Last name: Ebenezer

This is one of the most interesting surnames on record. Its origins are from the Hebrew "Eben", meaning "stone", and "ezer", help, and derives from the "stone of help" raised by Samuel to commemorate the defeat of the Philistines (Samuel 1 - V11.12). However, in Britain, the name is associated with the later Puritans and Dissenters and is not recorded as a surname until the 18th Century, when it seems that persons may have changed their surnames to "Ebenezer" as a sign of their faith (see below). The first recording in any form is that of Benazer Wilson: the son of a minister ejected from his living in Berkshire for holding "puritan" views, Benazer Wilson is recorded as born in 1668. Recordings of the surname include the very interesting family of Ebenezer Jones of Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, whose family were christened at Ynysgon Presbyterian Church, their surnames being recorded not as Jones, but as Ebenezer, commencing with Mary Ebenezer on January 29th 1792, and Sarah Ebenezer on January 4th 1794. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Ebenezer, which was dated March 24th 1774, marriage to James More, at St. Mathew's, Bethnal Green, London, during the reign of King George 111, known as "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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