Benken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Benken is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Norfolk.
However, one source notes the name was originally Welsh "derived from the name of an ancestor. —Ab-Eignon' (Welsh), i.e. 'the son of Eignon' or 'Ennion.' Robert ap Eignon had for his son Robert Baynham, of Chorewall, in the forest of Dean. Henceforward the family were so known. The name looks wonderfully English and local, but, as shown, is not so." 
Early Origins of the Benken family
The surname Benken was first found in the county of Norfolk. Baynham Hall is a 17th century manor house located in Michaelchurch-On-Arrow, Gladestry, Powys, Wales. We do know that Hugh Lloyd purchased Baynham Hall in about 1830, but as far as who originally had the manor house built remains a mystery.
John Bankyn or Banekyne (fl. 1382), was an "Augustinian friar and opponent of Wycliffe, born in London and educated in the Augustinian monastery of that city and afterwards at Oxford, where he attained the degree of doctor of divinity. " 
Hugh Benham or Hugo Benhyem (d. 1282), was Bishop of Aberdeen and succeeded Richard Pottock in the see in 1272. 
Cadugan ap Eynon was listed in Cheshire in 1285 and later Iorworth ap Egnon was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1287. 
Early History of the Benken family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benken research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1476, 1501, 1738, 1760, 1458, 1514, 1500, 1557, 1532, 1497, 1501, 1516, 1532, 1546, 1543, 1536, 1611, 1582, 1602, 1628, 1606, 1664, 1629, 1681, 1565 and 1593 are included under the topic Early Benken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benken Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Benken family name include Baynham, Bayneham, Bainham, Banham, Banam and others.
Early Notables of the Benken family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Baynham (d. 1500), Constable of St Briavel's Castle. His descendant, Sir Christopher Baynham (d.1557) was the first of the family to hold Clearwell, a village and former ancient manor in the Forest of Dean, West Gloucestershire.
James Bainham (d. 1532), was an English martyr, who according to Foxe, was a son of Sir Alexander Bainham, who was Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1497, 1501, and 1516, though his name does not occur in any of the pedigrees of the family. James was sentenced as a relapsed heretic and burned in Smithfield on 30 April...
Another 106 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benken family to Ireland
Some of the Benken family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benken family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Benken surname or a spelling variation of the name include: William Baynham who settled in New England in 1718; Richard Baynham settled in Maryland in 1774; Henry Baynham also settled in New England in 1763.
Related Stories +
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)