Last name: Bonner
Recorded as Bonar, Boner, Bonner and Bonnaire, this is a surname of a number of possible origins, each with its own distinct derivation. Firstly, the surname may be English and Scottish but ultimately of pre 8th century Old French origins. As such it is derived from the phrase "de bonne aire", literally meaning "of handsome or of good bearing". It was adopted into Middle English as "bonere or bonour", and used as a nickname for someone thought to embody these qualities, or possibly given the Chaucerian humour of the period, the reverse! Thomas Boner was one of the first of the name to be recorded, being a charter witness in the city of Aberdeen in 1281. Secondly, Bonner may be Irish, and derived from the Gaelic name O'Cnaimhsighe, meaning the descendant of Cnaimhseach, a byname which apparently translates as midwife! It would seem that in ancient times midwives were usually male. Finally, the surname may be of Welsh origin, and a fused form of the patronymic "ab Ynyr", son of Ynyr, a personal name derived from the Latin "Honorius", meaning one who was honoured. James Bonner was one of the first settlers in the new American colonies, arriving in Virginia on the ship "Truelove" of London in 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Boneyre. This was dated 1250, in the chartulary of the monastery of Ramsey, in Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272.
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My great-grandfather Sabius Bonner was a young German radical socialist with some relatives in the upper Rhone area of France. He fled to France in 1919 to escape the Freikorps after what they did to Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartacists. Then in the late-1930s he fled again, this time to America to avoid the Nazis before they invaded France.
I never remember him mentioning any relatives that weren't French or German, though...but I'm sure if you go back far enough you might be able to find something.
Christi Bonner (Florida)
Florida w/ West Virginia Roots but beyond that I have no info. I've little to go on but searching for relatives.
Cool more Bonners. Texas Bonner here :)
It seems we are not alone, Aussie bonner here, originally we were from Ireland
Wow! That's really cool!
Jerry Bonner, Phila,Pa
any Bonner's from Strabane Ireland, my family from Phila,Pa arrived around 1880
Hello fellow Bonners, for you are not alone.
Interesting ill take the handsome part
OK. That's how I got my stupid name!
Pat Bonner (Glasgow)
Very informative indeed.
Loving this site...