What is the origin of the last name Bonner?

The last name Bonner originates from the Gaelic word "ban," meaning fair or light-colored. It was a descriptive nickname often given to someone with fair hair or a fair complexion. Over time, the name evolved to Bonner, and its usage spread across Ireland, Scotland, and eventually to other English-speaking countries through immigration.

Countries of origin for the last name Bonner

Bonner is a last name that has a rich history and intriguing etymology. Although it is most commonly found in the United States, its origin can be traced back to Ireland and Scotland.

One of the most widely accepted theories about the meaning of the surname Bonner is that it is of Gaelic origin. The name is believed to be derived from the Gaelic words “buan” and “oir,” which together mean “lasting gold.” This interpretation suggests that the name originally referred to someone who possessed qualities of value and durability.

Another theory suggests that the surname Bonner may have originated from the Gaelic word “bonn,” which means “base” or “foundation.” This interpretation implies that the name could have been given to someone who held an important position of authority or acted as a pillar of support within their community.

The spelling variations of the surname Bonner are diverse and have evolved over the centuries. Some of the alternative spellings include Boner, Bonar, Bonnor, and Bonar. These variations may have arisen due to differences in regional accents, dialects, or the discretion of record keepers.

The Bonner surname has a notable presence in the United States, particularly in states with significant Irish and Scottish immigrant populations. It is believed that many individuals with the surname Bonner emigrated from Ireland and Scotland during the 19th century in search of better opportunities and a new life. As a result, the name has become firmly established in American culture and genealogy.

Throughout history, individuals with the Bonner surname have made significant contributions in various fields. Notable Bonners include Robert Bonner, a renowned newspaper publisher in the 19th century, and Billy Bonner, a professional basketball player who played for the San Antonio Spurs. These individuals demonstrate the diverse achievements and influence of those carrying the Bonner name.

While much is known about the history and etymology of the Bonner surname, there are still many aspects that remain uncertain. Further research and exploration of historical records and genealogical data may uncover additional insights into the origin and meaning of the name. Nevertheless, the current understanding of the Bonner surname offers a fascinating glimpse into the heritage and ancestry of those who bear this distinguished last name.

Interesting facts about the last name Bonner

  • The surname Bonner is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic name “Ó Buanáin”, which means “descendant of Buannan”.
  • Bonner is a relatively common surname in Ireland, particularly in the province of Ulster.
  • In some cases, the surname Bonner is an Anglicized form of the Scottish surname Mac a’ Bhonnair, which means “son of the bonnet maker”.
  • The name Bonner can also have Germanic origins, coming from the Old High German word “bona”, meaning “good”.
  • During the Irish diaspora in the 19th and early 20th centuries, many people with the surname Bonner emigrated to various parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Bonner include Irish footballer Padraig Bonner, musician and producer Luke Bonner, and American basketball player Matt Bonner.
  • The Bonner family has a rich background in the field of education, with several Bonners having notable careers as teachers or educators.
  • In some regions, the surname Bonner is also associated with sea-faring or fishing communities, as Bonner can be a variation of the Scottish surnames Bonar or Bonnar, which have maritime connotations.
  • Bonner is a surname that has undergone various spelling variations over time, including Bonar, Bownar, and Bonnor.

Name Rank


There are around 33446 people with the last name Bonner in the US

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