The surname of BUNYON was a nickname, derived from the Old French 'bon-jean' one with a happy disposition. The name was also baptismal 'the son of Beynon'. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property.
Early records of the name mention John Oliver and Ann Bunnyon who were married in London in the year 1624.
Mathew Bunyan and Frances Rawlings were married at St. Peter. Cornhill, London in 1640.
Most, if not all bearers of this name, including John Bunyan (1628-88), author of 'The Pilgrim's Progress' are members of a single family, originating from Ampthill in Bedfordshire, where the name is recorded as early as 1199, and recurs as Buignon, Buniun etc, throughout the 13th century.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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