Benness History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Benness, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. They lived in the lands of Balneaves in the parish of Kinkell in Angus. The name is a topographic or local surname, which was given to a family who held a barony or lands, had houses, manors or estates in the area. Even today, there is a small farm in the area called Balneaves.

Early Origins of the Benness family

The surname Benness was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say before the eleventh century.

They held a family seat on the lands of Balneaves in the parish of Kinkell, the site is still marked by three aged trees, which are bounded by Kyrkness and Louchor. Laurence Balnaves attended the beating of the boundaries of his territories in 1395.

Early History of the Benness family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benness research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1597, 1587, 1579, 1513, 1542 and 1538 are included under the topic Early Benness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benness Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Benness has been spelled Balneaves, Balnaves, Balnavis, Banese, Bannese, Bennase, Bennese, Benes and many more.

Early Notables of the Benness family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Henry Balnaves (d. 1579), Scottish reformer, usually described as of 'Halhill' after a small estate belonging to him in Fifeshire. "He was born in Kirkcaldy during the reign of James V of Scotland (1513-1542); but the exact date is unknown. He proceeded in very early youth to the university of St...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Benness family

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Benness: Richard Benes who settled in Barbados in 1635; Bennett Bennes settled in Virginia in 1652; Ann Bennes settled in Virginia in 1654; John Bennes landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868..



The Benness 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: Hinc origo
Motto Translation: Hence our origin.


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