Bonnen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bonnen 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 Bonnen family

The surname Bonnen 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 Bonnen family

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

Bonnen Spelling Variations

Bonnen has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Bonnen have been found, including Bonham, Bonhume, Bonhomme, Bonhom, Bonhome, Bonum, Bonem and many more.

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

Migration of the Bonnen family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Bonnens to arrive on North American shores: George Bonham, who sailed to Virginia in 1635; and David Bonham, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1872. The town of Bonham in Texas was named after J.B. Bonham who was killed in the Alamo..



  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


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