|About The Benjamin Family
I'm Robert Groves Benjamin. My grandfather, Arthur Edwin Benjamin (1868 - 1953), son
of our patriarch John Benjamin (1823 - 1902), did considerable research on the
Benjamin family. He left much of it to my father, Harold Garner Benjamin (1907 -
1996), and a good deal more to the Minnesota Historical Society. Much of what is
included on this site has come from the research that he did.
I know that the genealogy needs updating with new relationships and am hoping that
readers of this site will provide me with constant updates so that the site is as
meaningful and useful as possible. I welcome all input from all family members! If
you cannot contribute now, please at least sign the guest book!
The following thoughts and facts are those of Arthur Edwin Benjamin:
"It is natural for one to be interested in the nationality and genealogy of his
ancestors; to want to know from whence they came; what they accomplished during the
preceding generations; to know something about their background, culture, traditions;
and the characteristics of the family, and the origin of their name. It is
interesting to know what their environment was, and under what form of government
they lived; what talents they possessed, and what occupation they pursued for a
livelihood. All these factors, we know, have much influence upon succeeding
"It was my good fortune to have visited England and Wales, (the land of our
ancestors). I talked with many of the relatives and descendents of the family who were
living there at the time to obtain all the information possible about the family.
"I personally examined many records in the towns where the family lived in time
past and had others with knowledge and experience with genealogical histories look
up many records. I interviewed several of our relatives here in the United
States, examined known records, and obtained authentic information through and
from research bureaus. Nearly all of the early records of the family before coming
to America correspond with the early history of the families in England and Wales.
"After having learned many of the facts about the history of the family, can we say
that the descendants of the first family have made as much progress as they could
have, under the circumstances, as the past generations? Having found that the
families were a credit to the community in which they lived, it should be the aim of
each succeeding generation to add some laurels to the family. This would encourage
our descendants to keep up the culture, traditions, and good works of the family, and
to follow the motto on the coat-of-arms: "POUSSEZ EN AVANT"..........PUSH FORWARD!!
"Having spent much time and energy endeavoring to learn the early history of the
family, I recorded these facts and findings, believing they would
be of interest to other members of the family and near relatives.
THE NAME AND FAMILY OF BENJAMIN
"Families bearing the Benjamin name were to be found in the early English history in
the counties of Hereford, Suffolk and Bedford, as well as in and around, London,
Chester and Liverpool, mostly around the English and Welsh border. They appear to
have been, for the most part, of the English landed gentry, and yeomandry, and in
good financial circumstances. History states that the house of Benjamin traces its
descent from the time of William the Conqueror, who led the Normans in the conquest
of England in 1066 A. D.
"This tradition runs that Walter de Lacey, one of the Norman Barons who accompanied
William at the time, left a son named Roger who was the father of Ilbert, who was the
father of John, whose immediate descendents are said to have used the name Beryton,
which later became Berington, and finally, Benjamin. The history of the family as
observed in the records of England and the United States are similar in regard to
names and locations.
"The above report was also given me by others who looked up the genealogy of the
family while in England. T. J. Benjamin, Solicitor of Liverpool, in a letter to me on
August 19, 1925, reports this is the record he also has.
"One person in particular, (Mr. W.R. Price of Chester, England), who was employed to
look up the genealogy of the family reported that many of the families in the early
history of England, especially those who lived near the Welsh border, at one time
became very religious, and changed their names to Bible names. Our family changed
from Berington to Benjamin. In the early years, all the family records in the British
Isles were kept at the Parish churches; public records were not available until about
1831. It was through the rectors of the various Episcopal churches of Wales and
England, where our ancestors lived, that I obtained much valuable information and
data on the family. A reverend Octavius Rees, of Bagillt, North Wales, was extremely
helpful in that regard. All our ancestors, seemingly, were Episcopalian and quite
religious, which perhaps accounts for the fact that I found no record of any member
of the family who had committed any dishonorable act that is punishable by law.
They kept out of trouble, and were a help to the community, always self supporting,
and in good financial circumstances."