Recorded in the spellings of Bengal, Bengall, Bingall, Bengle and Bingell, this very interesting surname has a only a slight connection with the mystic East - and this is East Anglia, and not the bay of Bengal! It originates either from the English village of 'Benhall' in Suffolk, or from a 'lost' medieval village. The 'English Place Names Dictionary' describes Benhall as being a place where beans grew! If so the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'Bene-halh', although in our opinion the name could equally suggest that it described the place of the 'Beonna' people, a well known tribe in the area. 'Benhall' is recorded as 'Benehala' in the 1086 Domesday Book, the surname when it developed was much later. Locational surnames developed as a result (usually) as a result of former inhabitants moving either voluntarily or otherwise to new locations, and taking as their surname the name of their former homestead. Examples of early recordings of the surname include Richard Bingall on July 8th 1691 at St Mary Whitechapel, London, Elizabeth Bengle, christened at St Mary's church, Lewisham, on February 27th 1726, Ann Bengall, who married Thomas Fawson at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on August 3rd 1760, and John Bengal, who married Mary Mansfield, at St Clement Danes, westminster, on January 23rd 1798. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joseph Bingall, which was dated May 16th 1595, married in London by Civil Licence, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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