Show ContentsBonnar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bonnar family

The surname Bonnar was first found in Herefordshire where Bonner is an ancient name. "As Boner and Bonere, it occurred in Oxfordshire and Huntingdonshire in the reign of Edward I." [1]

Early History of the Bonnar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonnar research. Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1281, 1281, 1700, 1451, 1273, 1500, 1569, 1548 and 1548 are included under the topic Early Bonnar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonnar Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Bonnar are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bonnar include Bonner, Boner, Bonners, Bonar, Bonnar, Bonare and many more.

Early Notables of the Bonnar family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edmund Bonner (c.1500-1569), Bishop of London, who became known as Bloody Bonner for his role in the persecution of heretics under the Catholic government of Mary I of England. He was later...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonnar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bonnar family to Ireland

Some of the Bonnar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bonnar migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Bonnar, or a variant listed above:

Bonnar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James, Rebecca, and John Bonnar, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767
Bonnar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Bonnar, who arrived in New York in 1834 [2]
  • Mr. Bonnar, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]

Australia Bonnar migration to Australia +

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

Bonnar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John N Bonnar, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Warrior" in 1840 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonnar (post 1700) +

  • George William Bonnar (1796-1836), English wood-engraver, born at Devizes, Wiltshire on 24 May 1796 [4]
  • William Bonnar (1800-1853), Scottish painter, a native of Edinburgh, and "son of a respectable house-painter" [4]
  • Mark Bonnar (b. 1968), Scottish BAFTA Scotland winning actor, best known for his roles as Duncan Hunter in Shetland

The Bonnar Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.

  1. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. 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) WARRIOR 1840. Retrieved from
  4. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019 on Facebook