Hannums History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hannums is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hannums family lived in Hanham, Gloucestershire, a hamlet, in the parish of Bitton, union of Keynsham, Upper division of the hundred of Langley and Swinehead. [1]

The village dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first recorded as Hunun. [2]

Ancient records reveal the name Hannums is derived from the Old English roots han, which means rock, and ham, which means village or settlement, collectively meaning "place at the rocks." [3]

However, another source notes a different meaning: "at the High Enclosure [Old English heán, dat. of heáh, high; ham(m, enclosure, piece of land] Hanham is on high ground." [4]

Early Origins of the Hannums family

The surname Hannums was first found in Gloucestershire. Conjecturally, they are descended from Hunbald who held the lands of Hanham, now a suburb of Bristol, from Arnulf de Hesdin at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey in 1086 A.D.

However, it was not until the 12th century when the first person of the name was officially recorded, that being of Peter de Hanham, Lord of the Manor of Hanham. [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include Thomas de Hanam, Somerset. [6] Again in Somerset, Roger de Hanam was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [7]

The Subsidy Rolls of Somerset included Rober de Hanam in 1327 and much later, John Hanham was listed in the Feet of Fines for Warwickshire in 1437-1438. [8]

Early History of the Hannums family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hannums research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1589, 1594, 1795, 1559, 1547, 1554, 1656, 1654, 1656 and are included under the topic Early Hannums History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hannums Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Hanham, Hannam, Haname, Hannan, Hannem, Hanhams, Hannams, Hanam, Hanams, Hannum and many more.

Early Notables of the Hannums family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Hannam or Hammond (died 1559), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Poole in 1547 and Melcombe Regis in November 1554. Richard Hannam (d. 1656), was a robber and son of a shoemaker of Shaftesbury, Dorsetshire. "He was apprenticed to a silk weaver in London, but left to become a tapster, and finally joined a gang of thieves. He engaged in burglary unaccompanied by violence, and speedily gained great notoriety. Early in his career he was apprehended for a robbery of plate from the Earl of Pembroke, but escaped and left the country...
Another 111 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hannums Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hannums family to Ireland

Some of the Hannums family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 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 Hannums family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Hannums or a variant listed above: Thomas Hanham who settled in Virginia in 1608; twelve years before the "Mayflower"; another Thomas settled in Virginia in 1773; John Hanam arrived in San Francisco, Cal. in 1850. In Newfoundland, James Hanham settled in Hants Harbour in 1829.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  8. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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