The name Benselay came to England
with the ancestors of the Benselay family in the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Benselay 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 Benselay family
The surname Benselay 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 Benselay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benselay research.Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benselay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benselay Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bensley, Bensely, Benseley, Benesle, Bensle, Benslie, Benslee, Benisly, Benslow, Beanslie, Binslie and many more.
Early Notables of the Benselay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Benselay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benselay family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Benselay or a variant listed above: Clement Bensley who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1813; John Bensle settled in Philadelphia in 1751.