This unusual name is of Old German origin, and is one of the diminutive forms of the surname developed from the male personal name Benedict; the usual German forms are Bendig, Bindig, and Benditt. The given name derives from the Latin "Benedictus", Blessed, and was very popular during the Middle Ages, due largely to the fame of St. Benedict (circa 480 - 550), who founded the Benedictine order of monks at Monte Cassino and wrote a monastic rule that formed a model for all subsequent rules. The German diminutive forms of the surname from this source include: Bente, Behn(e), Behn(e)cke, Beynke, Benck, and Benkin. The surname Benkin or Binkin may also in some cases be of Ashkenazic origin, as a metronymic from the Yiddish female given name "Bine", from "bin", bee, used as a translation of the Hebrew female given name "Devora" (Deborah), the literal meaning of which is "bee". The name is first recorded in England in Kent, as below, while in London, the christening of Awsten, son of Thomas Benkin, was recorded at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, on March 10th 1593. In Germany the marriage of Catharina Benkin and Matthias Arnold was recorded on August 8th 1709 at St. Vitus' Roman Catholic Church, Ellwangen, Jagstkreis, Wuertt. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Benkyn, which was dated May 4th 1560, marriage to William Lether, at Tonbridge, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 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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