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The name Bynoe is from the rugged landscape of Wales.It is a Celtic name that was derived from the Welsh personal name Enion, which was also spelled Einion and Eignon. The surname Bynoe features the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix ab-. The original form of the name was ab- Enion, but the prefix has been assimilated into the surname over the course of time and the overall spelling has sometimes been extensively altered.

For the beautiful Welsh mountain range comes the distinguished Bynoe surname. Wales is the land of soft-spoken, music-loving poets, a people famous for their bards, Eisteddfods (Music Festivals) and their choral groups.

After the exodus of the Romans in the 5th century A.D., the Ancient Britons were left in possession of Western England, present-day Wales and Cumbria, while the Germanic invaders, the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles continue a determined invasion from the South-East of England. It was in the year 616, and the Battle of Chester, that the Celts were divided, and Wales, though still a group of kingdoms, came to be a distinct nation. Rhodri Mawr (Rhodri the Great), was the first great Welsh warrior king, In 855, through skillful alliances and practical marriages, he became the king of Powys or mid Wales.On his death he gave Wales too his three sons, Anarawd became king of North Wales, Cadalh became king of South Wales and Mervyn became king of Powys or mid Wales.

The history of the ancestors of the Bynoe family begins in the ancient Welsh chronicles. The name Bynoe was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman conquest and the arrival of Duke William of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Researchers revied manuscripts such as the Doomsday Book, the Pipe Roles, Hearth Rolls, The Black Book of the Exchequer, the Curia Regis Rolls and the family name Bynoe was found with several different spellings. Examples of these spellings variations include Buyyon, Banyen, Benion, Benyan, Bunyan, Bunyen, Banion, Banyan, O’Banion, O’Benyon, O’Benion, and many of these versions are still in use today.These changes in spellings frequently occurred, even between father and son. It was not uncommon for a person in his or her own lifetime to be born with one spelling, marry with another, and still have another on the headstone in his or her resting place.

In the 13th century, the princes of Gwynedd came very close to uniting Wales and the last of their line. Llewlyn ap Gruffydd, called himself the Prince of Wales. When Edward 1 became king, Llewlyn refused to do homage to him. The king besieged the natural fortress of Gwynedd in 1277, and in November of that year, Llewelyn was killed. His head was sent to London for display as that of a traitor. Edward proved to be an onerous overlord over Wales, and Llewlyn younger brother David, touched off a spirited, but unsuccessful general revolt. This time the king victory was complete and Wales was to exist under an alien political system, playing a subordinate in the Kingdom of England. A great number of impressive fortresses were then erected by Edward Prince of Wales and Count of Chester, and ever since that date, these titles have been automatically conferred upon the first-born son of the English Monarch.

In this era, bearers of the Welch family name Bynoe could be found in Cheshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in that shire. This name is descended from Einion Efell, Lord of Cynlleth in Denbighland (Wales) who was the direct descendant of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, King of Powis in 1046. From Einion we have ‘Ap’ or ‘Ab’ Einion, (Ap or Ab = son of). henceBenyan and Bunyan, and these three are representative of the 34 different spellings of Bunyon, recorded in the “Dictionary of National Biographies,” the family acquired Geddy Hall in Essex, Esmondum in Sussex, and Englefield in Berkshire.

Prominent bearers of the family name during the late Middle Ages included John Bunyan (1628-1688), author of “Pilgrim’s Progress” and many other works. He was of the Bedfordshire branch; and the mythical Paul Bunyan, legendary lumberjack.

For the next two or three centuries, the surname Bynoe flourished and played an important role in politica\s and in the affairs of Britan in general. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries  England and Wales were ravaged by religious conflict. The power of the Church, and the Crown, their assessments, tithes, and demands, imposed a heavy burden on the rich and poor alike. They looked to the new world for their salvation. Some, such as Captain Morgan, even became the pirates and roamed the West Indies. Others, attracted by economic opportunities, moved eastward into the English cities.

Some went to Ireland where they were granted lands previously owned by the Catholics Irish. In Ireland, they settled in County Kerry at Ballybunion and frequently the name was changed to O’Banane, but more popularly O’Bunyan and O’Bunion.

Many went directly from Wales, while others left from Ireland. They sailed to the New World across the stormy Atlantic in the tiny sailing ships, which were to become known as the “White Sails.” These overcrowded ships, built for 100 but sometimes crammed with 400 and 500 people, spending two months at sea were wracked with disease, sometimes landing with only 60% or 70% of the original passenger list.

Among early settlers of North America bearing the Bynoe family name were Robert Bunyon who settled in Georgia in 1733 and with his wife and two daughters; James Buynon settled in New England in 1764; Anne Buynon settled in New England in 1754.

Settlers began to increasingly look westward, as opportunities arose. In America, the Homestead Act (1862) offered 160 acres of land for a minimal fee; while in Canada, the Dominican lands Act (1872) offered 160 acres to any male over the age of 21 for a ten-dollar registration fee.

Notable contemporaries bearing this name include Dame Hilda Bynoe DBE (b.1921) governor of Grenada between 167 and 1972; and Phillip Earl Bynoe, Emmy award-winning bassist. Notables bearing other spellings of this name include: Captain Mervyn Sharp Bennion (1887-1941) American Navy Officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1941 for his heroism during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour; Samuel Raymond “Ray” Bennion (1896-1968) Welsh footballer; Samuel Otis Bennion (1874-1945) member of the First Council of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Lester Ben “Benny” Binion (1904-1989) American casion owner and poker enthusiast, creator of the World Series of Poker; JoeBinion (b.1961) retired American basketball player; Jack Binion (b.1937) American casino operator; Claude Binyon (1905-1978) American screenwriter and director; Robert Laurencce Binyon (1869-1943) English poet, dramatist, and art scholar; Timothy John “T. J.” Binyon (1936-2004) English scholar and crime writer; Ivan Alexeievich Bunin (1870-1953) Russian author; Michael Louis Bunin (b.1970) American actor; Steve Bunin, American journalist; John Bunion, Writer, and Vashti Bunyan (b. 1945) influential English singer-songwriter.

Whilst researching Coats of Arms granted to bearers of the Bynoe family name, we attempted to locate the most ancient recording and grant of arms. In many cases, different branches of a family bore different Arms, which have been passed down through the ages.

The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was:

A silver and a black bell-shaped design and a gold chief three stars.

The Crest was:

A silver dragon on a mount

(Information from House of Names)

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