Binslie and many more.
Early Notables of the Benisley family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Benisley family to the New World and Oceana
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Benisley, or a variant listed above: Clement Bensley who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1813; John Bensle settled in Philadelphia in 1751.
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