Bonnycastle -- what a wonderful name for ancestor seekers! It is amazing how few Bonnycastles there are, or ever have been. Approximately 240 people have been born with the surname Bonnycastle. It is now apparent that all Bonnycastles belong on one family tree.

Until 2012, the earliest instance of the name found was that of Thomas Bonicastle of Blakesley parish in Northamptonshire, England who (to our great fortune) left a will in 1650.  The latest discovery is an entry in the baptism register of nearby Hillmorton, Warwickshire for Thomas, the son of William & Agnes, in 1590.

Over the course of 200 years, our line inched toward London. The generations following William & Agnes were mainly middle-class farmers in Northamptonshire and neighbouring Buckinghamshire. The families were small and the name just barely carried on.  John (born 1751) from Hardwick parish in Buckinghamshire ventured away from farming towards London and teaching. John's sons spread widely -- Richard Henry (later Sir Richard Henry) to Canada, Humphrey to France, and Charles to the United States, while daughter Charlotte remained in England. Every 21st century person with the surname Bonnycastle is a descendant of John (b1751).  As well, there are many instances of the name surviving as a given name.

 

Bonnycastle in England
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John of Woolwich's children
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Bonnycastle research and this website are ongoing, collaborative, and open-ended works.  I will gladly include contributions of photographs, research, and recollections to honour the Bonnycastle heritage and for us all to enjoy.

Please begin by reading About this site.