Saturday, January 16, 2010

Surname Saturday - Hannan/Hannon

My mother's family name is Hannan.  Well, most of the family spells it that way, but some, including my grandfather spelled it Hannon.  There doesn't seem to be any real reason for this.  When I ask my Mom she says that her father just liked it Hannon.  My mother always uses Hannan and when I picked my daughter's middle name I used Hannan.

The Hannan Family that I come from originated in Maine and many members of the family still live there.  The beginnings of the family of this name come from John O'Dell Hannan.  The family story goes that he was born in Ireland about 1794 and was impressed as a sailor on a British war ship during the war of 1812.  The ship was sunk by the Americans in  the Penobscot River between Bucksport and Bangor, Maine.  John O'Dell and his friend Jacob Lehman, not caring for the life, escaped inland to Liberty, Maine.  He added Hannan to his name, becoming John O.D. Hannan and settled "on the upper county road".  According to a 1927 "Brief History of Liberty Maine", John and Jacob "fled overland through Belfast until arriving in Liberty, then called Davistown. They probably then believed that they were far enough away from the coast."

Here is the piece of the 1850 census for John and his family.

He is listed here as John O.D. Hannan, 53 years old, born in Ireland.

John married Sarah "Sally" Cram of Montville Plantation, Waldo, Maine on 3 Sept 1818 in Montville.  They had 6 children, John Colby Hannan, Richard S. Hannan, Mary E. Hannan, Joseph H. Hannan, David Hannan and Sarah Hannan.

My line continues with Richard who was born 4 May 1824 in Liberty.  Richard was a farmer all his life, as was his father John.  Richard married Lucy Maria Turner on 18 Feb 1849 in Liberty, Maine.  In the transcription of the Vital Records of Liberty, Maine that I was able to access at the Maine Historical Society, it says:  "I hereby certify that Mr. Richard Hannan and Miss Mariah Turner both of Liberty were joined in marriage at Liberty on Feb 18th, 1849 by me, James W. Young, Justice of the Peace".

I want to say here that Isabel Maresh Morse, who transcribed the records of Liberty, has been a great force in the recording of the Hannan family as well as in preserving the historical records of the area. Thanks Isabel!! 

Richard and Maria had 7 children, Daniel Turner Hannan, George Norwood Hannan, Newell Murch Hannan, Charles Emery Hannan, Bertha M. Hannan, Rozilla Marie Hannan and Ulmer G. Hannan.  Richard died 4 May 1901 and is buried in the Hannan Cemetery in Palermo, Maine.

Newell was a farmer most of his life.  He does seem to have tried his hand as a cooper as seen in this snippet from the 1850 Census of Knox, Washington, Maine.

Newell married Alice Flavilla Parsons on 22 Mar 1885.  Grammie Flavie, as my mother calls her, and Newell had 7 children , Ernest Lyzene Hannon, Charles E. Hannon, Guy Melvin Hannan, Irving Cecil Hannon, Rose Helen Hannon, Ross Newell Hannon and Doris Evelyn Hannan.

The picture is of some of the Hannan children.  My grandfather Ross is the one on the right (looking at the picture).

Ross, my grandfather, was a farmer, a hunter and a lumberman.  He was a selectman for the town of Palermo for 25 years.  He married Beatrice Natalie Hall on 3 Jan 1927 in Searsmont, Washington, Maine. They settled in Palermo, Maine where they raised three daughters, my mother among them.  Ross died on 7 July 1922 in Augusta, Maine and is buried in the Hannan Cemetery in Palermo, Maine.


  1. Very nice surname story. Thank you for sharing. Isn't the different spelling issue so interesting...
    Love that lower photo... really speaks of the time, place and lifestyle.


  2. I found this looking for the address of a Colby Hannan - a second grader in Bangor, Maine who is a friend of my son's. I need to send him a birthday invitation! I wonder if he's a relative or if it's just a coincidence that you have a "John Colby Hannan."

  3. Kathy
    My Ellen Lynch Faunt who came to Beverly NJ in 1869 was A least her mother was.Ellen Hannon born in Limerick probably near Kilfinane in 1818.
    Ellen Hannon Lynch MAY have come to US also as I find a family looking like them near Philadelphia