Benwel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Benwel is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Benwel family once lived in one of two villages called Bamfyld in the counties of Devon and Somerset. The place names literally mean "dweller at a field where beans grew."  
Early Origins of the Benwel family
The surname Benwel was first found in Devon, at Poltimore where John Baumfield was the original ancestor of this family having been granted lands there during the reign of Edward I. His pedigree can be traced for three generations before that period.  The family were bequeathed the manor of Poltimore in 1298 by William Pontyngton, Canon of Exeter Cathedral. Today Poltimore House is a 18th-century country house having gone through many changes from the original grant. The current iteration of Poltimore House was built by Richard Bampfylde (d.1595) about 1550 or so.
Banwell is a village and civil parish on the River Banwell in the North Somerset and dates back to Saxon times when it was first listed as Bananwylle in 904. 
By the time the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name has evolved to being known as Banwelle.  "The manor has been in the possession of the bishops of Bath and Wells since the time of Edward the Confessor. A monastery was founded at Banwell by one of the early Saxon kings, to the abbacy of which Alfred the Great appointed Asser." 
"The Bampfyldes have been settled at Poltimore, [East Devon] since the reign of Edward I., and entered the ranks of the baronetage in 1641. Sir John Bampfylde became for a time Governor on behalf of the Parliament of the town of Plymouth, and his son, Sir Copleston Bampfylde, took a leading part in the restoration of Charles II. The family were raised to the peerage as Barons Poltimore in 1831. Among the houses with which the Bampfyldes are allied, or whom they represent, are Pederton, St. Maure, Copleston, Codrington, and Gorges. " 
Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. Richard de Bamfeld was found in Hertfordshire in 1272 and Thomas Bamfeld was found here in 1462. Matthew Bampfeld was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1492 and laster, John Bampfyld was registered in Devon in 1642. 
Early History of the Benwel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benwel research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1272, 1462, 1492, 1575, 1581, 1582, 1642, 1752, 1766, 1560, 1626, 1597, 1585, 1621, 1622, 1628, 1629, 1683, 1633, 1692, 1659, 1671, 1679, 1685, 1679 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Benwel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benwel Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Benwel family name include Bamfield, Bammfield, Bramfield, Bamfeld, Bampfeld, Bampfield, Banfilde, Bampfild, Bampfyld, Bamfeild, Banfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Benwel family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Richard de Bamfield, a prominent 13th century landholder in Hertfordshire; Sir Amyas Bampfylde (1560-1626), an English Member of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Devon (1597); his son, John Bampfield (born ca. 1585), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Tiverton (1621-1622) and Devon (1628-1629) with Sir Francis Drake; and...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benwel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Benwel family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Benwel surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Bampfield, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1798.
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)