The surname of BENNETT was derived from the Latin 'Benedictus' a name meaning blessed. It was a popular font name in the 12th and 13th centuries. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was the name of a prominent Anglo-Irish family of French origin, who settled in Kilkenny and adjacent counties in the 14th century. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Early records of the name mention Benedictus Kepeherm, 1193, County Yorkshire. 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 Cornall 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. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. This medieval given name owes its popularity in the Middle Ages chiefly to St. Benedict (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 the Latin work also contributed to its popularity as a given name, especially in Romance countries in the 12th century. The Latin form of the name is found in England alongside versions derived from the Old French form Beneit, Benoit, which was common among the Normans. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
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