Irish surname search
Hannay Hanna and Hannay should be treated as synonyms. The name is Scottish and it belongs originally to county Galloway in that country, from where it came to Ireland in 1621, when Robert Hannay (alias Hanna and Hana) was among the planters in Co. Longford: he was made a baronet of Scotland in 1630. Practically all the Hannas today belong to north-east Ulster, where they are numerous, as they were about 1665 as we know from the Hearth Money Rolls for the several counties there; and all the notable men of the name in Ireland were Presbyterian divines from Belfast and neighbourhood. These do not seem to descend from Sir Robert Hannay or from his brother Patrick, who was also an early seventeenth century settler, but from Scottish immigrants, who came to Ulster after 1691. Hanna was formerly written A'Hannay which is said to be a corruption of O'Hannay (Ó hAnnaidh).
The fact that a similar name was to be found here as early as 1313 an O'Hanni was tried for robbery and acquitted in Co. Cork; in 1540 both O'Hanney and Hanye occur in Cashel, as well as Hanny at Ardee in 1541 and 1570. The place-name Ballyhanna occurs in counties Donegal and Derry.
George Bermingham, author of many popular Irish novels and plays, is the nom-de-plume of Canon Hannay (1865-1950).