Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Bonnell Name
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.
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.
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.
Bonnell Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Bonnell blazon are the cross crosslet and lion. The four main tinctures (colors) are gules, argent, or and azure.
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”.
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions . Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” , a sentiment echoed equally today.