Many surnames originally stemmed form first names. In Cornwall Bennet or Benet was a frequent male name in the medieval period. It came orginally from the saint’s name Benedict, shortened to Benoit by the French and introduced to the British Isles by the Normans. The name was widely found as a surname in Cornwall by the 1500s, with the exception of an area north of Bodmin Moor. The -s had still to be added. Strangely enough, the Cornish language equivalent of Bennets – Benetto – had already appeared in the far west.
Bastian was another first name (from Sebastian) which was adopted as a second name, but present only in the Cornish-speaking areas of Cornwall in the 1500s.