Bennie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the Middle Ages, Viking immigrants settled the shores of Scotland and named many places. The Bennie name was then created from one of these place names. They 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 Bennie family

The surname Bennie 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 Bennie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennie 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 Bennie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bennie Spelling Variations

Intuition and sound were the primary sources medieval scribes used to judge appropriate spellings and translations for names. The spelling of a name thus varied according to who was doing the recording. The different spelling variations of Bennie include Benny, Beny, Bennie, Bennee, Benne, Beney, Benney and others.

Early Notables of the Bennie family (pre 1700)

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


United States Bennie migration to the United States +

In their new home, Scots found land and opportunity, and some even fought for their new freedom in the American War of Independence. Some, who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, the ancestors of both of these groups have begun recovering their illustrious national heritage through Clan societies and other Scottish historical organizations. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Bennie name:

Bennie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Bennie who was a saddle bag preacher in Boston in 1635
Bennie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bennie, who arrived in New York in 1834 [6]
  • David Bennie, aged 47, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1840 [6]
  • Archibald Bennie, who landed in New York in 1848 [6]
  • James W Bennie, who landed in Arkansas in 1897 [6]

Australia Bennie migration to Australia +

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

Bennie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Bennie, aged 29, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion" [7]
  • Jane Bennie, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"

West Indies Bennie migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Bennie Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Alexander Bennie, who landed in Barbados in 1674 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bennie (post 1700) +

  • Adam Bennie (b. 1967), American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association
  • John Bennie (1796-1869), Scottish Presbyterian missionary
  • Peter Bennie (b. 1898), Scottish professional footballer
  • John Bennie (b. 1896), Scottish professional association footballer
  • Robert Hunter Brown Bennie (1900-1972), Scottish footballer
  • Leigh Bennie, South African radio broadcaster
  • Andrew Bennie (b. 1956), New Zealand Olympic horseman
  • Oscar Bennie Roan III (b. 1951), retired American NFL football tight end
  • Robert Bennie Cranston (1791-1873), American Republican politician, Speaker of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives, 1846-47; Mayor of Newport, Rhode Island, 1853; Presidential Elector for Rhode Island, 1864 [9]
  • Bennie Gene Adkins (1934-2020), United States Army soldier and recipient of the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Vietnam War; he died from COVID-19

HMAS Sydney II


The Bennie 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)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARION 1851 - HER HISTORY. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Marion.htm
  8. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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