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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Hanna family come from? What is the Scottish Hanna family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hanna family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hanna family history?

The Strathclyde clans of the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first people to use the name Hanna. It is derived from the personal names Hannah and Anna. Another possibility is that it is a religious name, taken from that of Hannah, mother of Samuel. Most likely, however, given the family's Gaelic origins is that it was an anglicized version of the Gaelic "O hAnnaigh", meaning "descendant of Annach", a byname meaning "iniquity".


Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Hanna has been spelled Hannah, Hanna, Hannay, Hanney and others.

First found in Wigtownshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Bhaile na h-Uige), formerly a county in southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, where in 1296, Gilbert de Hannethe residing in the county of Wiggetone at the time, rendered homage to King Edward I of England during his brief conquest of Scotland. During the same year, a Gilbert Hahanith, who may or may not be the same man, was juror on an inquest concerning the succession to Elena la Zuche. The next appearance of the name is in 1424 when John of Hanna (a name that suggests that the name may have been taken from a place, rather than of Gaelic origin) was master of a ship belonging to James, King of Scotland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanna research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1673, 1st , 1658, 1689 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Hanna History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 81 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hanna Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Hanna family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Hanna Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Capp Hanna, who landed in Virginia in 1642

Hanna Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Hanna, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1772

Hanna Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Hanna, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Lawrence Hanna, aged 48, landed in New York in 1812
  • Francis Hanna, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Jessie Hanna, aged 18, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1820-1873
  • Samuel Hanna, who arrived in New York in 1831


  • John A. Hanna (1762-1805), United States Representative from Pennsylvania
  • Charles Hanna (1889-1942), American politician
  • William Hanna (1910-2001), American animator and co-founder of Hanna-Barbera
  • Mark Hanna (1917-2003), American screenwriter and actor
  • Roland Hanna (b. 1932), American Jazz pianist
  • Vincent Hanna (1939-1997), Northern Irish television journalist
  • Sergeant-Major Robert Hill Hanna (1887-1967), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross during the First World War
  • Mr. Mansur Hanna (d. 1912), aged 35, Syrian Third Class passenger from Kfar Mechi who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. Borak Suleiman Hanna, (Hannah Assi Borah), aged 27, Lebanese Third Class passenger from Hardīne who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 15 was incorrectly listed as Hanna Moubarek 15


  • The Gelsinger, Friend (also Hanna), and Related Families by Carol R. Gustafson.
  • The Hanna Family, 1744-1974, Laurens District, South Carolina, to Carroll County Indiana by Betty A. Montoye.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per ardua ad alta
Motto Translation: Through straits to heights.


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  3. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  8. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Hanna Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hanna Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 October 2014 at 19:07.

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