England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Benslay family lived in Norfolk and Suffolk. The name is derived from an Old Norse phrase which means an area where beans were grown.
Early Origins of the Benslay family
Norfolk and Suffolk, 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 Benslay family
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Benslay Spelling Variations
hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Benslay include Bensley, Bensely, Benseley, Benesle, Bensle, Benslie, Benslee, Benisly, Benslow, Beanslie, Binslie and many more.
Early Notables of the Benslay family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Benslay family to the New World and Oceana
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Benslays to arrive on North American shores: Clement Bensley who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1813; John Bensle settled in Philadelphia in 1751.
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