Bennan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The story of the Bennan family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The Bennan name comes from a place named by these Vikings and was used by a family who lived at Bennie, near the village of Braco in the parish of Logi-Almond in Perthshire. [1]

One noted author claims the family was originally Norman from "Beaunay, the fief so named in Normandy. John de Beaunay is mentioned by Orderic at the battle of Mortemer in 1055; and in 1080 Bernard de Beaunay, with Robert Malet and other Norman lords, witnessed a deed of William de Ros, third Abbot of Fecamp." [2]

Early Origins of the Bennan family

The surname Bennan was first found in Cumberland and Westmorland. The move of many of the family from northern England to Scotland is not documented. But we do know that "Hugh de Benne or Bennef witnessed charters by Gilchrist, earl of Angus, c. 1201-7. Hugh filius Hugonis de Benne witnessed a charter by Vmfridus de Berkelay to the Abbey of Arnbroath c. 1204-11, and as de Benne or Bennef attested a charter by William filius Bernardi." [1]

Back in northern England, Yorkshire is of particular note. There we find Ralph Benny in the Subsidy Rolls of 1301 [3] and later Johannes Benny was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [4]

Jordan de Belnai, in 1165, held two fees of Earl Walter Giffard, in Buckinghamshire [5] and Hugh de Belne, according to the Testa de Nevill, held Belne, in Worcestershire, of the Baron of Dudley. [2]

Early History of the Bennan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennan research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1321, 1399, 1498, 1522, 1600, 1607 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Bennan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bennan Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, no real standards were established to judge the accuracy of spelling and translation. They were done mostly by ear and intuition, and enormous numbers of spelling variations were the unsurprising result. Bennan has appeared as Benny, Beny, Bennie, Bennee, Benne, Beney, Benney and others.

Early Notables of the Bennan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bennan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bennan migration to the United States +

North America was far from Britain's oppressive monarchy. There, the Scottish found land and freedom, and many even the opportunity to pay back England in the American War of Independence. This brave heritage survives today largely in Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Bennan family in North America:

Bennan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bennan, aged 25, who arrived in Rhode Island in 1812 [6]


The Bennan 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 et opera
Motto Translation: By virtue and energy.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  6. ^ 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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