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About the study
The purpose of the Boniface website located at The Boniface Internet Group is to provide a gathering place for those interested in the BONIFACE surname and to find connections among them. My name is Steve Everitt and I am related to the Boniface name through my Mother, her name is Doris May BONIFACE.
The website offers access to others having the same interests by joining the group (no money involved by the way) and how to join us on the mailing list. There you will also find extracts and databases that the group have compiled. The Boniface Internet Group (BIG) is of course very interested in your BONIFACE connection, no matter how far removed and even if it's only singular. It may provide one of us with a piece of the puzzle we've been looking for. For you, it could provide many ancestors or cousins you didn't know you had.
Hugh Boniface wrote in 1984 that the name Boniface as a surname is likely to have developed from the Saint's name given as a Christian name which later became a surname in the 12th or 13th century. Reaney's 'Dictionary Of Surnames' gives the earliest instances as Tomas Boniface (Yorkshire 1190) and Alis Boneface (Hampshire 1200)
He said that "if it is derived from the Saints name, the original spelling is probably BONIFACE but common variants are:-BONNIFACE, BONEFACE, BONNYFACE, BONNEYFACE and BONYFACE. The form BONIFAS is occasionally used but seems to refer to families of Huguenot origin."
Hugh states that in certain areas (especially his own area of N.W.Sussex) the abbreviated forms BONNEY, BONNY, BONNI OR BONY were also used. These appear even in parish registers, ( sometimes as 'BONNEY or BONIFACE') census returns and on birth and marriage certificates. He believes that "there is probably a separate surname of Bonney as it occurs in parts of the country where no Boniface's are found. Some of the Bonneys in S.W.Sussex may be a family not derived from Boniface as Bonney is used in the earliest entries in the 16th century."