Babensee / Bevency / Bebensee
Accurate Origin of Name
A conversation with a university
professor of Germanic and Old Saxon languages follows
Question from John Babensee
My family records since the 1800's indicates that "Bebensee"
translates to mean "Above the sea" however, I notice
that a woman in the U.S. has translated the name with reference
to the words: Tremble, shake and Quake. Can you explain this?
above or beyond the lake is correct. Bebensee is a very old
name and the name cannot be translated from a current German
to English dictionary. Any reference to Bebensee with a translation
of Quake Lake, or Shake, Shaking, Tremble, Trembling, is quite
inaccurate and should be disregarded. Let me explain. High
German, spoken in Southern Germany is being used to translate
"Beben" as Shake, Tremble and Quake. High German
has no relevance with your name. Shake and Treble are verbs.
The correct meaning comes
from Low (Lowland) German, which was spoken in what is now
Northern Germany. This was Saxon territory. The town of Bebensee
in Schleswig-Holstein is north.
There is an older version
of Low (Lowland) German, like Middle Low German, which is
equivalent to Old Saxon. In Old Saxon, "Beben" means
"Boven". Anglo Saxon is Old English wherein the
meaning of "Boven" is "Above or Beyond".
Thus, the meaning of "Bebensee" is above the lake
(or beyond). To understand the relationship, just drop the
letter "A" in the word "Above" and notice
the similarity with the word "Boven".
There is also a possibility
of a Frisian relationship with your name."
End of conversation
Other Bebensee families
A statement has been made
by another person that the Bebensee name has been traced back
to the 17th century. This may be true. There are Bebensee
families in different countries so obviously there are distant
and very distant relatives. For this reason, I believe that
such families should rely upon actual written records of their
family tree rather then heresy.
Andrew Christian Bebensee
arrived in Canada from Schleswig-Holstein in the 1800's.
One son of Andrew Christian,
"Henry" changed the spelling from Bebensee to Babensee
since the pronunciation of Bebensee sounded like Babensee
(in English). Henry Babensee never immigrated to Canada from
the U.S.. He immigrated with his father to Canada from Schleswig-Holstein
and always lived in Canada. Other sons of Andrew Christian;
Augustus, Frederick and Ernest retained the name Bebensee.
Another spelling of the
Cyrus Ernest Babensee changed
his name to Bevency. His son Frederick Fisher agreed to the
change however, another son, Clarence Augustus, retained the
Cyrus Ernest Bevency has passed
on the Bevency name, as of 2002 to four generations; Frederick
Fisher, Frederick George, Frederick John and Logan Dane who
is the great, great, great, great grandson of Andrew Christian
Reason for Bebensee family
Bebensee land was seized by
Town of Bebensee
The town of Bebensee in Schleswig-Holstein
is a delightful community (considered a Resort Area). It sits
high and dry above a large beautiful lake called "Neversdorfer
See". This is why the family who originally settled there
were called Bebensee. They lived above a lake called Neversdorfer
See. This lake is bordered by the towns of Bebensee, Neversdorf
There is no record of a Beben
See in Schleswig-Holstein, (just Bebensee) for obvious reasons
There is a Bebensee lake in
N.W.T. Canada however, this is because it was named as such
by the Canadian government after Douglas Bebensee, a Canadian
World War II hero.
The family tree was provided
to me by William Henry Babensee (deceased), a great grandson
of Andrew Christian (such records from Henry Babensee's Bible).
Another identical family record was provided by Garnet Walter
Bebensee, elderly and living in Canada, a great grandson of
Andrew Christian. The records given to me by Garnet are more
detailed with respect to interesting facts such as the maiden
name of Andrew Christian's wife, "Georgiana Christina
Holm" and the fact that Andrew Christian was a bodyguard
to the king of Denmark. His father was a nobleman and a bodyguard
to the king of France. They were under Danish rule and their
lands were seized by Bismarck.
Good old stories are always
remembered and passed down
Garnet Bebensee and his brother
Lyle both told me of happenings (Garnet just reminded me to
include them) passed down by Garnet's father, David and his
uncle John. Apparently, Andrew was frequently in trouble with
the king. On one occasion after an incident, Andrew lost his
hat when running down the street. His comment was, "It's
better to lose my hat than my head."
In another event, when the
king sicked his dog on Andrew, Andrew grabbed the dog and
said, "Which half do you want"?
1773 - 1990
the 18th century, Holstein was under the control of Danish
kings as princes of the Holy Roman Empire. Schleswig was a
sovereignty of these kings.
When succession to the Danish
throne for women in Denmark as well as Schleswig was stated
by King Christian VIII in the mid 19th century, German nationals
in Schleswig acted with violence since they feared incorporation
of Schleswig with Denmark. Later King Frederick VII, the successor
to King Christian, established the unification of Schleswig
with Denmark. This was followed by a revolution in Schleswig
and Holstein. The Germans broke the allegiance to Denmark
and took possession of both Schleswig and Holstein with the
assistance of the German League.
In 1852, the Treaty of London
established Denmark as the sole successor to Schleswig and
Holstein. Duke Christian Augustus disowned his rights to both
duchies whereupon unification with Denmark took place.
Various other conflicts followed
including a war between Denmark and Prussia (allied with Austria)
1866, only later to be followed by a war between Prussia and
Austria which was intended by Bismarck to result in Schleswig
and Holstein becoming a province of Prussia. This was the
result after the defeat of Austria.
Following World War I, Denmark
received the return of Schleswig however, after World War
II, Schleswig and Holstein were established as a state of
Understanding Lowland Languages
Low German or Saxon are Lowland
Languages. Low Saxon Language is a direct descendant of Old
Saxon, which is now an endangered language in Northern Germany
and Eastern Netherlands.
Early territorial history
the time of 12th century, the town of Bebensee would be located
in the territory of Saxonia. In the 13th century, this territory
was defined as Holstein.