Recorded as O' Hanvey, Hanify, Hanvey, Hanway, Hanaway, and Hannaway, this is an Irish surname. It is of great antiquity, and derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic O' hAinbhith, which has the somewhat unusual meaning of 'The male descendant of the stormy one'. The vast majority of Gaelic surnames originate from a nickname for the original chief or leader of the clan. Some of these nicknames were very robust, the famous Kennedy name meaning 'Ugly head'. Presumably the original chief of the O'Hanveys had either a stormy temperment or drove his opponents off like a storm! Most early surnames were in some way a memory of great deeds long past, and this surname seems to be a good example of the genre.According to the famous etymologist the late Edward MacLysaght, the clan is most populous in Ulster and particularly South Down, but with small with branches or septs in County Meath and even as far west as County Cork. Early recordings include Jane Hanway who married Roger Jones at St Michans Dublin, on April 17th 1670, and Lawrence Hanvey who married Catherine McCormick at Scotstown, County Monaghan, on October 4th 1868.
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