Benedictus de Benehusin

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Benedictus de Benehusin

Also Known As: "Benedict of Beenhausen", "Benedictvs de Benehvsin", "Berhard von Bernhardshausen"
Birthdate:
Death:
Immediate Family:

Father of Rubbertus de Benehusin

Occupation: free nobleman, lord of the Beenhardshausen estates, and vassal of the abbot of Hersfeld monastery
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Immediate Family

About Benedictus de Benehusin

Legendary founder of the von Bennhausen and von der Dressel families. He is believed to have been a free nobleman, possibly of ethnic Norse origin, lord of the Beenhausen estates, and vassal of the abbot of Hersfeld monastery which was founded between 769 and 775 in the Duchy of Hessen.

Taking into account that his grandson was named Nortmann (= German for Norseman or Viking), there is an important clue to the ethnic origin of Benedict. It is possible that Benedict (or Bengt, if he was truly of Viking extraction) came to Germany with a band of Vikings and somehow ended up being contracted into service as a vassal for protecting the Hersfeld monastery. Following the path of his descendants, it seems the family was very militarily oriented. The family of knights founded by Sir Benedict spent the next couple of centuries offering their services as knights at virtually all far flung corners of the Holy Roman empire. Therefore it would not be surprising at all if the dynasty came into existence by a band of Viking mercenaries offering their military expertise to local German nobility.

The main source for the existence of Benedictvs is in the analysis of the family name "de Benehvsin". "Ben" was and still is a nickname for Benedict (Latin: "Benedictvs", Swedish: "Bengt"); "Hvsin" can be translated either as houses, villages, fields, forests, or estates. The original name simply meant Ben's property. We know from the 1179 document that the villa Bennenhus consisted of various estates. Therefore for a piece of property to be called "Ben's properties" a Ben had to exist.

8th - 9th century: During this period the area of northern Hessen was settled by the Frankish Chatte tribe. The hilly and dense forest area, Rothenburg, in which the Beenhausen properties were situated were settled a bit latter, n ?. . Since the Beenhausen family were free noble men, (none of their earliest documents ever refer to them as belonging to the ministrales class, n2.6; n2.7), and, who were in possession of their properties generations before 1179, n2.6, it is possible that the Bennhausen family owned their lands already in the 10th century.

1003 AD: The entire Rohrbach valley including eastern properties in the Fuldabeuge bei the Blankenheim - Breitenbach area were given to the Benedictine monastery of Hersfeld by King Heinrich II, n book

Circa 1160 AD: Birth of Ben. This is the latest date Ben could reasonable be born. Because, it would have taken several generations for the property which was held by Ben to become generally accepted and to phonetically evolve into the Beenhausen and other similar name forms. Furthermore, naming an estate after the original owner was a common practice at this time.

The 1179 document, n2.6 also clearly states that the villa Bennenhus was an inherited family property. Therefore, it must have been in the family for several generations. The 1179 document also mentions "other relatives"; again, it takes more than one generation to accumulate other relatives".

We know Ruppertus was a mature man in 1179. He was married and had heirs. It is reasonable to assume that he was born circa 1150. It is also reasonable to assume that the property was in the family at least for three generations. Give 30 years for each generation. You have a time period of approxiately 90 years. Subtract 90 years from 1150 and you have 1060, the approximate birth date of Ben.

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Benedictus de Benehusin's Timeline

1060
1060
1150
1150
Age 90
Ludwigsau, Kassel, Hessen, Germany
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