This is a true European surname. It can be either a patronymic or a metronymic, meaning it may be derived from the father or mother. As a patronymic, it is from "Hann", a German-Flemish short form of Johann, itself from the Hebrew "Yochanan" and meaning "Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)". Johann and the Anglo-French John and Jon, were names rarely found in Europe before the year 1000, and were popularised as a result of the Christian Revival period, and in particular the famous crusades to the Holy Land in the 11th and 12th centuries. It became the custom for soldiers and pilgrims returning from the Holy Land to call their childen by biblical names. As a metonymic the name derives from the female name "Hannah", with the short form of "Hann". Hannah was the mother of the prophet Samuel. The modern surname derived from these two sources has many spellings, and these include Hans, Hanson, Hansen, and Hanssen. Amongst the early recordings are those of Hainrich Hans, of Ringlers, Germany, in the year 1357, Robertus Hanson in the 1379 Poll Tax Rolls of the county of Yorkshire, England, and Johan Hansen, in the register of the Evangelist Church of Niederdresselcorf, Westfalen, Germany, on April 6th 1589. John Hanson was sent to Virgina, New England, in 1642, by Queen Christina of Sweden. He was the grandson of an Englishman who had married into the Swedish royal family. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Hanneson, which was dated 1331, in the "Patent Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 111 of England, 1327 - 1377.
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