Bonay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Norman name of Bonay was developed in England soon after Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was name for a handsome person, especially one who is large or well built. The name comes from the Norman word bonnie, a common nickname for an attractive person. This word possibly derives from the Old French bon, which means good or fine, although the movement is not clear. [1]

Early Origins of the Bonay family

The surname Bonay was first found in Bedfordshire and Leicestershire, where they had been granted lands by King William. They were originally seated in St. Bonnet in Normandy in the arrondisement of Calvados.

"The knight of this name who accompanied Duke William from Normandy, received for his services the lordship of Penclawdd, in Gower. "Bonet or Benet, was one of such persons, as after the battle were advanced to Seigneuries in this land, Glamorgan." A descendant of the Norman, Bonet, Robert Benet, who, married Avis, daughter and heir of John Crompe, of Sanctuary, in Gower, and great grand-daughter, maternally, of Caradoc ap Ynir ap Ivor, Lord of Dyfed, is supposed to have been the "Robert Benote" whose name appears amongst the Lances attendant on the Duke of Gloucester at Azincourt. [2]

Early History of the Bonay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonay research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1688, 1718, 1702 and 1782 are included under the topic Early Bonay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Bonay have been found, including Bonnett, Bonney, Bonnet, Bonny, Bonnie and others.

Early Notables of the Bonay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Bonney, Archdeacon of Bedford; and Stede Bonnet (c. 1688-1718), English pirate born in the Barbados, sometimes called "The Gentleman Pirate" who frequently pirated with the infamous Edward Teach, better known as "Blackbeard." According to Forbes, he is ranked as the fifteenth wealthiest pirate with...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bonay family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. 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 Bonay were among those contributors: Henry Bonney, who came to Virginia in 1636; Daniel Bonnett who settled in New York State in 1700; John Bonnett, who settled in Philadelphia in 1753; Joseph Bonney, who settled in Virginia in 1773.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.


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