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


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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. 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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