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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French

The Benjamin surname is derived from the Hebrew personal name Benjamin, which literally means "son of the south," or "son of the right hand." The name most likely began to be used in England as a given name following the crusades, and was then taken on as a surname. Thus, the Benjamin surname is Hebrew in origin, but English as a surname, and may be carried by either Christians or Jews.


The surname Benjamin was first found in Norfolk, where a Roger Beniamin was listed in the Pipe Rolls in that county in 1166. However, the name is also found in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire and Wiltshire before 1250. [1]

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Benjamin has appeared include Benjamin, Benjammin, Beniamin, Benjamini, Benjamen and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Benjamin research. Another 357 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1500, and 1850 are included under the topic Early Benjamin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Benjamin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Benjamin arrived in North America very early:

Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Benjamin who arrived in Boston in 1632
  • Jo Benjamin, who arrived in America in 1632
  • John Benjamin, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Richard Benjamin, who landed in America in 1632
  • Mr Benjamin, who arrived in Virginia in 1649

Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jean Benjamin married in 1711

Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mr. Benjamin, who landed in Mobile Ala in 1821
  • Philip Benjamin, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826
  • J K Benjamin, who landed in Arkansas in 1844
  • F A Benjamin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • I Benjamin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Benjamin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Frank Benjamin, who arrived in Mississippi in 1905

Benjamin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Théotiste Benjamin married in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1827
  • Evan Benjamin, who arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Benjamin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • White Benjamin, aged 19, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Tantivy"
  • Benjamin Benjamin served as mayor of the city of Melbourne and was knighted in 1889

Benjamin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Abraham Benjamin arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1870


  • Thomas Benjamin (b. 1940), American composer of "Chesapeake Suite" (1992)
  • Alfred Stanley "Stan" Benjamin (1914-2009), American Major League Baseball player
  • Shelton Benjamin (b. 1975), American wrestler
  • Rick Benjamin (b. 1952), American announcer for Speed Channel
  • Rick Benjamin, American musician, founder and conductor of P Aragon Ragtime Orchestra
  • Richard Benjamin (1938-1969), American actor and film director, best know for his role in Goodbye, Columbus (1969)
  • Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin (b. 1956), 18th Surgeon General of the United States
  • Joel Benjamin (b. 1964), American chess grandmaster
  • Jessica Benjamin (b. 1946), American feminist and psychoanalyst
  • Harry Benjamin (1885-1986), German-born, American endocrinologist



  • The Benjamin Families from Columbia County, New York by R. M. Benjamin.
  • The Benjamin Family in America by Gloria Wall Bicha.

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  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Benjamin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Benjamin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 December 2014 at 17:08.

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