This unusual and interesting name is of Norman, French origin, from the personal name 'Berengier, berenger' introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. It is ultimately of Germanic origin, composed of the elements 'ber(n), bear, with 'ger, gar', spear. The personal name was popular in England during the 12th and 13th Centuries, partly due to the fact that it was the name of one of the paladins in the Charlemagne romances, and is recorded as 'Berengerus' in the Domesday Book of 1086, as 'Belingar' in 1207, and as 'Berenger' in 1219. The surname development includes: Walter Beneger (1208, Gloucestershire), Reginald Beringer (1260, Cambridgeshire) and John Belinger (1275, Worcestershire). The modern surname can be found as Beringer, Berringer, Bellinger, Bellenger, Ballinger, Benninger, Benger, and Bell(h)anger. One Audrey Ballinger and Edmund Burt were married in London in 1670. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Berengeri, which was dated circa 1190, in the Danelaw Charters of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189-1199. 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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