Bentley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bentley name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in one of the many places called Bentley. These included parishes in the counties of Suffolk, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Derby, and Essex, as well as a myriad of small hamlets throughout the counties of England. The surname is derived from Benet-legh which literally means the field of Benedict. Alternatively the name could have come from "Bentley (clearing overgrown with bent grass.)" [1]

Early Origins of the Bentley family

The surname Bentley was first found in various parishes throughout England including Suffolk, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, and Essex. [2]

The Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire listed William de Benetega in 1176 and William de Benteley was later listed in the Feet of Fines for Warwickshire in 1316-1317, [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 including some of the first mentions of the family: John de Bentelege, Derbyshire; and Roger de Benetlye, Yorkshire.

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Alicia de Benteley; and Ricardus de Benteley, "carpentar." [2]

Early History of the Bentley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bentley research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1662, 1742, 1896, 1662, 1742, 1662, 1693, 1742, 1692 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Bentley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bentley Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Bentley has undergone many spelling variations, including Bentley, Bentli, Bentlie, Bently and others.

Early Notables of the Bentley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Bentley (1662-1742), an English theologian, classical scholar and critic. He was the son of Thomas Bentley by his second wife, Sarah Willie, and was born on 27 Jan. 1662 at Oulton, in the parish of Rothwell, near Wakefield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "The Bentleys were yeomen of the richer sort. They had been somewhat impoverished by the civil war, in which Bentley's grandfather had served as a royalist captain...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bentley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bentley family to Ireland

Some of the Bentley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bentley migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bentley were among those contributors:

Bentley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Bentley, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607 [4]
  • William Bentley who sailed aboard the "Free Love" in 1624 from England, who settled in Virginia
  • Mary Bentley, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Abram Bentley, aged 20, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Alice Bentley, aged 15, who landed in America in 1635 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bentley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Bentley, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1703 [4]
  • Fra Bentley, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [4]
  • Richard Bentley, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [4]
Bentley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Bentley, who arrived in New York in 1825 [4]
  • Joseph Bentley, who landed in New York in 1838 [4]
  • G Bentley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Bentley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bentley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Bentley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Samuel Bentley, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1761
  • Mr. John Bentley U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]
Bentley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mirun Bentley, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • Randall Spencer Bentley, who landed in Canada in 1834
  • Mr. Joseph Bentley, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Robert Peel" departing 26th July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 19th September 1847 but he died on board [6]
  • David and William Bentley were fishermen of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1871 [7]

Australia Bentley migration to Australia +

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

Bentley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Bentley 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:

Bentley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Bentley, who landed in Wellignton, New Zealand in 1840
  • Henry Bentley, who landed in Karori, New Zealand in 1840
  • Rachel Bentley, aged 18, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" between 1841 and 1850
  • George Bentley, aged 13, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" between 1841 and 1850
  • John Bentley, aged 20, a miller, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bentley (post 1700) +

  • Charles Raymond Bentley (1929-2017), American glaciologist and geophysicist from Rochester, New York
  • Helen Delich Bentley (1923-2016), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland (1985-1995)
  • Dierks Bentley (b. 1975), American country music artist
  • Arthur Fisher Bentley (1870-1957), American political scientist and philosopher
  • Stephanie Bentley (b. 1963), American country music singer
  • Eric Bentley (b. 1916), English-born, American critic, editor, and translator
  • Cy Bentley (1850-1873), American Major League Baseball player
  • Arthur A. Bentley, American Democrat politician, Independent Democratic Candidate for Governor of Wisconsin, 1922 [11]
  • Andrew Jackson Bentley (1827-1895), American politician, Mayor of New London, Connecticut, 1894 [11]
  • Alvin Morell Bentley (1918-1969), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Michigan 8th District, 1953-61; Defeated, 1962; Candidate for Michigan State Board of Education, 1964 [11]
  • ... (Another 61 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Etta Ashade  Bentley (1893-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [12]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Frederick Bentley, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [13]


The Bentley 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: Viva ut vivas
Motto Translation: Live that you may live forever.


Suggested Readings for the name Bentley +

  • 775 "Bente, Bentley" by Sylvia B. Lee.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 65)
  7. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CHEAPSIDE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Cheapside.htm
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  13. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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