This interesting surname is often confused with the Scottish habitational name Hannay from the unidentified place, although there is no evidence of any connection as Hanney being of English locational origin from a place thus called in Berkshire. The placename was recorded as "Hannige" in the Cartularium Saxonicum (956) and as "Hannei" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The component elements of the name are the old English pre 7th Century "hanena" meaning cock plus "ieg" an island; hence island frequented by (wild) cocks. Locational names were originally given to the Lord of the Manor or as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to seek word elsewhere. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 16th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Hanne, Heaney, Hainey, Haney, Hanny, etc.. On October 3rd 1675, Mary, daughter of William and Mary Hanney was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Hanney family depicts three gold demi lions rampant between a gold chevron on a blue field. On the crest is a stags head proper, with a gold collar and between his horns a red cross pattee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Hanye, witness at a christening, which was dated June 16th 1537, St. Mary Bothaw, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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