Bonam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Bonam surname is derived from the Old French words "bon" and "homme," in turn from the Latin "bonus homo" both of which literally meant "good man," but also came to mean a "peasant farmer."
Early Origins of the Bonam family
The surname Bonam was first found in Wiltshire at Bonham, a hamlet now in the parish of Stourton with Gasper. "Bonham, though placed in the Ordo, and even in some ancient documents, as in Somersetshire, is really in Wilts. The small manor and tything of Bonham had formerly belonged to a family of that name (Editha Bonham, elected abbess of Shaftesbury 15th November, 1441, obiit 20th April, 1460), and afterwards came into the possession of the Stourtons." 
Early History of the Bonam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonam research. Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1247, 1273, 1327, 1500, 1597, 1545, 1549, 1550, 1629 and 1611 are included under the topic Early Bonam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bonam Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bonam include Bonham, Bonhume, Bonhomme, Bonhom, Bonhome, Bonum, Bonem and many more.
Early Notables of the Bonam family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Bonham, English politician, Member of the Parliament of England for Chippenham in 1545, High Sheriff of Wiltshire from 1549 to...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bonam family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bonam or a variant listed above: George Bonham, who sailed to Virginia in 1635; and David Bonham, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1872. The town of Bonham in Texas was named after J.B. Bonham who was killed in the Alamo..
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- ^ Oliver, George, Collections Illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion in the Counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, and Gloucester London: Charles Dolman, 61, New Bond Street, 1857. Print