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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Bonhomme family come from? What is the English Bonhomme family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bonhomme family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bonhomme family history?

The Bonhomme 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."

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Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bonhomme were recorded, including Bonham, Bonhume, Bonhomme, Bonhom, Bonhome, Bonum, Bonem and many more.

First found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonhomme research. Another 421 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1247, 1273, 1327, 1500, 1597, and 1629 are included under the topic Early Bonhomme History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Bonhomme Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Bonhomme family emigrate to North America:

Bonhomme Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • I, Bonhomme, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Barney D Bonhomme, who landed in Arkansas in 1886

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Bonhomme Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bonhomme Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 October 2011 at 10:51.

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