Bonham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bonham 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 Bonham family

The surname Bonham 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." [1]

Early History of the Bonham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonham 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 Bonham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonham Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Bonham has been recorded under many different variations, including Bonham, Bonhume, Bonhomme, Bonhom, Bonhome, Bonum, Bonem and many more.

Early Notables of the Bonham 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 Bonham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bonham migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bonham or a variant listed above:

Bonham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Bonham, who sailed to Virginia in 1635
Bonham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Bonham, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1704 [2]
Bonham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Bonham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • David Bonham, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1872

Australia Bonham migration to Australia +

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

Bonham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bonham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lalla Rookh" in 1840 [3]
  • Abel Bonham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [4]
  • Ezra Bonham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [4]
  • David Bonham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [4]
  • George Bonham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonham (post 1700) +

  • Ronald D. Bonham (1942-2016), American professional basketball player who played from the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers from 1964 to 1968
  • James Butler Bonham (1807-1836), American soldier who died at the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution, older brother of Milledge Luke Bonham
  • William Gordon "Bill" Bonham (b. 1948), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1971 to 1980
  • Tracy Bonham (b. 1969), American musician, best known for her 1996 single "Mother Mother"
  • Milledge Luke Bonham (1813-1890), American politician, Governor of South Carolina (1862-1864), and a Confederate general during the American Civil War
  • Reginald Walter Bonham (1906-1984), English blind chess player, founder of the International Braille Chess Association in 1951, Blind World Chess Champion in 1958
  • Jack Elliott Bonham (b. 1993), English professional footballer
  • Henry Bonham (1765-1830), English politician, Member of Parliament for Leominster (1806-1812), for Sandwick (1824-1826) and for Rye (1826-1830)
  • Henry Bonham (1749-1800), English cricketer who played played one game for Hampshire
  • John Henry Bonham (1948-1980), English rock drummer who played with Led Zeppelin; Rolling Stone readers named him "the best drummer of all time" in 2011
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II


Suggested Readings for the name Bonham +

  • 4619 "Bonham 1631-1973: Letters, Quotations, Genealogical Charts, Military Records, Directory Index" by Elmer Burt Hazie.

  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LALA ROOKH 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840LallaRookh.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHEOBE/PHOEBE 1845. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Phoebe.htm
  5. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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