The origin of the name 'Bentley' is interesting. It is most probably derived from a place of that name, so-called from the plant, 'bent', which grows near the sea. "The fitfull sweep of winds across the steep through withered bents." (Quote from Keble's Christian Year). The termination 'ley' or 'lea', meaning 'meadow', was added.
The families of this name which have come to our notice are principally to be found in:
- Staffordshire in the 14th-16th centuries
- Shropshire in the 15th and 17th-19th centuries
- Derbyshire and Oxfordshire in the 16th-17th centuries
- Worcestershire and Yorkshire in the 17th-19th centuries
- Lancashire in the 18th-19th centuries
- Tipperary, Ireland in the 17th-19th centuries
From these dates it would seem probably that most of the families mentioned above drew their origin from Staffordshire and Shropshire.
In Lancashire are the Bentleys of Birch House, near Bolton, "an old Lancashire family, whose residence was for some centuries at Bentley Hall, near Bury."
Eng. Pub AE
N.S. Vol. 3
Salt Lake Genealogical Library
Our Bentley family comes from Lancashire, but our roots have not been traced back far enough to connect with any of these families. We are in the process of researching the Bentleys there, and hope to connect with them as soon as possible. We would not be able to use the coat of arms, etc. unless we establish the connection.