Benjamin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Benjamin surname is derived from the Hebrew personal name Benjamin, which literally means "son of the south," or "son of the right hand." The name most likely began to be used in England as a given name following the crusades, and was then taken on as a surname. Thus, the Benjamin surname is Hebrew in origin, but English as a surname, and may be carried by either Christians or Jews.

Early Origins of the Benjamin family

The surname Benjamin was first found in Norfolk, where a Roger Beniamin was listed in the Pipe Rolls in that county in 1166. However, the name is also found in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire and Wiltshire before 1250. [1]

Early History of the Benjamin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benjamin research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1500, and 1850 are included under the topic Early Benjamin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benjamin Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Benjamin has appeared include Benjamin, Benjammin, Beniamin, Benjamini, Benjamen and many more.

Early Notables of the Benjamin family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benjamin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benjamin World Ranking

In the United States, the name Benjamin is the 840th most popular surname with an estimated 34,818 people with that name. [2] However, in France, the name Benjamin is ranked the 4,175th most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. [3] And in South Africa, the name Benjamin is the 641st popular surname with an estimated 10,804 people with that name. [4]


United States Benjamin migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Benjamin arrived in North America very early:

Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Benjamin who arrived in Boston in 1632
  • Jo Benjamin, who arrived in America in 1632 [5]
  • John Benjamin, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632 [5]
  • Richard Benjamin, who landed in America in 1632 [5]
  • Mr Benjamin, who arrived in Virginia in 1649 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Benjamin married in 1711
Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin, who landed in Mobile Ala in 1821 [5]
  • Philip Benjamin, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826 [5]
  • J K Benjamin, who landed in Arkansas in 1844 [5]
  • F A Benjamin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • Miss Benjamin, (b. 1832), aged 18, Virgin Islander settler traveling from Barbados aboard the ship "Fairmount" arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1850 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frank Benjamin, who arrived in Mississippi in 1905 [5]

Canada Benjamin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Benjamin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Théotiste Benjamin married in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1827
  • Evan Benjamin, who arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Benjamin migration to Australia +

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

Benjamin Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin Rowlands, English convict who was convicted in Hampshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Benjamin Vaux, (b. 1765), aged 32, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1821 [7]
Benjamin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin Cross, English convict who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Benjamin Darlington, English convict who was convicted in Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Benjamin Thomas, English convict who was convicted in Worcestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Benjamin Wantling, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Benjamin Gifford, (Griffin), (b. 1813), aged 15, English boot maker who was convicted in London, England for life for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1903 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Benjamin 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:

Benjamin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Benjamin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1870

Contemporary Notables of the name Benjamin (post 1700) +

  • Richard Benjamin (1938-1969), American actor and film director, best known for his role in Goodbye, Columbus (1969)
  • Ann Womer Benjamin, American politician, Mayor of Aurora, Ohio
  • Thomas Benjamin (b. 1940), American composer of "Chesapeake Suite" (1992)
  • Alfred Stanley "Stan" Benjamin (1914-2009), American Major League Baseball player
  • Shelton Benjamin (b. 1975), American wrestler
  • Rick Benjamin (b. 1952), American announcer for Speed Channel
  • Rick Benjamin, American musician, founder and conductor of P Aragon Ragtime Orchestra
  • Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin (b. 1956), 18th Surgeon General of the United States
  • Joel Benjamin (b. 1964), American chess grandmaster
  • Jessica Benjamin (b. 1946), American feminist and psychoanalyst
  • ... (Another 17 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight TWA 800
  • Mrs. Joan Benjamin (d. 1996), from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA, American architect flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; she died in the crash [10]
  • Mr. Arthur Benjamin (d. 1996), from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA, American high school teacher flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; he died in the crash [10]
RMS Lusitania
Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. John Henry Benjamin (b. 1893), Welsh coal miner from Abertridwr, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died


Suggested Readings for the name Benjamin +

  • The Benjamin Families from Columbia County, New York by R. M. Benjamin.
  • The Benjamin Family in America by Gloria Wall Bicha.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Barbados archives retrieved 2nd November 2021. (https://attheBarbadosarchives.wordpress.com/2003/07/18/Barbados-heritage-passenger-lists-and-Barbados-departures/)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  10. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm
  11. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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