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

Origins Available: English, French, German

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

The name Bonnet has a history dating as far back as the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was a name for a handsome person, especially one who is large or well built. The name comes from the Norman word bonnie, a common nickname for an attractive person. This word possibly derives from the Old French bon, which means good or fine, although the movement is not clear.

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Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bonnet were recorded, including Bonnett, Bonney, Bonnet, Bonny, Bonnie and others.

First found in Bedfordshire and Leicestershire, where they had been granted lands by King William. They were originally seated in St. Bonnet in Normandy in the arrondisement of Calvados.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonnet research. Another 91 words(6 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1688, 1718, 1702 and 1782 are included under the topic Early Bonnet History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 141 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonnet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Bonnet arrived in North America very early:

Bonnet Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Daniel Bonnet with his wife Jeane settled in New York State in 1700
  • Daniel Bonnet, who landed in New York in 1700
  • Claude Bonnet who settled in Louisiana, and Daniel Bonnet and his wife Jeanne Couturier who arrived in New York State in 1700-1701
  • Daniel Bonnet, who settled in New York in 1715
  • Estienne Bonnet, who landed in Louisiana in 1719


Bonnet Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • David Bonnet, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Joseph Bonnet, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Katharine Bonnet, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1806
  • Thomas Bonnet, aged 23, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1826
  • John Bonnet, who arrived in Maryland in 1835


Bonnet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century


  • Pierre Bonnet who arrived in Canada in 1643
  • Louis Bonnet, who arrived in Quebec in 1665
  • Mélanie Bonnet, daughter of Jean and Jeanne Antigny, married Marie Buisson in Québec in 1671

Bonnet Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Robert Bonnet, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1817
  • Robert Bonnet arrived in Nova Scotia in 1817

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  • Charles Bonnet, Swiss naturalist and philosopher
  • Pierre Ossian Bonnet (1819-1892), French mathematician
  • Georges-Étienne Bonnet (1889-1973), French politician, who held several Ministerial posts in the Government of France
  • Graham Bonnet (b. 1947), British rock singer
  • Françoise Bonnet (b. 1957), French Olympic long-distance runner
  • Joseph Bonnet (1884-1944), French organist and composer
  • Major-General Etienne Bonnet (1878-1962), French General Officer Commanding Rear Area Zones of General Headquarters
  • Alexandre François Séraphin Bonnet, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • François Antoine Bonnet, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Joseph Alphonse Hyacinthe Alexandre de Bonnet d'Honnières, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815

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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. 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).
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Bonnet Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bonnet 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 12 February 2015 at 11:12.

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