Bonnet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Early Origins of the Bonnet family

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.

"The knight of this name who accompanied Duke William from Normandy, received for his services the lordship of Penclawdd, in Gower. "Bonet or Benet, was one of such persons, as after the battle were advanced to Seigneuries in this land, Glamorgan." A descendant of the Norman, Bonet, Robert Benet, who, married Avis, daughter and heir of John Crompe, of Sanctuary, in Gower, and great grand-daughter, maternally, of Caradoc ap Ynir ap Ivor, Lord of Dyfed, is supposed to have been the "Robert Benote" whose name appears amongst the Lances attendant on the Duke of Gloucester at Azincourt. [2]

Henry Bonet was Warden of St Mary's College, Ottery St Mary, Devon in 1349.

Early History of the Bonnet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonnet research. Another 46 words (3 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.

Bonnet Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Bonnet family (pre 1700)

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 pirate with...
Another 52 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.

Bonnet Ranking

In the United States, the name Bonnet is the 18,796th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3] However, in France, the name Bonnet is ranked the 28th most popular surname with an estimated 50,999 people with that name. [4]


United States Bonnet migration to the United States +

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 [5]
  • 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 1718 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bonnet Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Bonnet, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • John Bonnet, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • Joseph Bonnet, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • Katharine Bonnet, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • Thomas Bonnet, aged 23, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1826 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bonnet migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bonnet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Pierre Bonnet, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 6th April 1643 [6]
  • Mr. Louis Bonnet, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 1st April 1665 [6]
  • 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

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonnet (post 1700) +

  • Renée Pietrafesa Bonnet (1938-2022), French and Uruguayan composer, pianist, organist, harpsichordist and conductor, born in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Georges Bonnet (1919-2021), French writer and poet
  • Camille Bonnet (1918-2020), French rugby union player who won the 1944–45 French Rugby Union Championship
  • Christian Bonnet (1921-2020), French politician, Member of the French National Assembly for Morbihan (1956-1958)
  • Nelly Beatriz Bonnet (1930-2020), Argentine film and television actress and comedian
  • Manuel José Bonnet Locarno (1936-2018), Colombian military officer, Commander of the National Army of Colombia between December 1996 and July 1997
  • Gaspard Adrien Bonnet du Louvat de Champollon, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [7]
  • Joseph Alphonse Hyacinthe Alexandre de Bonnet d'Honnières, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [8]
  • François Antoine Bonnet, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [9]
  • Alexandre François Séraphin Bonnet, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [10]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from https://lebloguedeguyperron.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/130-liste-des-contrats-dengagement-pour-la-nouvelle-france-releves-a-la-rochelle-entre-1634-et-1679/
  7. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 12) Gaspard Bonnet. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  8. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Joseph Bonnet. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  9. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Fran├žois Bonnet. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  10. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Alexandre Bonnet. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html


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