Show ContentsHance History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hance family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from the baptismal name for the son of John. The given name John was originally derived from the Dutch Hans or Han. [1]

Alternatively, the name coule be "a nickname or sign-name [Old English hand, a hand]." [2]

And another source notes it is an "ancient personal name. Hand and Hande are, however, surnames without prefix in Hundredorum Rolls. Mr. Ferguson says: "Walking through Handsworth in Staffordshire, and seeing the name of Hand upon the shops, I said to myself, ' Handsworth is the north or estate of a man called Hand, and these may be descendants of that man.'" [3]

Early Origins of the Hance family

The surname Hance was first found in Cheshire where the name first appeared as a forename in the Assize Rolls of 1288, Honde Cottrell. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 included Richard Hand in Bedfordshire and later Robert Hind was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. Walter Handes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Warwickshire in 1332. [4]

In Yorkshire, The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls had a wide variety of entries: Hanse et uxor ejus; Matilda Han-wyfe; Thomas Hand; and Laurence Hande. [1]

Early History of the Hance family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hance research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1521, 1588, 1594 and are included under the topic Early Hance History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hance Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Hance include Hand, Hands and others.

Early Notables of the Hance family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hance Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hance Ranking

In the United States, the name Hance is the 6,811st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Hance family to Ireland

Some of the Hance family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hance migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Hance were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Hance Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Hance, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [6]
  • John Hance, who landed in Maryland in 1659 [6]
  • Anakin Hance, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [6]
  • Robert Hance, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [6]
  • Rawleigh Hance, who landed in Virginia in 1673 [6]
Hance Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John r Hance, who arrived in New York, NY in 1831 [6]
  • Thomas Hance, who landed in San Francisco, Ctd in 1851 [6]

Australia Hance migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hance Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John hance, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Seppings" in 1839 [7]
  • Charlotte hance, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Seppings" in 1839 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hance (post 1700) +

  • Kent Hance (b. 1942), American politician, former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from West Texas
  • Margaret Taylor Hance (1923-1990), American politician, first female mayor of Phoenix, Arizona (1976-1983)
  • Sylvanus B. Hance, American politician, U.S. Consul in Sarnia, 1864-65; Kingston, 1864-74 [8]
  • Mark K. Hance, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1944 [8]
  • Margaret T. Hance, American politician, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, 1976-84 [8]
  • Kent Ronald Hance (b. 1942), American politician, Member of Texas State Senate 28th District, 1973-78; U.S. Representative from Texas 19th District, 1979-85; Candidate in Democratic primary for U.S. Senator from Texas, 1984 [8]
  • Joseph L. Hance, American politician, U.S. Consul in Turks Island, 1889; U.S. Commercial Agent (Consul) in Cardenas, 1897-98 [8]
  • James W. Hance, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, 1902-14 [8]
  • Ellwood T. Hance, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Detroit, Michigan, 1889-93 [8]
  • Henry Fletcher Hance (1827-1886), British botanist and diplomat, born on 4 Aug. 1827 at Old Brompton, London [9]
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mrs. Florence Lee Hance (d. 1979), American passenger, from USA aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [10]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Travis Raymond Hance (1921-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [11]

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SEPPINGS 1839. Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from
  9. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  10. Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from
  11. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook