This long-established surname is of early medieval German origin, and derives from the male given name Hans, itself an aphetic form of Johann, with the addition of the suffix "mann". Johann, the usual German form of John, derives from the Hebrew "Jochanaan", "Jehovah has favoured me (with a son)", or "may Jehovah favour (this child)", and was adopted into Latin (via the Greek) as "Johannes". The name enjoyed enormous popularity n Europe throughout the Christian era, being given in honour of St. John the Baptist, precursor of Christ, and St. John the Evangelist, author of the fourth gospel. Some of the principal forms of the "Johannes" given in Europe were: French, Jean; Flemish and Dutch, Jan; and German, Johan and Hans. The suffix "man(n), when attached to a given name indicates servant, page, or attendant of that person. Hansman, with variant spellings Hansmann, Hansemann and Hanssmann, is widely found in German Records from the mid 15th Century. In 1447, Georius Hansemann, "Burgermeister", was recorded in Schlettstadt, and on January 14th 1683, Anna Gertraut Hansman was christened at Raumland, Westfalen. A Coat of Arms granted to the Hansman family is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General", and depicts on the upper section of a black shield, a gold lion passant holding in the dexter paw a fleur-de-lis. The lower section is divided per pale gold, black and gold with three fleurs-de-lis counterchanged. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mertel Hansman, which was dated 1375, in the "Medieval Records of Olmutz", Germany, during the reign of Charles 1V of Luxembourg, 1347 - 1378. 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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