Bonnell Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Origin Bonnell:

England, Scotland, France

Origin of Bonnell:

This origin of this fascinating and unique surname originally evolved from an Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a regional name that belongs to the Bonehill in Staffordshire. The region name is listed as “Bolenhull” and “Bulenhull” in the 1230 Pipe Rolls of the area, and the base of the name derives from the Olde English before pre 7th Century word “bula”, bull(ock) or a similar word used as a particular name, and the Olde English “hyll”, which means Highland. So, “Bula’s Highland” or “highland of the bullock”. It was the time of Middle Ages when the former citizen of a place migrated from one place to another in search of a job and they were identified by their place of birth. Because of this, the name spread widely. The surname can be found as Bonehill, Bonhill, Bonell, Bonnell, Bunhill, Bunnell and Bonelle. Documentation of the surname from London Parish records have recorded: the naming of Fortune Bunhill in February 1588, at St. Giles’ Cripplegate, the naming of Suzan, daughter of Thomas Bunnell, at Allhallows the Less, in January 1592 and the wedding of Alexander Bonelle and Jane Curtis in February 1838, at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney. The coat of arms most common to the family represent a semee of blue burdens crosslets and a blue lion excessive, armed red, charged on the front with a gold ring, on a gold shield.


More common variations of this surname are: Bonnelli, Bonnella, Bonnelly, Bonnelle, Bonnello, Bounnell, Bonneall, Bonnwell, Boonnell, Beonnell.


The surname Bonnell firstly appeared in Midlothian, where they held a family seat from very early times.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Richard Bonnell, which was dated February 12th, 1556, who was christened at St. Peter Cornhill, London. It was during the time of Queen Mary, known as “Bloody Mary,” 1553 – 1558. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

United States of America:

Some of the people with the name Bonnell who settled in the United States in the 19th century included William Bonnell at the age of 32 who arrived in New York in 1841.


Some of the people with the name Bonnell who settled in the Canada in the 18th century included Mr. Benjamin Bonnell U.E. who settled in Canada about 1783 and Mr. Isaac Bonnell U.E., who was born in New York, USA who settled in Digby, Nova Scotia about 1783.

New Zealand:

Some of the people with the name Bonnell who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Juliana Bonnell arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “Edward Fox” in 1875.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Bonnell: United States 5,323; England 398; France 269; Australia 167; Canada 1,426; Switzerland 27; Ireland 16; New Zealand 7; Wales 102; Qatar 39.

Notable People:

Barry Bonnell (born 1953), was an old outfielder and third baseperson in Major League Baseball. He was a star baseball and basketball player at Milford High School near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bonnie Bonnell (1905–1964), was a Vaudeville artist. She was an actress who performed “straight woman”.

Bruno Bonnell (21st century), was one of the producers of Infogames Entertainment SA.

Joseph Bonnell (1802–1840), was an American Army Officer and representative of Texas.

Lorne Bonnell (1923–2006), was a Canadian specialist, provincial lawmaker, and administrator. He was born in Hopefield, Prince Edward Island. He was the son of Lottie and Harry Bonnell. He got his doctorate degree from Dalhousie University in 1949.

Sadie Bonnell (1888–1993), was the first woman to win the Army Medal. She was also a FANY ambulance driver in the First World War.

Steve Bonnell (21st century), was a punk rock singer and song writer from Seattle, Washington.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Notes: (granted by Carney, Ulster, to James Bonnell, M.A., Account.-Gen. of Revenue, Ireland, 1691). Motto—Terris peregrinus et hospes. Blazon: Or, a lion rampant between seven cross crosslets azure on a chief bendy wavy of six argent and sable a wyvem tail extended vert.
2) Notes: (London, granted 1691). Blazon: Argent a cross gules quarterly, pierced; nine crosses, three, three, and three counterchanged. Crest—A demi lion erased or, pellettee, his tail forked and interlaced, supporting in the paws a spear of the third.
3) Notes: (Mary Ann Harvey Bonnell, of Pelling Place, Old Windsor, co. Berks). Blazon: Argent a cross gules quarterly pierced nine crosses crosslet, three, three, and three counterchanged (the first quarter ermine for distinction).
4) Notes: (Norfolk) Blazon: Or, a lion rampant between eight crosses crosslet azure. Crest—A lion rampant, or, holding between the forepaws a cross crosslet azure.
5) Notes: (Isleworth, co. Middlesex; David Bonnell, son of David Bonnell, of the city of Norwich, Visit. Middlesex, 1663). Blazon: Or, semee of crosses crosslet and a lion rampant azure. Crest—A lion rampant, or, holding between the paws a cross crosslet and charged on the shoulder with an annulet both azure.

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