Hannahs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde Briton clans of the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first to use the name Hannahs. 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". [1]

Early Origins of the Hannahs family

The surname Hannahs was 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. [1]

Further to the south in England, Hannay or Hannah is a small parish, in the union of Louth, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey in Lincolnshire. [2]

And East and West Hanney are in the union of Wantage, partly in the hundred of Ock, but chiefly in that of Wantage, in Berkshire. Both were traditionally in Oxfordshire. These parishes collectively date back to Saxon times when they were known as Hannige c. 956. There were listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, as Hannei and literally meant "island or land between streams, frequented by wild birds." [3]

Early History of the Hannahs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hannahs research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1673, 1658, 1689, 1630, 1629, 1620 and are included under the topic Early Hannahs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hannahs Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Hannahs has been spelled Hannah, Hanna, Hannay, Hanney and others.

Early Notables of the Hannahs family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Gilbert Hannah of Wigtown; Sir Robert Hannay, 1st Baronet (d. 1658) of Mochrum in the Stewardry of Kirkcudbright; Sir Robert Hannay, 2nd Baronet (d. 1689); and Patrick Hannay (died 1630?) was a Scottish poet and courtier from the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. He "was probably the third son of Alexander Hannay of Kirkdale in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. His grandfather...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hannahs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hannahs family to Ireland

Some of the Hannahs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hannahs family

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them: Alexander Hannah settled in Boston in 1766; Andrew Hannah settled in Antigua in 1679; George Hannah settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and two children.



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


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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