Bennay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the Bennay family may have been Viking settlers. Their surname comes from a place name of Norse origins, from when they lived at Bennie, near the village of Braco in the parish of Logi-Almond in Perthshire. 
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." 
Early Origins of the Bennay family
The surname Bennay 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." 
Back in northern England, Yorkshire is of particular note. There we find Ralph Benny in the Subsidy Rolls of 1301  and later Johannes Benny was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 
Jordan de Belnai, in 1165, held two fees of Earl Walter Giffard, in Buckinghamshire  and Hugh de Belne, according to the Testa de Nevill, held Belne, in Worcestershire, of the Baron of Dudley. 
Early History of the Bennay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennay 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 Bennay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bennay Spelling Variations
Standards against which to judge the accuracy of spellings and translations did not yet exist in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations in names dating from that era, are thus, an extremely common occurrence. Bennay has been recorded as Benny, Beny, Bennie, Bennee, Benne, Beney, Benney and others.
Early Notables of the Bennay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bennay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bennay family
The New World was far from the oppressive regime of the old country. It was a place where there was more land than people and political and religious freedom were far easier to come by. Many Scots even got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. In recent years, interest in this heritage has been generated by Clan societies and regular highland games in North America. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Bennay name: William Bennie who was a saddle bag preacher in Boston in 1635; Stephen Benney settled in New York in 1822; Edward Benny settled in Virginia in 1654; along with James and Joseph, and Alexander who settled in the same state..
Related Stories +
The Bennay 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.
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)