Recorded as Hanna, Hannay, Hannan, the rare Hannon and possibly others, this is a surname of confused Celtic or Gaelic origins. These are largely unproven, but recordings suggest that either it was a fused form of the Celtic personal name ap Sheanaigh, or unusually for a Gaelic name it was locational from a now "lost" place called Hanna. This is shown by the recording in the year 1424 of John of Hanna, given as being the master of a ship belonging to King James 1st of Scotland (1406 - 1437), whilst Thomas Hannay was a freeman of the city of Glasgow in 1565. George Hannan is recorded as being a burgess of Kirkcudbright in 1645, and it is said that Hannan families were recorded in North Berwick at the end of the 17th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of John Hanyn, a burgess of Berwick, and dated 1147, in the records of Kelso Abbey, Scotland, during the reign of King David 1st of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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