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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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The surname Bonnet was 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.

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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Bonney, Archdeacon of Bedford; and Stede Bonnet ( c. 1688-1718), English pirate born in the Barbados, sometimes called "The Gentleman Pirate" who frequently pirated with the infamous Edward Teach, better known as "Blackbeard." According to Forbes, he is ranked as the fifteenth wealthiest...

Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonnet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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
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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
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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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Citations



    Other References

    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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    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. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. 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 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 6 January 2016 at 13:57.

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