Welcome to the Benson Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Benson surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Benson ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Benson Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Benson family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Benson ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Benson Ancestors
Patronymics is the practice of naming children using the given name (sometimes in a contracted form) of the father, grandfather, or other male ancestor followed by a suffix. In the case of Benson, it is possible that one of your English ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Benedict (or Benjamin)." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Keep an open mind when searching through Benson records. Years ago many people were unable to read and write, thus a given ancestor's name could be spelled in a variety of ways depending on who recorded it. If you want to know How can I locate old newspapers for Benson research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Benson
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Benson records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Benson family history resource today.
Origins of the Benson Surname
It is quite possible for two people with the Benson last name to have been given that surname for entirely different reasons. Discovering the country from which your Benson ancestors originated can often yield additional clues for the meaning of the surname. Were you aware that Benson is considered a very common surname, which offers its own set of challenges? The article "Researching Common Names" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 69], the surname BENSON is defined as Ben's-son, the son of Benjamin.
Benson DNA Projects
DNA testing for genealogy continues to improve. If you had some of your Benson relatives tested several years ago, it may be worthwhile to have them retested. Likewise, as DNA testing companies have gathered more results and samples, you may be able to find more matches if you search again with your test results. If you are seeking an answer to the question, How do I know which DNA test is right for Benson research?, then this FAQ may help.
Benson Family History
For most people, just about every aspect of their life has been influenced in some way by their ancestors. Look beyond the names and dates to understand how and why your Benson ancestors lived and strived to make a better life for their descendants. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Learning About Women - The Invisible Ancestors" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Benson family history.
Networking with Benson Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Benson queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Benson ancestors.
Benson Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Benson was the 331st most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Benson Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Benson, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming Benson Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Benson booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "Reunions: Beyond Aunt Pat's Rhubarb Pie and Aunt Edna's Wet Kisses" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Benson reunion.