Bonus History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bonus is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bonus family lived in Sussex. Their name, however, does not refer to that area, but to their former place of residence, the town of Bohun, in the French maritime department of La Manche, in western Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Bonus family

The surname Bonus was first found in Sussex. Humphrey with the Beard (died c. 1113) was a Norman soldier and nobleman fought in the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 and is the earliest known ancestor of the de Bohun family. [2]

He had three sons: Robert de Bohun, who had no issue; Richard de Bohun, progenitor through the female line, of the Bohuns of Midhurst; and Humphrey I de Bohun (died c.1123) who through marriage became "the founder of the fortunes of his family." His son, Humphrey II de Bohun (died 1165) continued the lineage. His son, Henry de Bohun (1176-1220), was the 1st Earl of Hereford and Hereditary Constable of England from 1199 to 1220. [3]

"Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, inheriting the honour of Essex from his mother, Maud, sister and heiress of William de Mandeville, last Earl of Essex, was created Earl of that county by Henry III., and in a few years after stood sponsor for Prince Edward. In 1250, he assumed the cross, and proceeded to the Holy Land, and in the great content between the King and the Barons, fought under the banner of the latter, in whose army his son Humphrey was one of the most distinguished leaders, and commanded the infantry at the Battle of Evesham. " [2]

Early History of the Bonus family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bonus research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1220, 1215, 1275, 1298, 1342, 1373, 1368, 1394, 1587, 1660, 1645, 1699, 1698 and are included under the topic Early Bonus History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bonus Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Bohon, Bohun, Bone, Boon, Boone, Bohan, Bound and many more.

Early Notables of the Bonus family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Humphrey VII de Bohun (d. 1298), 3rd Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex, who, along with Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, led the barons in opposition to King Edward I; Humphrey de Bohun (1342-1373), 7th (and last) Earl of Hereford, 6th Earl of Essex and 2nd Earl of Northampton; and Mary de Bohun (c.1368-1394), who was the...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bonus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bonus family to Ireland

Some of the Bonus family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bonus migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Bonus or a variant listed above:

Bonus Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hans Bonus, who arrived in Maryland in 1667 [4]
Bonus Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Timo Bonus, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [4]
Bonus Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Bonus, aged 61, who landed in Missouri in 1848 [4]
  • B Bonus, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1873 [4]

Canada Bonus migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bonus Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Jean Bonus, who arrived in Canada in 1687

Australia Bonus migration to Australia +

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

Bonus Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Bonus, (b. 1807), aged 20, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in Westmeath, Ireland for life for arson, transported aboard the "Cambridge" on 2nd June 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1867 [5]
  • Mr. Edward Bonus, English convict who was convicted in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cambridge
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cressy


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