Bonsell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bonsell name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in or around the manor of Bonsall in the county of Derbyshire.

Early Origins of the Bonsell family

The surname Bonsell was first found in Derbyshire at Bonsall, a parish, in the hundred of Wirksworth. [1] The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Bunteshale. [2] At that time, it was shown as "the King's land." "This parish, anciently called Bonteshall, comprises by computation 2338 acres." [1] Literally, the place name means "nook of land of a man called Bunt," from the Old English personal name + "halh." [3] It is noted for its lead mining and there is evidence that the town has been populated since 2000 B.C., one of the few early records of the ancient Britons.

Early History of the Bonsell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonsell research. Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonsell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonsell Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Bonsell has undergone many spelling variations, including Bonsall, Bonzall, Bonsale and others.

Early Notables of the Bonsell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bonsell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bonsell family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bonsell were among those contributors: Richard Bonsall and his wife Mary, and his five children, Obadiah, Elizabeth, Rachel, Anne, and Abigail, who settled in Philadelphia in 1682; Edward, George, and James Bonsall arrived in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1864..



The Bonsell Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Pro patria
Motto Translation: For my country.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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