This unusual surname recorded as Hann, Han, Hane, Hankin, Hance, Hancke, Hankey, Hanson, and possibly others, is of early medieval origin. It is a nickname shortform development of the given name Johan, a "crusader" 11th century introduction into England, when the giving of biblical names particularly to sons of returning warriors from the Holy Land, was almost a national pastime. Johan or John derives from the Hebrew "Yochanan", meaning "Jehovah has favoured me with a son", although recent research also suggests that in some cases, the modern surname may be from the personal name Henry. This was an Anglo-Saxon pre 8th century name comprising the elements "haim", meaning home, and "ric", power. Examples of the surname recording taken from the church registers include Elsabeth Hanckey, christened at St Margarets, Westminster, on August 2nd 1539, Henry Annekey, a witness at St Peters church, Pauls Wharf, London, on February 2nd 1647, and the marriage of Joseph Hann and Mary Luis, on October 31st 1706, at St. James's church, Dukes Place, London. Other recordings include Amelia Hankey, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster on September 11th 1769, and the marriage of Frederick Hann and Frances Taylor, on November 10th 1816, at the same church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Hannesone, which was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax rolls of the city of Nottingham, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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