The proud Norman name of Bonay was developed in England
soon after Norman Conquest
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
although the movement is not clear.
Early Origins of the Bonay family
The surname Bonay was first found in Bedfordshire
, where they had been granted lands by King William. They were originally seated in St. Bonnet in Normandy
in the arrondisement of Calvados.
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
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... Another 54 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 to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, 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.
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