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About the study

Although I started out, like most people, with immediate family history I became interested in the links with other names and countries. This led to an interest of the distribution and other family grouping which subsequently led me to compiling trees of unrelated Bennie families.

Variant names

Variants of BENNIE includes BENY, BENE, BENNY, BENNEY and is sometimes mixed up with BINNIE (even within a family grouping).

Name origin

The name BENNIE is prevelant in Central Scotland but may orginate elsewhere and could be derived from (son of) Benedict. The heraldic route identifies Braco in Creif (near Gleneagles) but no definative proof can as yet be found. See the Historical Research Centre extract below.

Family Name History - BENNIE

The Scottish surname BENNIE is local in origin, belonging to that category of surnames derived from the name of the place where an original bearer dwelt or where he once held land, one of most common means of identification in the period prior to the establishment of a formal hereditary surname system. Bennie, then denotes simply of or from Bennie€, this being the name of a place on the east side of the Knock above the village of Braco in the parish of Logie Almond. Bennie first appears as a surname in written records in the year 1201 when Hugh de Benne witnessed charters by Gilchrist, Earl of Angus. Thereafter the surname appears regularly, some of its variant forms being Beny, Bynne, Benee and Beney. In 1552, for instance, an Alexander Benne was a €œdekin of the wobshare is€ in Stirling (deacon of the weavers), and a James Beny was prebendary of Crudane in 1321. Thirty seven Bennies appear in the Stirling Commissariot record of 1607 to 1800.

Blazon of Arms: Argent, a bend sable, between a cinquefoil in chief gules, and a sword in pale azure, bladed or.

Historical occurrences of the name

Apart from the Historic Research Centre extract, the earlist mention I have found so far is a William Bennie who was an archer during the One Hundred Years war who fought under Sir Robert Harling from Norfolk in 1431. There are many mentions of the variants Bene/Benny of soldiers during this war.

Early records in Scotland include:
1562 ELSPET BENNIE, OPR of birth to Robert Bennie/Isbell Andirson in Dunfermilne, Fife
1606 ROBERT BENNIE, Edinburgh Commissary Court
1637 JAMES BENNIE, bookseller, Edinburgh (Married Catharine Mackmillen 5 January 1637).

Recent notables include:

John Bennie (born in 1796,  Glasgow, died 9 February 1869, Ciskei, South Africa) was a Presbyterian missionary and early Xhosa linguist. In 1816 he became associated with the Glasgow Missionary Society while still in Scotland and sailed to South Africa on the ship Woodlark as a catechist where he carried out his missionary work in the Ciskei.

'GEORGE BENNIE (1892 - 1957) was born at Pollokshaws, Glasgow, in 1892, the son of an engineer. In his youth he began to show signs of his ability as an inventor and several patents were registered in his name. During the 1920s, he turned his attention to a revolutionary new concept of public transport. His idea was to get railways off of the ground and into the air. Bennie believed that fast passenger traffic should be separated from the slower heavy goods trains.'

ANDREW DAVID BENNIE (1956 - , Howick, NZ) part of the New Zealnd equestrian team which won bronze at the Seol Olympics.

Dr PETER BENNIE (from Clackmannanshire) a Consultant Psychiatrist at the NHS Glasgow and Clyde was elected to the chair of the Scotland Annual Representative Meeting of the British Medical Association for the year 2015.

Name frequency

To be included.

Distribution of the name

Central Scotland has the most dense occurence which is centred in and around Falkirk, Stirlingshire. Due to the early historic data I will be reviewing links with east England (Norfolk). This makes sense historically as this area is linked to the Anglo-Saxon era. Due to emigration, and also to transportation, the name has spread worldwide with many families making a successful life in the old colonial countries. I am keen to establish contacts with any family looking for help with research and indeed vice versa, especially those willing to participate in the DNA study.


I have many BMD certiificates related to my family links with Stirlingshire and particularly with Polmont where my immediate family originate from. I have also compiled a spreadsheet of SRI and OPR lists (which I am still adding to) but which enables me to identify family groups and concentrations. This will be added to Guild Bennie archive in the near future.


I have completed a DNA project with Ancestry.Com which can be accessd or joined on request. This DNA study identified the 'Y' chromozone as being part of the 'I' haplogroup which has Viking/Anglo Saxon links. This haplogroup is termed the Stonemasons and moved to and from Scandinia/North West Europe.

Anybody wishing to view or join this project can do so via Ancestry.Com or from myself via my One-Name study email adddress.