This surname is of Latin (Roman) origins, and derives from the ancient, pre Christian word "bendictus", meaning blessed. There are believed to be over one hundred versions of the surname spelling, every country in Europe having its own variant. These include the British Benedict, Bennett, and Bennidick, the German Behn, Behnen, Bennin, and Beni, the French Benedicte, Benech, and Beneix, the Italian Benito, Bendicto, Venditti, and Vitto, and the Slavonic Bendig, Bindig and Benditt.The first name holder was the famous St Benedict of Monte Cassino, Italy, who founded the monastery there in about the year 540 a.d. However the name became more popular after the crusades of the 12th century, when various expeditions set forth from Europe to try to conquer the Holy Land for the Christians. The crusades were in conjunction with one of the many religious revivals of the Christian era, and this name initially became one of the most popular baptismal names. In the 13th century it developed into a surname, and its popularity has never wavered. Early examples of the surname recording include Leonardus Behnen, who married Gertudis Stammel at Koeln Stadt, Rheinland, Germany, on February 9th 1659, and Juergen Behn, who was baptised at Gavendorf, Hannover, Germany, on June 26th 1661. The first known recording of the surname is that of William Benet, which was dated 1208, in the Charter Rolls of the county of Durham, during the reign of King John of England, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216.
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