This unusual name is Scottish, and has two possible origins. The first of these is a patronymic form of the Scottish nickname, "Bain" used for a fair-haired person, which derives from the Gaelic word "ban" meaning "white" or "fair". The suffix "(z)ie" is the Scottish patronymic form, meaning "son of". The second possible origin is from a diminutive or pet form of the medieval personal name "Benedict", of which the English form is "Bennet(t)". The personal name means "blessed", from the Latin "Benedictus" and was popular in the Middle Ages, chiefly due to the fame of St. Benedict (c.480 - 550). One "John Bainzie" was "macer" of the Justice Court of Edinburgh in 1686, and "John Benzie" was christened on the 24th April 1718, at Oyne, Aberdeenshire. On October 26th 1790, James Benzie married Sarah Ward, at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone rd., London. The christening of James, son of James and Sarah Benzie took placed on March 8th 1791, at St. Anne Soho, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johnne Baynze (witness) of Inverary. which was dated 1576, "Criminal Trials of Scotland". during the reign of King James V1 of Scotland, 1567 - 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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