There are two possible origins for this unusual name, although both are locational. The first is a derived form of the Hertfordshire village name 'Bengeo', recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Belingehou' and in the Kings Rolls of Hertford in 1202 as 'Beningho'. The translation from the Anglo-Saxon is 'the dwellers (ing) on the ridge (hoh) by the (river) Beane'. The second possible origin which may apply to some name holders is from the Basque (Spanish) 'Bengoa' a word which translates as 'one who dwells at the lower end of the village'. It may well be that Henricus Bengouy recorded at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster on September 20th 1669, was of the Basque origin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Bengough, which was dated 27th April 1608, christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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