The surname Bennigsen is derived from the Germanic given name Berno, which is derived from the Old German word bero, which means bear. This makes this name a patronymic
surname; that is, derived from the personal name
of an ancestor. Patronymic
surnames arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local
language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne
(742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were also widespread in Germany
. As a result, many typical English and French names are of Germanic origin and have cognates in other European languages.
Early Origins of the Bennigsen family
The surname Bennigsen was first found in northern Germany
, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. They declared allegiances to many nobles and princes of early history, lending their influence in struggles for power and status within the region. They branched into several houses, and their contributions were sought by many leaders in their search for power. Chronicles first mention Ludolf Benning of Stralsund in Pomerania around 1288. In Wuerttemberg, two separate towns took on the name Benningen, although their relation to any of the branches of the family is difficult to determine.
Early History of the Bennigsen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennigsen research.Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1745 and 1813 are included under the topic Early Bennigsen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bennigsen Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Benning, Benne, Benningen, Benninger, Beningene, Bennigen, Bennig, Benniger, Benigen, Benig, Beninga (East Friesland), Benningsen and many more.
Early Notables of the Bennigsen family (pre 1700)
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bennigsen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bennigsen family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Joseph Benigen, who came to Philadelphia, Pa. in 1852.
Contemporary Notables of the name Bennigsen (post 1700)
- Rudolf von Bennigsen (1824-1902), German politician
- Levin August Theophil Bennigsen (1745-1826), German soldier
- August von Bennigsen (1765-1815), Hanoverian officer