Bennis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bennis is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Cheshire and Lancashire. Originally, the surname was derived from the Old English word beonet, which meant by the grassy plain. [1] Other records show that the name was also a nickname derived from the Christian name Bennet or Benjamin and was frequently used by the Benedictine monks.

Early Origins of the Bennis family

The surname Bennis was first found in Cheshire and Lancashire, but we must look to Northumberland for the first listing of the surname; for it is there that we find Nicholas Bent listed in the Assize Rolls of 1256. [1]

Later, the Subsidy Rolls of 1327 in Staffordshire list Adam del Bent. [1] Robert de la Bende was listed in Shropshire during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377.) [2]

James Ben, Bane, Bene, Bennet or Biort (d. 1332), was Bishop of St. Andrews, trained from his youth for the church. "As Archdeacon of St. Andrews he was sent to France in 1325, along with three other dignitaries, to renew an offensive and defensive alliance with that country. In the original document his name occurs as Bene; he is subsequently mentioned as Sir James Bane; by Fordun he is called Jacobus Benedicti; while the name on his tombstone was Jacobus dominus de Biurt. " [3]

Important Dates for the Bennis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennis research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1600, 1600 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Bennis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bennis Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bennis are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Bennis include: Bent, Benn, Ben, Bente, Bend and others.

Early Notables of the Bennis family (pre 1700)

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

Bennis migration to the United States

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bennis or a variant listed above:

Bennis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Bennis, aged 32, who landed in New York in 1812 [4]
  • Eduardo Bennis, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bennis (post 1700)

  • Joseph G. Bennis, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1932, 1940 (alternate) [5]
  • Edward F. Bennis, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1896, 1916, 1924, 1928; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1928 [5]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from
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