Our Maternal




Family Ancestors

Family History

Origins of the Surname

Variations of the Surname

Armorial Bearings

& Motto(es)

Ancestral Lineage

Ancestral Locations

Source Documents

Website Resources

Family Images Gallery



Family history



Family History


    Our Bennett family line has been traced back the Elisha Bennett born in England circa 1755.  By 1786 he was living in Guilford County, North Carolina and married to Elizabeth Coble, daughter of John Coble and Maria Barbara Stahlin.  To this union at least five known children were born between 1786 and 1804.  Elisha lived the remainder of his life in Guilford County where his property lay on the “Old Trading Road”. He died in 1835 at the approximate age of 80 years.

     John Bennett, son of Elisah and Elizabeth Coble married Roseanna Lineberry, a native of North Carolina, in Orange County of that state.  To this union at least ten children one of whom was our 3rd great-grandmother Sarah Bennett.   It is believed that all of these offspring were most probably born in or around Guilford County, North Carolina.    John removed his family from this area to Tennessee in 1825.  Here he engaged in farming and operation of a distillery until 1833 when he moved to Savannah, Georgia.  He afterward went to the “Cherokee Nation” where his death occurred.  The exact location is not known but the most reasonable possibilities are Cherokee lands in western North Carolina or the southern part of Missouri.

     It is believed that Sarah Bennett was born near Greensboro, North Carolina circa 1812.  Sarah was married first to our 3rd great-grandfather John Moreland.  She produced one child, a son, John P. Moreland, born in 1832, through whom our lineage continues.  After the death of John Moreland she married for a second time to a James Collins in 1838.  It is known that Sarah and James had at least four known offspring between 1839 and 1849.  Her son William Collins born around 1841 is listed in the 1860 census as living in the household of his half-brother to John P. Moreland.   Sometime after 1860 Sarah married for a third time to Josiah Carter.    Josiah and Sarah Carter are listed as trustees of Bowles Chapel Southern Methodist Church, in Maries County, Missouri.  It is believe that Sarah died after 1893 possibly in Missouri.


Origins of the surname


Origins of the Surname

An Introduction to the Surname

Source/Meaning of the Surname

History of

the Surname

Immigrants to North America

More About Surnames

An Introduction to the Surname

                 The practice of inherited family surnames began in England and France during the late part of the 11th century.     With the passing of generations and the movement of families from place to place many of the original identifying names were altered into some of the versions that we are familiar with today.  Over the centuries, most of our European ancestors accepted their surname as an unchangeable part of their lives.  Thus people rarely changed their surname.  Variations of most surnames were usually the result of an involuntary act such as when a government official wrote a name phonetically or made an error in transcription.  Research into the record of this Bennett family line indicates that the variations, meanings and history of this surname are most likely linked to that area of Europe where English, linguistic traditions are commonly found. 

Source(s) & Meaning(s) of the Surname

     Most of the modern family names throughout Europe have originated from with of the following circumstances: patronym or matronym, names based on the name of one's father, mother or ancestor, (Johnson, Wilson, Tiffany, Megson). Each is a means of conveying lineage; occupation (i.e., Carpenter, Cooper, Brewer, Mason); habitational (Middleton, Sidney, or Ireland) or topographical (i.e. Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale); nicknames (i.e., Moody Freeholder, Wise, Armstrong); status (i.e. Freeman, Bond, Knight); and acquired ornamental names that were simply made up.

     Bennett is English from the medieval personal name Benedict (Latin Benedictus meaning ‘blessed’).  This personal name owed its popularity in the Middle Ages chiefly to 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.   No doubt the meaning of this Latin work also contributed to its popularity as a given name, especially in Romance countries in the 12th century.  There were many versions of the name throughout Europe, and in England in the 12th Century the Latin form of the name can be found alongside versions derived from the Old French forms "Beneit" and "Benoit", which were popular among the Normans.

History of the Surname

     Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in use in England or Scotland, before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and were first found in the Domesday Book of 1086. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans who had adopted the custom just prior to this time.    Soon thereafter it became a mark of a generally higher socio-economic status and thus seen as disgraceful for a well-bred man to have only one name.  It was not until the middle of the 14th century that surnames became general practice among all people in the British Isles.

     The Bennett surname was most likely brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066.  Early records of the name mention Benedictus Kepeherm, 1193, County Yorkshire. The Bennett name has been traced back to the early 13th Century and is first found in a part of north of Lancashire where a Benedictine monastery known as Furness Abbey was by founded by the Savigny monks of Normandy in 1127.  The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Benet, which was dated 1208, in the "Charter Rolls of Durham".  Bennett was the name of a prominent Anglo-Irish family of French origin, who in the 14th century settled in Kilkenny and adjacent counties in Ireland.

     London Church Records list the christening of Dennys Bennett on June 15th 1567 at St. Mary at Hill, and the christening of Thomas Bennit on December 1st 1583 at St. John's, Hackney. 
Joanna Benet of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas, son of Bennett Calwaye, was baptised at St. Columb Major in Cornwall in the year 1581. William Stiche and Bennett Bennet were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1577. John, son of Thomas Bennet was baptised at the same church in 1578 Arnold Bennet (1867-1931) was the famous novelist whose books depicted life in the potteries.

Early Immigrants to North America

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents.  Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of Bennett, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were: William Bennet, who is on record in Virginia in 1628; and Samuel Bennett who settled in Lynn, Mass. in 1635.     John Bennett is recorded as sailing in the "Plaine Joan" from London in May 1635, bound for Virginia. 

Use the following links to find more early immigrants with this surname:

$ Search Ancestry.com Immigration Records; or Free Ship’s Passenger lists at OliveTreeGenealogy.com

More About Surname Meanings & Origins

English Surnames

Although the Domesday Book compiled by William the Conqueror required surnames, the use of them in the British Isles did not become fixed until the time period between 1250 and 1450.  The broad range of ethnic and linguistic roots for British surnames reflects the history of Britain as an oft-invaded land. These roots include, but are not limited to, Old English, Middle English, Old French, Old Norse, Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, Pictish, Welsh, Gaulish, Germanic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  Throughout the British Isles, there are basically five types of native surnames. Some surnames were derived from a man's occupation (Carpenter, Taylor, Brewer, Mason), a practice that was commonplace by the end of the 14th century.  Place names reflected a location of residence and were also commonly used (Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale) as a basis for the surname, for reasons that can be easily understood.  Nicknames that stuck also became surnames.  About one-third of all surnames in the United Kingdom are patronymic in origin, and identified the first bearer of the name by his father (or grandfather in the case of some Irish names). When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.  Acquired ornamental names were simply made up, and had no specific reflection on the first who bore the name. They simply sounded nice, or were made up as a means of identification, generally much later than most surnames were adopted.

 Source: http://www.obcgs.com/LASTNAMES.htm

Variations of the surname


Variations of
the Surname


Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families.  Spelling variations of this family name include: Bennett, Bennet, Benett, Benet, and many others.   


The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents.   The Soundex Indexing System was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for Bennett is B530. Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code:  BANDY | BANTA | BENDA | BENNET | BENOIT | BENT | BOND | BONNET | BONNETT | BONNETTE | BUNDY | BUNT |.


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Coat of arms


Armorial Bearings & Motto(es)

In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armored warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.  In the British Isles the College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2


There are more than 30 known armorial bearings for Bennett /Bennet recorded in Sir Bernard Burke’s General Armory. The following additional information has been found regarding the coats-of-arms shown at the left:

Figure 1: arms granted to a Bennet of Devonshire, England;

Figure 2: granted to Bennett of Dublin, Ireland, the crest (not shown) is an arm couped at the elbow, holding in the hand, a thistle;

Figure 3: credited as a Dutch coat-of-arms for a Bennett most likely from The Netherlands features a gold lion on a red shield.

Figure 4: this English coat-of-arms with variations of the crest has been identified as having been awarded to Sir Thomas Bennett, Lord Mayor of London, Henry Edward Bennett, Esq., of Sparkford House, in Somerset, as well as a Bennett from Faringdon, then in Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire, (see mottoes below);

Figure 5: the same arms as shown in figure 4 features a red shield with a bezant between three silver demi lions rampant and a distinctive crest of a gold double scaling ladder;

Figure 6: this coat-of-arms belongs to a Bennett of Scotland and  shows a red shield with a gold cross patte between three silver mullets;

Figure 7: these arms were awarded to a Bennett located at New Ross in Wexford, Ireland. They feature a silver shield containing a chevron between three red lions' heads erased.

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7


     More than 12 mottoes have been identified as having been used with the armorial bearings of Bennett. The following mottoes are paired with various Bennett(s) who used them:

(1) Bennet, of Pythouse, in Wiltshire, a very ancient family, of which a pedigree of thirteen descents is recorded in the College of Arms, used “Aut nunquam tentes aut perfice”, meaning “Either never attempt or accomplish.”

(2) Bennet (most likely Sir William Baron of Grubbet), in county Roxburgh of Scotland is associated with “Benedictus qui tollit crucem”, translated as “Blessed is he who bears the cross.”

(3) Bennet of Bedstone in Shropshire, England, as well as a Bennett in Faringdon, (see figure 4 above), used “De bon vouloir servir le roy”, meaning “To serve the king with right good will”.

(4) “Serve the King” was used with the coat-of-arms granted to John Charles Jackson, a Lieutenant in the 1st West India Regiment, when he assumed the additional surname and arms of Bennett.

     In addition to the aforementioned mottoes the following have been identified as having been used by Bennett:

(1) “Bene tenax” translated as “Rightly tenacious”;  (2) “Nunquam tentes aut perfice”, i.e. “Never attempt or accomplish”; (3) “Premi, non opprimi”, i.e. “To be pressed, not oppressed”;  (4) “Rara bonitas”, i.e., “Goodness is rare”;  (5) “Dux vitœ ratio”, i.e., “Reason is the guide of life”;  (6) “Haud facile emergent”, i.e., “They do easily rise up”;  (7) “Irrevocabile”, i.e., “Irrevocable”; and   (8) “Mihi consulit Deus”, i.e., “God careth for me.”

A Coat of Arms is defined as a group of emblems and figures (heraldic bearings) usually arranged on and around a shield and serving as the special insignia of some person, family, or institution.  Except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.  A coat of arms, more properly called an armorial achievement, armorial bearings or often just arms for short, is a design usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname.  Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  The rules and traditions regarding Coats of Arms vary from country to country. Therefore a Coat of Arms for an English family would differ from that of a German family even when the surname is the same.  The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. The use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, towns and villages is called civic heraldry.   Some of the more prominent elements incorporated into a  coat of arms are :

Crest - The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms.  The crest was a later development arising from the love of pageantry.  Initially the crest consisted of charges painted onto a ridge on top of the helmet.

Wreath or TorseThe torse is a twist of cloth or wreath underneath and part of a crest. Always shown as six twists, the first tincture being the tincture of the field, the second the tincture of the metal, and so on.

Mantling – The mantling is a drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.

Helm or Helmet - The helmet or helm is situated above the shield and bears the torse and crest. The style of helmet displayed varies according to rank and social status, and these styles developed over time, in step with the development of actual military helmets.

Shield or Arms - The basis of all coats of arms.  At their simplest, arms consist of a shield with a plain field on which appears a geometrical shape or object.  The items appearing on the shield are known as charges.

Motto - The motto was originally a war cry, but later mottoes often expressed some worthy sentiment. It may appear at the top or bottom of a family coat of arms.

Direct ancestors


Ancestral Lineage

Descendant Register

Generation 1

Elisha Bennett-1 was born on Abt. 1755 in England. He died on Abt. 1835 in Guilford County, North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Coble on Abt. 1785, daughter of Johannes “John” Coble and Maria Barbara Stahlin. She was born on Abt. 1767. She died on Abt. 1831 in Guilford County, North Carolina.


Children of Elisha Bennett and Elizabeth Coble are:


2.            i.      John Bennett, B: Abt. 1786 in Guilford County, North Carolina, D: Abt. 1836 in  Cherokee Nation ?, M: Sep 1807 in Orange County, North Carolina.


                Ellander "Nelly" Bennett, B: Abt. 1788 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, M:  06 Feb 1806 in Randolph County, North Carolina.


                Elizabeth Bennett, B: Abt. 1796 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, M: 23 Dec 1816 in Orange County, North Carolina.


                David Bennett, B: Abt. 1796 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, D: 20 Apr 1851 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, M: 03 Jan 1816 in Orange County,  North Carolina.


                Levi Bennett, B: 1800 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, D: 15 Apr 1851 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA.


                Nancy Bennett, B: Abt. 1801 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, D: 02 Oct 1857 in Randolph County, North Carolina, M: 02 Oct 1826 in Orange County,  North Carolina.


                Sarah "Sally" Bennett, B: 29 Jan 1802 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA,  D: 06 Aug 1871 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, M: 23 Apr 1818 in  Guilford County, North Carolina, USA.


3.            viii.     Daniel Bennett, B: 1803 in Guilford County, North Carolina, D: 22 Aug 1874 in  Guilford County, North Carolina, M: 20 Feb 1826 in Guilford County, North  Carolina.


Generation 2

John Bennett-2(Elisha Bennett-1) was born on Abt. 1786 in Guilford County, North Carolina. He died on Abt. 1836 in Cherokee Nation?. He married Rosanna Lineberry on Sep 1807 in Orange County, North Carolina, daughter of Jacob Lineberry and Rebecca Christman. She was born on   Abt. 1787 in North Carolina, USA. She died on Abt. 1873.


Children of John Bennett and Rosanna Lineberry are:


                Daniel Bennett, B: Bet. 1808-1812 in Guilford County, North Carolina, D: Bet.  1808-1812 in Guilford County, North Carolina.


                Emanuel Bennett, B: Bet. 1808-1812 in Guilford County, North Carolina, D: Bet.  1808-1812 in Guilford County, North Carolina.


                iii.      Sarah Bennett, B: Bet. 1813-1815 in Guilford County, North Carolina, D: Aft.  1893, M: 02 Nov 1834 in St. Clair County, Illinois.


                iv.     Emily Bennett, B: Bet. 1815-1817 in Guilford County, North Carolina, D: 13 Jan 1876 in Maries County, Missouri, M: Abt. 1834 in Tennessee.


        v.       Mary "Polly" Bennett, B: Bet. 1817-1819 in Guilford County, North Carolina, M:  1833 in



        vi.      Jeremiah Bennett, B: 19 Jan 1819 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, D:  Aft. 1892

                   in O'Fallon Twp., St. Clair Co., Illinois, M: 29 Oct 1840 in St. Clair  County, Illinois.


                John Bennett, B: 1821 in Guilford County, North Carolina, USA, D: Bef. 1892.


                Eliza Bennett, B: Bet. 1823-1825 in Tennessee, M: 19 Oct 1848 in St. Clair County, Illinois.


                William Bennett, B: Bet. 1822-1824, D: 1834.


Generation 3

Sarah Bennett-3(John Bennett-2, Elisha Bennett-1) was born on Bet. 1813-1815 in Guilford County, North Carolina. She died on Aft. 1893. She married John Moreland on abt. 1831 in Tennessee, son of George Moreland and Hannah Moreland (nee?). He was born on Abt.  1809 in Georgia or South Carolina. He died on Abt. 1836 in the Cherokee Nation. She married John Moreland on Bef. 1831 in Tennessee. , son of George Moreland and Hannah Moreland (nee?). He was born on Abt. 1809 in Georgia or South Carolina. He died on Abt. 1836 in Missouri. She married James Collins on 19 Mar 1838 in Crawford County, Missouri. , son of Jacob Collins and Martha Wheat. He was born on 1805 in Georgia. He died on Bef. Sep 1853 in Crawford County, Missouri.  She married Josiah Carter on Aft. 1860. He was born on Abt. 1831 in Tennessee. He died in 1892 in Missouri.

Child of Sarah Bennett and John Moreland is John P. Moreland, B: 08 Dec 1832 in McMinn County, Tennessee, D: 28 Jun 1917 in Jefferson Twp., Maries Co., Missouri, M: 24 Apr 1853 in Crawford  County, Missouri.


Additional information about our DIRECT ANCESTORS  as well as a complete listing of individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on the following LINK.


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Ancestral locations




Researching the locations where our ancestors lived has provided us with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in our family trees.  It has also led us to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.  The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the persons in the “Direct Ancestors” list (see above) were born, married, and / or died.








North Carolina

Guilford County;  Orange County


Maries County


McMinn County


Use this LINK to find out more about the locations listed above.



Where in the World
are My Ancestors?

Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK



to the right will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and other helpful  resources  that will assist you in discovering Ancestral Locations. 

Source documents




The documents contained within the “Source Documents Archives” have been located during my research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.


     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?; (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63


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