Show ContentsHanger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hanger is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Hangre in the county of Hampshire.

There are two other origins of the name. Firstly, it may also have been an occupational name derived from the Middle English word "hangere" for a "hangman." [1] Secondly, the name could have been derived from the Old English word "hangra," meaning ‘Dweller by the wood on a steep hillside.’ [1] [2]

The latter origin is by far the strongest as most sources note this origin instead of the occupational entry above. We include another quote to underscore this point. "A wooded declivity. The high part to the south-west consists of a vast hill of chalk, rising three hundred feet above the village; and it is divided into a sheep down, the high wood, and a long hanging wood called the HANGER." [3]

Early Origins of the Hanger family

The surname Hanger was first found in Hampshire, where Hangere (with no forename) was listed at Winton in 1148. Later the Assize Rolls of Norfolk included a listing for Roger Hangeman in 1310. [1]

The Close Rolls list Richard atte Hanger, 6 Henry IV (during the 6th year of King Henry IV's reign.)

Early History of the Hanger family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanger research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1630, 1643, 1762 and 1824 are included under the topic Early Hanger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hanger Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Hanger family name include Hanger, Hangre, Anger, Angre and others.

Early Notables of the Hanger family

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

Hanger Ranking

In the United States, the name Hanger is the 12,827th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Hanger family to Ireland

Some of the Hanger family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hanger migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Hanger surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Hanger Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Hanger who sailed to Somers Islands in 1673
Hanger Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Hanger, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [5]
  • John Hanger, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1797
Hanger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Herman William Hanger, aged 25, who landed in Missouri in 1845 [5]
  • John M. Hanger moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856

Contemporary Notables of the name Hanger (post 1700) +

  • Robert Kittrell Hanger, American lawyer who served in the AEF during World War I
  • Franklin Hanger, American physician and educator
  • William A. Hanger, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Texas State Senate 30th District, 1899-1906; Honorary Vice-President, Democratic National Convention, 1916 [6]
  • John M. Hanger, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1916 [6]
  • James Marshall Hanger (1833-1912), American politician, U.S. Consul in Bermuda, 1894-98 [6]
  • Emmett W. Hanger Jr., American Republican politician, Elected Virginia State Senate 24th District 2011 [6]
  • Charles J. Hanger, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1912; Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 3rd District, 1912 [6]
  • Sir Mostyn Hanger, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, Australia
  • Sir George Hanger (1751-1824), 4th Baron Coleraine (Lord Coleraine)British soldier, author, and eccentric

The Hanger Motto +

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: Artes Honorabit
Motto Translation: He will do honour to the arts.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook