Bensemann is of German origin and Bensemanns generally trace their ancestry to northern Germany. There's no consensus on the name's meaning. According to one oral history version in New Zealand, bense was an old variety of wheat and Bensemann meant wheat-grower. A tentative suggestion from a relative in the USA is that seeman means sailor in German and ancestors of the name may have been keen seafarers.

Another possible lead is the place-name Bensen - a hof or farm just 7km from the town of Engeln and 3km from Sudwalde - ie in the midst of the Bensemann homeland of Lower Saxony (right). The name Bensen is said by one reader to appear as Bense on an old map.

Common spellings are Bensemann and Benseman but historical literature shows spellings of Benzemann, Bensman and Bensmann. Followers of this website have provided versions also of Benseeman, Benzeman, (both from possible relatives in the United States) and Benceman (from possible relatives in Mexico who say their original spelling was Benseman).

Because these names all seem to trace back to Lower Saxony there is reason to suspect they may all be the same 'clan'. (Arguments for or against welcomed!)

The family shield (left) has been obtained from two sources, which may or may not verify its accuracy. Much hype and misinformation abounds about family crests. For example the helmets and the rest of the designs outside the shield should be viewed as a modern designer's imagination.

This website has been built by Paul Bensemann, right, a descendant of Cordt through his son Johann Albert Bensemann and Johann's wife Magdalena Catherina Elisabeth Rose. For feedback, to help with extra information etc, please contact Paul at 64 21 2142665 or

Many thanks to Adelaide Bensemann, Hans Bensemann, Lawrence Bensemann, Alan Bensemann, Ranginui Bensemann, Desiree Bensemann, George McMurtry, Jenny Leith, Jenny Briars, Marj Shannon, Brian Hunter and others who have provided information for this site.