Hanson Surname Genealogy

of Hans” was the basis for the surname Hansen found in Denmark, Norway
and in the German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg that are
closest to Denmark. Hansson is the Swedish spelling. Both
names have 20th century Prime Ministers – H.C. Hansen of Denmark in the
1950’s and Per Albin Hansson of Sweden in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Son of Hann” was thought to have been the basis for the English
surname Hanson. Hann, a popular personal name in Yorkshire in the
13th century, could have been the abbreviated form of the Hebrew name
Hannah.  The names Hanson and Hansen both came to America.
Select Hanson/Hansen Resources on The Internet

Hanson/Hansen Ancestry

The Scandinavian population of
Hansens and Hanssons in Denmark, Norway and Sweden is approximately
260,000 today. It is estimated that some 15,000 made the journey
to America, with the peak years of migration being in the late
1800’s. On arrival a large number anglicized their name to
Many did remain Hansen.

The Hanson and Hansen population
in America
is close to 95,000 today. Some of the early
Hansons had come from England.

. The Hanson surname has its origins in Yorkshire, near
the town of Halifax. The line began with local landowner Roger de
Rastrick. His grandson John, the son of Henry, became known as
Henson which later became Hanson. Later lines are thought to

  • the Hansons of Normanton where Hanson House, a timber-frame house of the 15th century, still
    stands. Sir
    Levett Hanson, a childhood friend of Horatio Nelson, was of this
  • Christopher Hanson recorded at Arthington in Addle parish in
    1640. He was the forebear of the Hanson traders in the Levant
    during the 19th century.
  • and Thomas Hanson, one of the early settlers in Dover, New
    Hampshire in 1658.

Mary Hanson, a Yorkshire farmer’s wife, started a horse-drawn haulage
business for wool in Huddersfield in 1848. This family business
with Robert Hanson until the 1940’s. His son, James Edward
was to prove himself a master of the arts of corporate takeover and
asset-stripping. He died as Lord Hanson in 2004, one of the most
admired businessmen of the Thatcher era.

The Captain
Thomas Hansen
who led the Christian missionaries to New
Zealand in 1814 prabably came from a Danish community that had settled
in London after the Great Fire in 1666.

America. Despite the myths of his Swedish origin,
John Hanson – the acting President of the Continental Congress at the
time of the Revolutionary War – was of English ancestry. His
grandfather, also named John, had been transported to Maryland as an
indentured servant in 1661 and sold to Edward Keene of Calvert county,
Maryland. The family had then grown wealthy and John’s father,
Samuel, was the owner of the Mulberry
Grove plantation in Charles

Samuel Hanson fought in the Revolutionary War. His
son, Judge Samuel, migrated to Kentucky in
1807 and was the father of four sons who fought in the Civil War, one
Charles a
colonel in the Union army who survived the war and another Roger, known
as “Old Flintlock,”
general on the Confederate side who died on the battlefield in 1863

Scandinavian Influx.
The main
influx of Hansons and Hansens from Scandinavia began in the 1870’s,
into Minnesota and other states of the Upper Midwest.

Iver and Olina Hanson came from Norway to
Danvers, Minnesota in the 1870’s. Like
a number of others, they later migrated north to Manitoba in Canada, in
their case to Clanwilliam, when land became available for
homesteading in 1903.

Hanson family was Lutheran
and wanted one of their sons to become a pastor. The
youngest was chosen for this career. He
attended the Lutheran seminary in St. Paul,
Minnesota for two years. Not cut out to
be a pastor, he left the seminary and became a farmer. That was not his
either. He was very gregarious and
became a salesman for farm equipment instead.”

Olof Hanson
emigrated with his family from Sweden in 1875 and also came to
Minnesota. Although he was deaf he was
able to enrol and
graduate from Gallaudet University. In
he opened his own architectural practice in Faribault, being possibly
first deaf architect.

Hans Thomsen Hansen came to Minden, Nebraska from
Denmark in 1889 at the age of just nineteen. His eldest son, Hans Lloyd Hansen, was born five years
later. By this time the family had
given up the Danish custom of changing the last name and for Hans Lloyd
it was appropriate for him to have Hansen as the last name. Hans the father lived to be 75, the owner and
operator of a farm implement business, and died in Minden in

Today, as a result of this immigration, the Hanson and Hansen names are
mainly names
of the American West.
Most Hansons are to be found in
Minnesota, most Hansens in California.

Canada. John Hanson, a descendant of Thomas Hanson (an early
immigrant to New Hampshire), served with the British army in Quebec
during the French and Indain War and afterwards moved to New Brunswick
– first to Chamcook island and later to Bocabec. His descendants
are numerous in New Brunswick.

The Scandinavian presence in Canada did not really appear until the
early 1900’s with the opening up of new land in the Canadian West under
the Dominions Land Act of 1902 (when free farms for the million were
advertised). Around this time:

  • Hans Hanson and his family came north from Minnesota to Clanwilliam in Manitoba
  • Abe Hanson, also from Minnesota, settled in the Swan River area of Manitoba
  • the brothers Helmer and Ellert Hanson from Iowa settled
    in Lajord, Saskatchewan
  • and Christoph Hansen from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany
    also came to Saskatchewan.

The Hanson brothers were the first to intoduce successfully introduce
machines for swathing and swath threshing the wheat crop in the
Canadian West, thereby reducing harvesting costs.

Australia and New Zealand. Two Danish Hansens got gold fever in Victoria:

  • according to the family story, Frederick Hansen (who
    came from a Danish family in northern Germany) jumped ship in
    Melbourne in 1855 so that he could seek his fortune in the goldfields
    of Victoria. The riches never materialized. But he married
    and raised a large family on the Upper Yarra.
  • another Dane with gold on his brain was Johan Hansen who
    arrived in 1858 and
    first tried to get lucky in Ballarat and then in New Zealand. John Hansen,
    as he became known, was one of the early settlers in Thames, North
    where he started a general store.

Andrew and Ephraim Hansen were immigrants from Sweden who
came to
Melbourne in the 1860’s. Ephraim built his home in 1899 on
property that became known as Ambleside Park. His house has been
preserved by the Australian National Trust.

Hanson Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Hanson Names


was acting President of the Continental Congress at the time of the
Revolutionary War.
Roger Hanson
was a Confederate general during
the Civil War, known as “Old Flintlock.”
James Edward, Lord Hanson was one of
the most admired English businessmen of the Thatcher era, a master of
the arts
of corporate takeover and asset-stripping

Select Hansons/Hansens Today

  • 18,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Yorkshire)
  • 100,000 in America (most numerous in Minnesota)
  • 33,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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