Bennislay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Bennislay family lived in Norfolk
. The name is derived from an Old Norse phrase which means an area where beans were grown.
Early Origins of the Bennislay family
The surname Benn Islay
was first found in Norfolk
, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest
in 1066. They are descended from Benzelius, Archbishop of Upsal in the Viking kingdom of Sweden. Benzelinus accompanied William Conqueror into England
. There are now 28 different forms of spelling of this name. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Bennislay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bennislay research.Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bennislay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bennislay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Bensley, Bensely, Benseley, Benesle, Bensle, Benslie, Benslee, Benisly, Benslow, Beanslie, Binslie and many more.
Early Notables of the Bennislay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bennislay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benn Islay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Bennislay or a variant listed above: Clement Bensley who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1813; John Bensle settled in Philadelphia in 1751.