Bonney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bonney family's name is derived from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain following the Norman Conquest of island in 1066. Their name originated with an early member who was 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 Bonney family

The surname Bonney 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 Bonney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonney research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1688, 1718, 1702 and 1782 are included under the topic Early Bonney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonney Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bonney include Bonnett, Bonney, Bonnet, Bonny, Bonnie and others.

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

Bonney Ranking

In the United States, the name Bonney is the 5,837th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

United States Bonney migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bonneys to arrive on North American shores:

Bonney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Bonney, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Henry Bonney, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [4]
  • Thomas Bonney, who arrived in New England in 1645 [4]
Bonney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Bonney, who settled in Virginia in 1773
Bonney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Harriet Bonney, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • Samuel Bonney, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • Sarah Bonney, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • J P Bonney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • E B Bonney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Bonney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bonney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Joel Bonney U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 possible of the 74th Highlanders [5]
Bonney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Bonney, aged 20 who was a Seaman aboard the ship "James Moran" taking passenger to Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died at Grosse Isle on 5th July 1847 in the typhus epidemic [6]

Australia Bonney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bonney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Bonney, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. George Bonney, (Knight, Major), English convict who was convicted in West Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Edward Bonney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glen Huntley" in 1849 [9]
  • William Bonney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Susannah" in 1849 [10]
  • Richard Bonney, aged 24, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonney (post 1700) +

  • William H. Bonney (1859-1881), born William Henry McCarty, Jr., better known as Billy the Kid, an American gunman and frontier outlaw in the American Old West who claimed to have killed 21 men
  • Thérèse Bonney (1894-1978), American photographer and publicist, best known for her work during World War II on the Russian-Finnish front
  • Raymond Leroy Bonney (1892-1920), American silver medalist ice hockey player at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • Leonard Warden Bonney (1884-1928), American pioneering aviator who flew for the Wright Exhibition Team
  • Barbara Bonney (b. 1956), American opera singer from Montclair, New Jersey
  • Henry Kaye Bonney D.D. (1780-1862), English churchman and author, son of Henry Kaye Bonney, rector of King’s Clifte and prebendary of Lincoln [11]
  • Richard Bonney (b. 1947), English historian and priest
  • Thomas George Bonney (1833-1923), English geologist, Professor of geology at University College London (1877 to 1901), eponym of Lake Bonney, Antarctica
  • John Bonney (1946-2022), Australian rules footballer who played 86 matches for St Kilda (1967-1976) scoring 79 goals
  • Charles Bonney (1813-1897), English-born pioneer and politician in Australia
  • ... (Another 1 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. ^
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 62)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The GLEN HUNTLEY 1849. Retrieved from
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SUSANNAH 1849. Retrieved from
  11. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019 on Facebook