Recorded as Hanna and Hanner, this interesting surname has a number of possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of early medieval English origin. If so it is from the female given name "Hannah" from the Hebrew "Chana", meaning "He (God) has favoured me with a child". Secondly the surname may be Scottish, where it is also found as Hannay, and means "son of Senach", from the Gaelic "ap Sheanaigh". It is also a locational name from an unidentified or lost place. John of Hanna was master of a ship belonging to James 1st of Scotland, in 1424. Another possible source is Irish from the Gaelic "O'hAnnaigh", meaning a descendant of Annach, a byname meaning "Iniquity". Practically all the Irish nameholders belong to north-east Ulster, where they are numerous. Examples of recordings include that on April 27th 1627 of Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert and Ann Hanner, who was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, and William Hanna, who married Jannet Ervine in 1692, at Clones, County Monaghan. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Hannethe of Wiggetone. This was dated 1296, when he rendered homage, during the reign of John Balliol, King of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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