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. Benwitz 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 Benwitz family
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 Benwitz family
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Benwitz Spelling Variations
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 Benwitz include Bennewitz, Benwitz, Bennewitts, Benewitz, Bennswitz, Benwitts, Benwitz, Bannwitz, Banwitz, Beinewitz and many more.
Early Notables of the Benwitz family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Benwitz 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 Benwitzs to arrive in North America, and among them were: Theodor Bennewitz, who settled in Texas in 1843 with his wife and child.
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