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OTHER FORMS: Bonemaison, Bonnemaizon, Bonnemason, Bonnemazon
Meaning & History
Literally means "good house", derived from French bonne
"good" and French maison
"house". As such, this surname is most likely a locational surname, in that it originally either referred to someone who lived in a good house (probably more like a mansion) or to someone who was born in (or lived in) the place Bonnemaison, which is nowadays located in the Calvados department of France. The village of Bonnemazon is also a possibility (nowadays located in the Hautes-Pyrénées department of France), which has been called Bonnemaison for some part of its history. It derived its name from Gascon bona mason
meaning "good house". Gascon is a dialect of the Occitan language, which (in France) is spoken in the very south of the country.
With that said, it should be noted that there is also a possibility that (at least in some cases) the Bonnemaison surname is actually derived from a (somewhat figurative) nickname, in that it originally referred to someone who came from a good house (i.e. a good family).
Lastly, a known bearer of this surname was the French portrait painter Féréol Bonnemaison (died 1827).