Show ContentsBonnie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Normans that arrived in England following the Conquest of 1066 are the initial ancestors from which the many generations of the Bonnie family have grown. The name Bonnie was given to a member of the family 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 Bonnie family

The surname Bonnie 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 Bonnie family

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

Bonnie Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Bonnie has been recorded under many different variations, including Bonnett, Bonney, Bonnet, Bonny, Bonnie and others.

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

United States Bonnie migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Bonnies were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Bonnie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Bonnie, who arrived in South Carolina in 1742 [3]
Bonnie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Chester H. Bonnie, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Lawrence J. Bonnie, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Ellen Bonnie, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Bonnie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Wesley Bonnie, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Corinne Bonnie, aged 19, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Robert Bonnie, aged 22, who immigrated to America, in 1912
  • Shelby Bonnie, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Katharine Bonnie, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bonnie (post 1700) +

  • Bonnie Tyler (b. 1951), born Gaynor Hopkins, Welsh singer perhaps best known for her singles "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "It's a Heartache"
  • Bonnie Reese, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 2008 [4]
  • Bonnie Bucqueroux, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 8th District, 2000 [4]
  • Bonnie Morehouse, Acting United States Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 2001
  • Bonnie B. Boudreaux, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for Louisiana, 1972 [5]
  • Bonnie Culkin (b. 1948), birth name of Bonnie Bedelia, American actress
  • Bonnie Hickey, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 8th District, 1982
  • Bonnie Flower (1954-2017), American musician, member of the American singing duo Wendy and Bonnie
  • Bonnie McElveen-Hunter (b. 1950), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Finland, 2001
  • Bonnie Gritton, American classical pianist

  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. 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)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from on Facebook