Bonnum History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bonnum surname is derived from the Old French words "bon" and "homme," in turn from the Latin "bonus homo" both of which literally meant "good man," but also came to mean a "peasant farmer."

Early Origins of the Bonnum family

The surname Bonnum was first found in Wiltshire at Bonham, a hamlet now in the parish of Stourton with Gasper. "Bonham, though placed in the Ordo, and even in some ancient documents, as in Somersetshire, is really in Wilts. The small manor and tything of Bonham had formerly belonged to a family of that name (Editha Bonham, elected abbess of Shaftesbury 15th November, 1441, obiit 20th April, 1460), and afterwards came into the possession of the Stourtons." [1]

Early History of the Bonnum family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonnum research. Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1247, 1273, 1327, 1500, 1597, 1545, 1549, 1550, 1629 and 1611 are included under the topic Early Bonnum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonnum Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Bonnum has appeared include Bonham, Bonhume, Bonhomme, Bonhom, Bonhome, Bonum, Bonem and many more.

Early Notables of the Bonnum family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Bonham, English politician, Member of the Parliament of England for Chippenham in 1545, High Sheriff of Wiltshire from 1549 to...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonnum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bonnum family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Bonnum arrived in North America very early: George Bonham, who sailed to Virginia in 1635; and David Bonham, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1872. The town of Bonham in Texas was named after J.B. Bonham who was killed in the Alamo..



  1. ^ Oliver, George, Collections Illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion in the Counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, and Gloucester London: Charles Dolman, 61, New Bond Street, 1857. Print


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