Hannis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hannis has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally derived from the personal name Agnes, which itself is derived from the Greek name Hagne, which means pure and holy. The name was also used in the Latin phrase Agnus Dei, which means lamb of God. The personal name Agnes was popularized by devotees, the early Christian martyr, Saint Agnes. [1]

The name could have been an occupational name as one source notes it was "the old word for body-armour. Hence Lightharness, and the French Beauhamois, or 'fair harness.'' [2]

Early Origins of the Hannis family

The surname Hannis was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where the name was found as a forename and surname: Robert filius Harneis, Lincolnshire; John filius Hernici, Lincolnshire; Roger Herneys, Norfolk; John Harneys, Cambridgeshire; and Heme' de Stano, Suffolk. [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Robert Arnys; Robertus Arnis; Johanna Ernys; and Robert Hernays. [3]

The name is a "well-known Lincolnshire surname to-day, and found there six centuries ago." [3]

Early History of the Hannis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hannis research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1402, 1384, 1790, 1869, 1790, 1804, 1883, 1804, 1825, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1832, 1834, 1850, 1854 and 1855 are included under the topic Early Hannis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hannis Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Hannis include Anniss, Anness, Arness, Annison, Arnison, Annes, Ennis and many more.

Early Notables of the Hannis family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Dom João Anes (João Eanes), died 1402, bishop (since 1384), first archbishop of Lisbon; Annis of Nottingham. William Harness (1790-1869), was the author of a 'Life of Shakespeare,' born near Wickham in Hampshire on 14 March 1790, was son of John Harness, M.D., commissioner of transports, and elder brother of Sir Henry Drury Harness. [4] Sir Henry Drury Harness (1804-1883), the British general, colonel-commandant royal engineers, son of John Harness, Esq., M.D., Commissioner of the Transport Board, was born in 1804. Harness passed high out of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1825, but...
Another 149 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hannis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hannis family to Ireland

Some of the Hannis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 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 Hannis migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Hannis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Walter Hannis, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [5]

New Zealand Hannis migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Hannis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Carolyn Hannis, (b. 1836), aged 28, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th March 1864 [6]
  • Mr. Hezekiah Hannis, (b. 1839), aged 25, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th March 1864 [6]

West Indies Hannis migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [7]
Hannis Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Rich Hannis, aged 21, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [5]
  • Mr. Richard Hannis, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hannis (post 1700) +


    HMS Repulse
    • Mr. Raymond William Charles Hannis, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [9]


    1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
    2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
    3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
    4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
    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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
    7. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
    8. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
    9. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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