Recorded as Benn, Benner, Binn, Binne, Binor, Binner, Bynnor, and possibly others, this is an English medieval surname. It derives from the pre 7th Century word "binn", and has two possible interpretations. Firstly, it may be an occupational name for a maker of bins, used for the storage of corn, meal, and bread, as in the recording of Thomas Binere, of Colchester, in the county of Essex, in 1373. Occupation surnames were amongst the earliest to be recorded but did not become hereditary unless a son followed the father into the same line of business. The second possible origin is residential for someone who lived in a small valley or depression in the ground and called a bin or binn. Residential surnames were amongst the earliest created, as features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Examples of the surname from surviving church registers include the marriage of Silvestre Bener and Anys Wylde at St Michael Bassishaw, city of London, on September 1st 1539, Agnes Byner who married Lawrence Bridge at Halifax, Yorkshire, on May 19th 1549; and William Biner who married Clements Cass or Cask on January 26th 1563, at Chelmsford, Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter le Bynere. This was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Tax Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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