Show ContentsHanks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Hanks is a patronymic surname created from the Middle English given name Hank.

Early Origins of the Hanks family

The surname Hanks was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1191 when Anke of Ankinton held estates in that shire.

Early History of the Hanks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanks research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1290 and 1580 are included under the topic Early Hanks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hanks Spelling Variations

Hanks has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Hanks, Hankes, Hanke, Hank, Anke, Ankes, Hancke and many more.

Early Notables of the Hanks family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • the Hanks family of Lincolnshire

Hanks Ranking

In the United States, the name Hanks is the 1,983rd most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [1]

United States Hanks migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Hankss to arrive on North American shores:

Hanks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Hanks, who was a servant sent to the "Foreign Plantations" of Virginia in 1676
  • Luke Hanks, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [2]
  • John Hanks, who settled in the Virginia Colony in 1690
Hanks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Hanks, who arrived in Georgia in 1738
  • Ann Hanks, aged 42, who arrived in Georgia in 1738 [2]
  • Edward Hanks, age 16, who arrived in Maryland in 1775
  • Issac Hanks, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1775
Hanks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elijah F Hanks, who landed in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • Wesley W Hanks, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • George Hanks, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1842 [2]
  • John Hanks, aged 58, who landed in New York in 1868 [2]
  • Charles Hanks, aged 11, who landed in New York in 1868 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Hanks migration to Australia +

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

Hanks Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Hanks, (b. 1776), aged 21, English labourer who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1842 [3]
Hanks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert P Hanks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stratheden" in 1850 [4]
  • Mr. Richard Hanks, (b. 1832), aged 24, English farm servant from Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, UKtravelling from Plymouth, Devon, UK aboard the ship "Aliquis" arriving in Adelaide, Australia on 26th August 1856 [5]
  • Mrs. Sarah Hanks (née Hinder), (b. 1836), aged 20, English settler from Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, UKtravelling from Plymouth, Devon, UK aboard the ship "Aliquis" arriving in Adelaide, Australia on 26th August 1856 [5]
  • Richard Hanks (aged 24), a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"

Contemporary Notables of the name Hanks (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks (b. 1956), American two-time Academy Award winning, five-time Primetime Emmy Award winning and four-time Golden Globe winning film actor, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • William F. Hanks, American linguist and anthropologist
  • Nancy Hanks Lincoln (1784-1818), nee Hanks, mother of United States President Abraham Lincoln
  • James Millander Hanks (1833-1909), American politician, U.S. Representative from Arkansas
  • Fletcher Hanks Sr. (1887-1976), American cartoonist from the Golden Age of Comic Books
  • Merton Hanks (b. 1968), American former NFL safety who played for the San Francisco 49ers (1991-1998) and Seattle Seahawks in 1999
  • Kerri Hanks (b. 1985), American soccer forward, three-time member of the National team
  • Colin Hanks (b. 1977), born Colin Lewes Dillingham, American actor, eldest son of Tom Hanks
  • Steve Hanks, renowned American artist
  • Jim Hanks (b. 1961), American voice-over artist and character actor
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Charles F Hanks, British Chief Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [6]

Suggested Readings for the name Hanks +

  • Genealogy of the Hanks and Allied Families by Gladys Hanks Johnson.
  • Hanks Family Records, Including References to the Following: Bartow Family, Chappell Family, Hale Family, Johnston Family, Shumway Family; a Consolidated Index to Show the Location of Records by Stedman Shumway Hanks.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STRATHEDEN 1850. Retrieved
  5. The Ships List Passenger Lists Ship Aliquis (Retrieved 26th October 2018). Retrieved from
  6. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook