Show ContentsBones History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bones is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bones family lived in Sussex. Their name, however, does not refer to that area, but to their former place of residence, the town of Bohun, in the French maritime department of La Manche, in western Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Bones family

The surname Bones was first found in Sussex. Humphrey with the Beard (died c. 1113) was a Norman soldier and nobleman fought in the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 and is the earliest known ancestor of the de Bohun family. [2]

He had three sons: Robert de Bohun, who had no issue; Richard de Bohun, progenitor through the female line, of the Bohuns of Midhurst; and Humphrey I de Bohun (died c.1123) who through marriage became "the founder of the fortunes of his family." His son, Humphrey II de Bohun (died 1165) continued the lineage. His son, Henry de Bohun (1176-1220), was the 1st Earl of Hereford and Hereditary Constable of England from 1199 to 1220. [3]

"Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, inheriting the honour of Essex from his mother, Maud, sister and heiress of William de Mandeville, last Earl of Essex, was created Earl of that county by Henry III., and in a few years after stood sponsor for Prince Edward. In 1250, he assumed the cross, and proceeded to the Holy Land, and in the great content between the King and the Barons, fought under the banner of the latter, in whose army his son Humphrey was one of the most distinguished leaders, and commanded the infantry at the Battle of Evesham. " [2]

Early History of the Bones family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bones research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1220, 1215, 1275, 1298, 1342, 1373, 1368, 1394, 1587, 1660, 1645, 1699, 1698 and are included under the topic Early Bones History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bones Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bohon, Bohun, Bone, Boon, Boone, Bohan, Bound and many more.

Early Notables of the Bones family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Humphrey VII de Bohun (d. 1298), 3rd Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex, who, along with Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, led the barons in opposition to King Edward I; Humphrey de Bohun (1342-1373), 7th (and last) Earl of Hereford, 6th Earl of Essex and 2nd Earl of Northampton; and Mary de Bohun (c.1368-1394), who was the...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bones Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bones Ranking

In the United States, the name Bones is the 10,661st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Bones family to Ireland

Some of the Bones family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bones migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bones or a variant listed above:

Bones Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Xph Bones, who landed in Virginia in 1655 [5]
Bones Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bones, aged 20, who landed in Georgia in 1812 [5]

Canada Bones migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bones Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Bones, aged 9, who arrived in Montreal in 1849
  • Thomas Bones, aged 7, who arrived in Montreal in 1849
  • Thomas Bones, aged 33, who landed in Montreal in 1849
  • William Bones, aged 5, who arrived in Montreal in 1849
  • Harriet Bones, aged 2, who arrived in Montreal in 1849

Australia Bones migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bones Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Bones, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Fanny" on 25th August 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Samuel Bones, English convict who was convicted in Essex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. James Bones, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 9th May 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Miss Elizabeth Bones, (b. 1843), aged 15, Cornish general servant departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "Northern Light" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 9th May 1858 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bones (post 1700) +

  • Jimmie Bones, American organ, piano and keyboard player in Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker Band
  • Ricardo "Ricky" Bones (b. 1969), Puerto-Rico born, American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Ken Bones, British television, film and stage actor, member of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Ebony Bones, British singer-songwriter, record producer and actress
  • Bice Bones (b. 1969), Italian ski mountaineer
  • Bones Hillman (1958-2020), born Wayne Stevens, New Zealand musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the Australian alternative rock band Midnight Oil

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th September 2022).
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  9. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook