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 in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. BENE has the associated arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
The name was derived from the Old English word 'bene' an occupational name, a grower and seller of beans. It was also used as a nickname of a pleasant, genial and kindly man. Early records of the name mention Robertus filius Bienne, 1168, Cumberland. Richard Bean of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Isak Beane and Rebecke Jenner were married at St. Aldermary, London in the year 1625.
The name was taken early to Scotland by settlers and Beanus (without surname) was the rector of the church of St. Mary of Arran in 1357. A remission was granted to Ferchard Bean in 1428, and John Beaney was recorded in Minnythill, parish of Dennie in 1675. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The name has many variant spellings which include Beeney, Beany, Bene and Beyn.
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