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About the study
The origin of the surname Benedict is obscured in history, but it likely originates with the Latin word benedictus, for blessing.
One-Name Study Website
The Guild member's website for the study of Benedict with the associated family trees is available.
Etymology of Benedict Surname
Benedict is a common surname that comes from the Latin word meaning "blessed". The name was popularized by Saint Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the Order of Saint Benedict and thereby of Western Monasticism (Benedictine).
The earliest documented surname Benedict in Great Britain occurs in the Norfolk area on the east coast. George Benedict (abt. 1520-1576) was born and raised in Tasburgh, a village in the south part of Norfolk, and approximately eight miles south of Norwich. Norwich, a city in Norfolk county, was once the largest city in England after London, and is the location of the Norwich Cathedral and was a Benedictine community as far back as 1019. It is plausible, that before surnames were common, that an early ancestor was called, nickname from Benedict Abbey, or along those lines. As surnames became popular, it could then have been shortened to given name Benedict.
Variants of Benedict
The surname Benedict has been recorded also as: Benedick, Benedik, Benidick.
Incomplete - "under construction"
The earliest known records of the surname Benedict are found in the Norfolk county of England, UK in the parish records of Tasbourgh. Tasburgh itself is a village located about 8 miles south of Norwich.
Discuss religious puritan movement in late 1500's and political oppression.
Migration to London. Emigration to Bay area colony.
Establishment of Benedicts in Massachusetts, then to Long Island, then to Connecticut.
Links to Thomas Benedict and family and locations.
Notable Benedict People
Noted Benedicts of the Family Line
- Thomas Benedict (1617-1689), first Benedict to land in North America
- Smedley Benedict (1800-1867), first noted Benedict to arrive in Canada
- Elwyn Ellsworth Benedict (1930-2010); author of Genealogy of the Benedicts in America, Volume II
- John Smedley Benedict (1877-1948), great-grandfather of author of this wiki article and marine captain of the Great Lakes
- Julius and Vincent Benedict, characters in the movie: Twins
- Terry Benedict, character in Ocean's Eleven (2001 film)
- Phillium Benedict, villain of Recess: School's Out
The main resource for Benedict researchers is the double volume of Genealogy of the Benedicts in America.
Genealogy of the Benedicts in America, Volume I
First edition published in 1870, then edited and republished in 1969 by Elwyn Benedict. Author is Henry Marvin Benedict, a resident member of the Albany Institute (Albany, New York State) and of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Hard cover bound; 477 pages.
The only information available on Henry M. Benedict is contained within the volume. His early education was at the Albany Academy and subsequently entered William College in 1842. Three years later, disease terminated his studies and made him an invalid for life. He later served with the Union Army in the American Civil War as chief clerk in the United States Disbursing office. For his service, he received commissions as Major and subsequently, of Colonel. From 1868 onward until publication in 1870, his full attention was occupied with the compilation of the Benedict genealogy.
Genealogy of the Benedicts in America, Volume II
First edition published in 1969, compiled and authored by Elwyn Ellsworth Benedict, with assistance from his spouse, Esther Winefred (Wemes) Benedict. Hard cover bound; 636 pages.
Elwyn learned of his Benedict family line from long evenings sitting down with his mother, writing out the family tree and history in longhand. He and Esther and their family of two boys would take summer driving vacations, going through most of the main 48 states, collecting Benedict names from telephone directories, cemetery treks and direct visits, then return home at East Syracuse, New York State to compile the information. They also mailed out hundreds of survey sheets, to be filled in by families and mailed back to Elwyn. Esther would prepare all of the publication-ready sheets on a manual typewriter for submission to the printer.
Elwyn passed away at his home in 2010.
Even after the Volume II was finally finished and distributed, more original material has been forwarded to the Benedict residence, in hopes that there will be a Volume III.