Benwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the name Benwell date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Benwell family 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 Benwell family
The surname Benwell 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 Benwell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benwell 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 Benwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benwell Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Benwell are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Benwell include: Bamfield, Bammfield, Bramfield, Bamfeld, Bampfeld, Bampfield, Banfilde, Bampfild, Bampfyld, Bamfeild, Banfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Benwell 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 Benwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Benwell migration to the United States +
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Benwell or a variant listed above:
Benwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Henry R C Benwell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1872 
- George W S Benwell, who landed in Mississippi in 1876 
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)
- ^ 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)