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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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The surname Sonnier was first found in Berkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands and village of Sonning, held by Roger from the Bishop of Salisbury, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Sonning, Sonnin, Sonin, Soning, Sunning, Suning, Sunin, Souning, Sounin, Sonninges, Somin, Somings and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sonnier research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1510, 1600, 1096, 1463, 1476, 1504, 1546 and 147. are included under the topic Early Sonnier History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Sonnier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

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  • James Bert Sonnier (b. 1938), American retired trainer of thoroughbred racehorses


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The Sonnier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sonnier Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 March 2016 at 12:25.

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