What can be said about this surname without any reservation, is that it is French Huguenot, being first recorded in England, in the (near) present spelling towards the end of the 17th century. However like all such variant forms, what it actually derives from is less obvious. It would seem that there are two likely contenders for the honour. The first is as a development of the famous French surname" Benoit," which is itself a form of the early "Benedict." The second is as a derivation from "Benoz" although this surname itself derives from Benedict, although through a different route. Both surnames were of aristocratic origins in France, and it seems that the original Huguenot Benoit nameholders in England were instrumental in setting up the famous silk factories in London in Circa 1680. It would also appear that the present name developed through a series of mis-spellings which commence with Benoit/Benois to Benoix, Jean Benoix the son of Jacques and Marthe, being christened at Threadneedle French Huguenot Church on September 25th 1695, and thence to Benoy, Jean Benoy being recorded with his wife Elizabeth as witnesses at the same Threadneedle Street Church on July 1st 1705. What is certain is that the name appears in many forms including Benoey, Benoist, Benoi, Bennough, and even Bennoe, this being recorded in London in 1748. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Benois, which was dated June 6th 1668, who married Jane Croivasy at the church of St Katherine's by the Tower, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch," 1660 - 1685. 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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