Show ContentsBenning History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the name Benning are with the Viking settlers of the early Middle Ages; the surname having come from a place named by the Vikings It is a name for someone who lived in the old barony of Binney, in the parish of Uphall, in the county of West Lothian.

Early Origins of the Benning family

The surname Benning was first found in the West Lothian, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

One of the first records of the family was William Bennings (fl. 1180), an English judge, "was, according to Giraldus Cambrensis, sent to Ireland by Henry II in 1176 as one of four envoys, of whom two were to remain with the viceroy, Richard FitzGilbert, earl of Striguil, and two were to return, bringing with them Reimund Fitzgerald, whose military exploits had aroused the king's jealousy. " [1]

William Benyng or De Binn (fl. 1250), was an early Scottish "biographer, [who] may be presumed to have been a native of Binning in Linlithgowshire. He was proir of the Cistercian abbey of Newbattle until 1243, when he was elected abbot of Cupar. He resigned this office on 29 Sept. 1258, probably on account of old age. The date of his death is unknown. " [1]

Early History of the Benning family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benning research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1243, 1411, 1627, 1653, 1666 and 1258 are included under the topic Early Benning History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benning Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes most often spelled names by the way they sounded. spelling variations, are thus, very common in records dating from that time. Over the years, Benning has been spelled Binney, Binning, Binnie, Benning, Bennyng, Bynnie, Bynny, Bynnyng, Byning, Bynning and many more.

Early Notables of the Benning family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Hugh Binning, (1627-1653), Scottish philosopher and regent of the University of Glasgow. He was the son of John Binning of Dalvenan, Ayrshire. His maternal uncle was "one of the youthful martyrs of Scotland - Hugh...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benning Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benning Ranking

In the United States, the name Benning is the 8,859th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Benning migration to the United States +

The Scottish settlers spread out along the fertile land of the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. They and many of their children went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. That heritage has been recovered by many in this century through Clan societies and other Scottish historical organizations. Archival documents indicate that members of the Benning family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Benning Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Benning, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1663 [3]
Benning Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Benning, who settled in Maryland in 1774
Benning Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Herm Benning, who arrived in America in 1842 [3]
  • M Adelheid Benning, who landed in America in 1844 [3]
  • Christ Benning, who arrived in America in 1844 [3]
  • Elis Benning, who arrived in America in 1845 [3]
  • Engelbert Benning, who arrived in America in 1845 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Benning migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Benning Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Benning, aged 6 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing 15th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 10th August 1847 but he died on board [4]

New Zealand Benning migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Benning Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Benning, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870

West Indies Benning 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. [5]
Benning Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Benning who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Elizabeth Benning, aged 18, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [3]
  • MissElizabeth Benning, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Benning (post 1700) +

  • Henry Louis Benning (1814-1875), American Democratic Party politician, Justice of Georgia State Supreme Court, 1853-59; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1860; Delegate to Georgia secession convention, 1861 [7]
  • Diane Benning, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 2004 [7]
  • Deborah Benning, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2004 [7]
  • Anton Hermann Benning, German fighter pilot and flying ace in the Luftwaffe, during World War II, credited with 28 aerial victories, awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Benning Mann, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate at-large, 1825
  • Benning Wentworth (1696-1770), Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire (1717-1730)
  • Benning Moore Grice (1909-1988), American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Benning M. Grice, American politician, Justice of Georgia State Supreme Court, 1960-74; Chief Justice of Georgia Supreme Court, 1974-75 [7]
  • Benning Moulton Bean (1782-1866), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives, 1815-23, 1827; Member of New Hampshire State Senate 6th District, 1824-27, 1831-33 [8]

The Benning 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 doloque
Motto Translation: By valour and craft.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 65)
  6. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's. Retrieved 23rd September 2021 from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook