Recorded as Benthall and Bentall, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Benthall in the county of Shropshire. The place name and hence the later surname, means the place of the bent grass from the pre 7th century "beonet-halh". Similar place names are Benfield in Essex and Bentley, found in many parts of the country. Benthall was first recorded twenty years after the Conquest of England by the Normans in 1066 and then in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The spelling was given as Benehala, the French clerics struggling with English pronunciations. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere else. Spelling being at best problematical and dialects very thick, lead to the creation of "sounds like" spellings. In this case early examples of surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include Laurence Benthall of Shropshire in the register of the students of Oxford University in 1630, whilst Walter Bentall was a register signatory to the burial of his un-named son at St. Dionis Backchurch in the city of London in 1692.
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