Benson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Benson 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). [1] [2]

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. [3] Literally, the place name means "estate associated with a man called Benesa," from the Old English personal name + "ing" + "tun." [4]

Early Origins of the Benson family

The surname Benson was first found in Oxfordshire, where a Peter de Bensinton was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1208. [5]

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. [1]

Early History of the Benson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benson 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 Benson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benson Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Benson has been recorded under many different variations, including Benson, Benison, Bensone, Bennison, Gildea, Gilday, Gildee, Bennsone, Bennisoun, Bennisone and many more.

Early Notables of the Benson 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 Benson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Benson World Ranking

In the United States, the name Benson is the 331st most popular surname with an estimated 82,071 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Benson is ranked the 741st most popular surname with an estimated 7,239 people with that name. [7] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Benson is the 329th popular surname with an estimated 140 people with that name. [8] Australia ranks Benson as 459th with 8,262 people. [9] New Zealand ranks Benson as 693rd with 1,028 people. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Benson as 478th with 13,493 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Benson family to Ireland

Some of the Benson 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.


United States Benson migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Benson or a variant listed above:

Benson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henery Benson, who landed in Virginia in 1620 [12]
  • Dirck Benson, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1620 [12]
  • Henry Benson, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [12]
  • John Benson, Mary Benson and their two children, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1638
  • Stephen Benson, who arrived in Maryland in 1641 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Benson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Amy Benson, who settled in Virginia in 1714
  • Amy Benson, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [12]
  • Mary Benson, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1744 [12]
  • Thomas Benson, who landed in America in 1794 [12]
  • Jacob Benson, aged 14, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1799 [12]
Benson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Paul Benson, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1812 [12]
  • Berkett Benson, who landed in New York in 1836 [12]
  • Michael Benson, aged 25, who arrived in Missouri in 1840 [12]
  • George K Benson, aged 33, who landed in Buffalo, NY in 1840 [12]
  • Heinr Benson, who arrived in America in 1844 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Benson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • August Hjalmor Benson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1920 [12]

Canada Benson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Benson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Benson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Thomas Benson, who settled in Carbonear, Newfoundland, in 1770 [13]
  • Mr. Matthew Benson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [14]
  • Mr. Albert Benson U.E. who settled in Adolphus Town [Adolphustown], Ontario c. 1783 [14]
  • Mr. Cornelius Benson U.E. who settled in Fredericksburgh, Cataraqui township, [Greater Napanee], Ontario c. 1783 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Benson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Benson, who was on record in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1809 [13]
  • Isaac Benson, who was in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1810 [13]
  • Francis Benson, aged 5, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • John Benson, aged 32, who landed in Canada in 1823
  • John, Benson Jr., aged 1, who landed in Canada in 1823
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Benson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Benson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Benson, (b. 1805), aged 18, English house maid who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for shop lifting, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1853 [15]
  • Mr. William Benson, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Henry Benson, (b. 1815), aged 20, English plasterer and tiler who was convicted in London, England for 14 years for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1892 [17]
  • Mr. James Benson, Irish convict who was convicted in Ireland, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 19th May 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1839 aboard the ship [18]
  • Mr. John Benson, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Canton" on 20th September 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Benson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Benson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • B J Benson, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Catherine Stuart Forbes
  • George Benson, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1841
  • Barker Joseph Benson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • William Benson, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • C. Benson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ashburton" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Benson migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [20]
Benson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Win Benson, aged 28, who arrived in Barbados in 1634 [12]
  • William Benson, aged 28, who landed in Barbados in 1634 [12]
  • Mr. William Benson, (b. 1606), aged 28, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Hopewell" arriving in Barbados on 17th February 1634 [12]
  • Jo Benson, aged 27, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 [12]
  • Mr. John Benson, (b. 1608), aged 27, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [21]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Benson (post 1700) +

  • Dee Vance Benson (1948-2020), American jurist, Senior United States District Judge and Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah
  • George "Sax" Benson (1929-2019), American jazz alto and tenor saxophonist, session musician and educator from Detroit
  • Thomas Milton "Tom" Benson (1927-2018), American businessman, philanthropist and sports franchise owner of the New Orleans Saints (1985-2018) and New Orleans Pelicans (2012-2018)
  • Irving Benson (1914-2016), American vaudeville actor and comedian, a frequent guest on the Johnny Carson-hosted Tonight Show
  • Edwin Benson (1931-2016), American educator, the last native speaker of the Mandan language
  • D Frank Benson (1928-1996), Professor Emeritus of Neurology at University of California at Los Angeles
  • Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994), United States Secretary of Agriculture, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Stella Benson (1892-1933), English-born, American novelist
  • Admiral William Shepherd Benson (1855-1932), American naval officer and the first Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), holding the post throughout World War I
  • Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), American Impressionist artist, and a member of the Ten American Painters
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Wyatt David Benson (b. 1966), American Specialist 4th Class from Forsyth, Georgia, USA who died in the crash [22]
Hillsborough disaster
  • David John Benson (1966-1989), English sales representative who was attending the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, Yorkshire when the stand allocated area became overcrowded and 96 people were crushed in what became known as the Hillsborough disaster and he died from his injuries [23]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. James Alan Benson, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [24]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Clifford Benson, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [25]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Arthur Benson (1893-1914), Newfoundlander from Harbour Grace who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
USS Arizona
  • Mr. James Thomas Benson, American Seaman First Class from Alabama, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]


The Benson 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?.


Suggested Readings for the name Benson +

  • The Benson Family; Descendants of Isaac Benson and Mary Bumpas, and Allied Families by Grace Hildy Croft.
  • Eastmond Benson Genealogy and Biography by T. L. Eastmond.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  8. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  14. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dunvegan-castle
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canton
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  23. ^ Hillsborough Victims (retreived 21st March 2021). Retreived from https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/15/remembering-96-victims-hillsborough-disaster-30-years-9206566/
  24. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  25. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  26. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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