Show ContentsBonanno History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the historical and enchanting Italian region of Tuscany emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Bonanno family. During the Middle Ages, as populations grew and travel between regions became more frequent, the people of Tuscany found it necessary to adopt a second name to identify themselves and their families. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most common type of family name found in Tuscany is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, the nickname type of surname is also frequently found. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The surname Bonanno is a name for a fortunate person having derived from the words buon, which means good, and anno, which means year, combined to mean good year.

Early Origins of the Bonanno family

The surname Bonanno was first found in Pisa, where in 1130 a Bonanno was a prominent intellectual. Bonanno who was a painter, sculptor, and architect, and who is famous for the bronze doors of the Cathedral in Pisa which he finished in the 12th century. Another of his accomplishments is the leaning tower at Pisa, which he constructed with Gugliemo Tedesco in 1174.

Early History of the Bonanno family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonanno research. The years 1545, 1638, 1723 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Bonanno History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonanno Spelling Variations

There are many variations of most of those Italian names that originated in the medieval era. Some of these come from regional differences, like the tradition of ending northern names in "o" and southern names in "i". Others come from inaccuracies in the recording process, which were extremely common in the eras before dictionaries standardized spelling. Some of the spelling variations of Bonanno are Bonanno, Bonanni, Buonanno, Buonanni, Bonano, Bonan and many more.

Early Notables of the Bonanno family

Prominent among members of the family was

  • Giacomo Bonanno was Baron of Canicatti, and was a famous author
  • Pietro Bonanno was the first Prince of Roccafiorita and was Baron of Castelmare
  • Giacomo Bonanno was the first Bishop of Patti, and was also Archbishop of Monreale. Rinaldo Bonanno was an architect and sculptor in- Messina in 1545

Bonanno Ranking

In the United States, the name Bonanno is the 9,366th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

United States Bonanno migration to the United States +

The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Bonanno:

Bonanno Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Angela Bonanno, aged 52, who arrived in America from Regalbuto, Italy, in 1904
  • Alfio Bonanno, aged 23, who arrived at New York from Roccella, Italy, in 1910
  • Andrea Bonanno, aged 44, who arrived in America from Messina, Italy, in 1912
  • Angela Bonanno, aged 38, who arrived in New York from Salina, Italy, in 1912
  • Alfio Bonanno, aged 24, who immigrated to America from Catania, Sicily, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonanno (post 1700) +

  • Margaret Wander Bonanno (1950-2021), American science fiction writer, ghost writer and small press publisher who wrote seven Star Trek novels
  • Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, American poet, teacher, and contributing editor to The American Poetry Review
  • Joseph Charles Bonanno Sr. (1905-2002), Sicilian-born American mafioso
  • Margaret Wander Bonanno (b. 1950), American science fiction writer, ghost writer and small press publisher 2
  • George A. Bonanno, American professor of clinical psychology
  • Jesse Bonanno (b. 1983), American rock singer-songwriter
  • Alfredo Maria Bonanno (1937-2023), Italian anarchist, recognized as a prominent theorist and proponent of contemporary insurrectionary anarchism
  • Bonanno Pisano, 12th century Italian sculptor, sometimes credited with being the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Margaret Bonanno. (Retrieved 2011, June 2) Margaret Bonanno. Retrieved from on Facebook