The name Benswitz comes from Prussia
, a historic region that originally encompassed the coastal lands of the southeast Baltic, but over time expanded to include much of Poland and the majority of Germany
. In pre-medieval times, these Prussians used only one name, but later they were forced by a growing population to adopt hereditary surnames
so that they would remain distinct from the many others with the same first name. Local
names were often chosen. They originally indicated land ownership, and frequently carried the prefix von, meaning "of" or "from", which is often taken as an indication of aristocratic lineage. Benswitz was a name for some one lived in the village of Bennewitz which is between Halle and Schkeuditz. The oldest branch of the family owned the estate named Beinewitz, which is now Bennewitz near Torgau, since the early 14th century.
Early Origins of the Benswitz family
The surname Benswitz was first found in Brandenburg, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the family became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal
System and the nation. The earliest form of the name was Beinewitz or Bienewitz, and the oldest branch of the family owned the estate Beinewitz (now Bennewitz near Torgau) as early as 1300. Other chronicles suggest that the family originated in the village Bennewitz between Halle and Schkeuditz.
Early History of the Benswitz family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benswitz research.Another 265 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1451, 1541, 1495 and 1592 are included under the topic Early Benswitz History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benswitz Spelling Variations
Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia
. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations
of Benswitz include Bennewitz, Benwitz, Bennewitts, Benewitz, Bennswitz, Benwitts, Benwitz, Bannwitz, Banwitz, Beinewitz and many more.
Early Notables of the Benswitz family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benswitz Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benswitz family to the New World and Oceana
The state of Prussia
was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany
. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union
, Poland, East Germany
and West Germany
and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Benswitzs to arrive in North America, and among them were: Theodor Bennewitz, who settled in Texas in 1843 with his wife and child.