Recorded in a number of spellings, this very unusual surname is listed as English, but etymologically is Cornish. It is from a pre 7th century Celtic and possibly Breton or Olde British, origin. The many varied spellings include Benallack, Bonallack, Bennallack, Bennelick, Bonallick, and others, and the name is locational from, according to the Book of Cornish surnames, several places called Benalek in the parishes of Probus, Constantine, and Mabe. Curiously no such place, or places, is listed in the Dictionary of Cornish Place Names, and it is probable that they were or may remain, tiny hamlets or even single farms. The name in Cornish means 'The place of the Broom', a plant which grows widely in the region. The surname is well recorded in Cornwall from at least Stuart times, but is very rare elsewhere in the U K. Early examples of surviving church registers recordings include examples such as Malachy Bennalacke at St Ewe, on May 4th 1615, William Benhallack at Mevagissey on February 2nd 1651, the exotically named or certainly spelt, Hinnery Boonallack at Perranzabuloe on March 1st 1673, John Bonallack of St Austell, on January 1st 1714, and John Bennalick also of St. Austell, on December 26th 1834.
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