Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Bonnit was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, 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.
Early Origins of the Bonnit family
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.
Early History of the Bonnit family
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Bonnit Spelling Variations
spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Bonnett, Bonney, Bonnet, Bonny, Bonnie and others.
Early Notables of the Bonnit family (pre 1700)
(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...
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Migration of the Bonnit family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bonnit or a variant listed above: Henry Bonney, who came to Virginia in 1636; Daniel Bonnett who settled in New York State in 1700; John Bonnett, who settled in Philadelphia in 1753; Joseph Bonney, who settled in Virginia in 1773.
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