Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English surname but one arguably of Norman-French pre 10th century origins. It derives from the personal name 'Berengier' introduced into England after the famous Conquest of 1066. This name itself is composed of the elements 'bern' meaning a bear, with 'geri', a spear, although why someboidy should be called 'Bear spear' is a mystery. Be that as it may, the personal name was very popular in England during the early medieval period partly because one of the famous paladins or knights in the Charlemagne romances was recorded as Berengerus. The name also appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, as Belingar and as Berenger in 1219. The surname development includes: Walter Beneger of Gloucestershire in 1208, Reginald Beringer of Cambridgeshire in 1260., and John Belinger of Worcestershire in 1275. The modern surname can be found as Barringer, Beringer, Berringer, Bellinger, Bellenger, Ballinger, Benninger, Benger, and even Bellhanger. As an example of an early church recording Audrey Ballinger and Edmund Burt were married in London in 1670. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Berengeri. This was dated 1190, in the Danelaw Charters of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189-1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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