Benniston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Benniston surname is a patronymic, created from the Medieval given name Benne, which comes from the Latin word "benedictus," which means "blessed." Some instances of the surname may also be derived from the name of the village of Benson (Benington) in Oxfordshire (Bennesingtun in Old English).  
While the parish dates back to ancient Roman and Saxon times, it was listed as Baenesington c. 900. By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, the village was known as Besintone.  Literally, the place name means "estate associated with a man called Benesa," from the Old English personal name + "ing" + "tun." 
Early Origins of the Benniston family
The surname Benniston was first found in Oxfordshire, where a Peter de Bensinton was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1208. 
Henry de Benson was recorded in that same county in Oseney, in 1269. A family of the name was established from ancient times in the vicinity of Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire. The Gildea, Gildee and other spellings were adopted in Ireland and are explained in more detail later.
Some of the family branched in Yorkshire in the early years as Germanus Benson was listed as holding lands there in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 
Early History of the Benniston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benniston research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1326, 1332, 1393, 1570, 1611, 1617, 1559, 1644, 1549, 1667, 1640, 1676, 1731, 1711, 1713, 1829, 1896, 1883, 1896, 1613, 1692, 1672, 1691, 1699, 1762, 1682, 1754 and are included under the topic Early Benniston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benniston Spelling Variations
Benniston has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Benniston have been found, including Benson, Benison, Bensone, Bennison, Gildea, Gilday, Gildee, Bennsone, Bennisoun, Bennisone and many more.
Early Notables of the Benniston family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Benson (died 1549), an English Benedictine, the last Abbot of Westminster and first Dean of Westminster; John Benson (died 1667), a London publisher, best remembered for an important publication of the Sonnets and miscellaneous poems of William Shakespeare in 1640; Robert Benson (1676-1731), English Member of Parliament, made Chancellor of the Exchequer 1711, created Lord Bingley in 1713; and Edward...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benniston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benniston family to Ireland
Some of the Benniston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benniston family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Bennistons to arrive on North American shores: John Benson, Mary Benson and their two children, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1638; Dirck Benson, who came to New York in 1648; Cutbert Benson, who came to Virginia in 1655.
Related Stories +
The Benniston 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: Si Deus quis contra?
Motto Translation: If God be with us who can be against us?.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)