- Means a settlement in a field, moor or grassy place
- Commonly used as a last name
- Often abbreviated to Ben
- Benton, Bayntun and Baynton are variations of the name, and possibly Boynton is a near cousin
History of the name Benton
Benton is the name of a parish in Northumberland, England, and from this it is possible that surname was derived.
Bent is an old Saxon word, often used in early English poetry, and signifying a plain, a field, a moor.
Little Benton and Long Benton are towns in Northumberland, England, where the records of the Benton family go back to the twelfth century. In Wiltshire, also, Benton is an old family name.
Benton Castle is now a ruin in Pembroke, and Benton Hall a place of some note in Scotland. In the time of Henry VII, several members of the family were Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
Edward Benton and his nephew, Andrew Benton, are two ancestors whose history is well worth looking up. They were born in England, in County Essex, and came to America in 1638, settling in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Andrew went later to Milford, and Edward to Guilford. Andrew is buried at Hartford in the Old Center burying ground.
Andrew married Hannah Stocking in Hartford about 1649. His second wife was Anne Cole. Among his children were Hannah, John, Andrew, Ebenezer and Lydia.
This is the record of Andrew Benton: “He was strong in mind and body, thrifty and honest, and performed well his duties in town and church life and he left a good name and a comfortable estate.”
He owned at his death $250, a fair-sized fortune for those days. Among his effects was a sword, which probably indicates that he took part in the colonial wars.
The Bentons of New York State, trace back to Edward the immigrant ancestor of Guilford, Connecticut. His son Joel, born in 1771, removed to central New York, where he was Justice of the Peace and a member of the legislature. Edward, the colonist, had 10 children. He his sons and his grandsons were large property owners in Guilford.
Calvin Benton introduced Merino sheep into New England. His son James designed the first wrought iron sea coast gun carriage made here.
In North Carolina, Colonel Jesse Benton was private secretary to Governor Tryon, the last royal Governor. Colonel Jesse married Anne Gooch of Virginia, and their son was Thomas Hart Benton, the statesman, who was born in Orange County, North Carolina, in 1782.
Colonel Jesse died when his son was a youth, and the latter, with his mother, went to Tennessee, where she had a tract of 40,000 acres. Part of this, or about 3,000 acres, was known as the “Widow Benton Settlement,” and there was a place called Bentontown.
Thomas Hart Benton, who attained the military rank of Colonel, was aide-de-camp to Jackson in the War of 1812. He was a Western pioneer, settling in St. Louis.
It is told of Colonel Benton that he never smoked, drank or engaged in any games of chance. This was in deference to his mother’s wishes, and it was his desire to adhere to them through life. He was the author of “Thirty Years,” a history of the American Government from 1820 to 1850.
The Bentons were always well-represented when war was abroad in the land. Captain Selah and Lieutenant Jacob, both of Connecticut, were members of the Continental Army. Jacob Benton went forth in 1877. He is recorded as “a man of veracity, honorable, honest.”
The Bentons of today can boast that their ancestors not only go back beyond the great-great-grandfather generation, but that they were men of mark all along the ages.