Hanky History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Hanky came from Haneca, an Old English personal name. Patronymic surnames arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries.
Alternatively, the name could have been "a modification of Hankin, the nickname or diminutive of Randolph, prevalent in some of the oldest families of Cheshire. The existing families of this surname derive from that county, and the name was borne there in the rank of gentry in the XV. century."  Another source agrees: "variant of Hankin. All the same a spot must be looked for in Cheshire, styled Hankey, which may have given birth to a local surname." 
Early Origins of the Hanky family
The surname Hanky was first found in Cheshire in the village of Churton where it was found "in the beginning of the 16th century."  "The Hankeys were seated here for many generations." 
Early records in Cheshire revealed: Jonn Hanky, of Churton in 1533, according to Earwaker's East Cheshire; and the Wills of Chester listed Hugh Hankey, of Churton in 1562 and Robert Hankey, of Darnell in 1610. 
Important Dates for the Hanky family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanky research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1770 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Hanky History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hanky 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 Hanky family name include Hankey, Hankie, Hanky and others.
Early Notables of the Hanky family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Hanky Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hanky migration to the United States
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, 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 Hanky surname or a spelling variation of the name include:
Hanky Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Frederick Hanky, who arrived in New York in 1837 
- John Hanky, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837 
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)