This interesting name with variant spellings Benbrook, Benbrock, Banbroke etc., is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The placename itself, was probably composed of the old English elements "bean", bean or the medieval personal name "Banna", felon plus the old English "broc", a brook or stream, hence it could mean "the brook or stream running through a bean field", or "Banna's brook or stream". George Banbroke married Elizabeth Tredwell at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London on February 10th 1604, while Elizabeth Banbrook married William Meacham at St. Pancras on August 30th 1848. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Benbrocke, (marriage to Margarett Heydon), which was dated May 2nd 1580 at St. Bartholomew the Less, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.