Recorded as Hannan, Hannon, Honnan and possibly others, this is a Gaelic surname which can be Scottish or Irish. It originates from the early clan name O' Hannain, meaning the male descendant of Annan, and originally the surname was associated with Counties Limerick, Galway and Roscommon. The first recording of the name dates back to the mid 13th Century (see below). The surname is often confused and particularly in Scotland with the surnames Hanna and Hannay, although these are thought to be from a completely different source. Early examples of recordings include Michael, son of John and Ellen Hannon, who was christened on October 19th 1795, at Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland whilst Patrick Hannan (1842 - 1925), who was born in County Clare, discovered the Kalgoorlie goldfield in Western Australia. This contained the richest square mile of gold in the world. Edward Honan or Honnan, a famine emigrant, sailed Ireland aboard the coffin ship "Queen of the West" bound for New York on August 12th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marlisa O' Hannen. She was the prioress of Roscommon, and dated 1266 in the Medieval Records of Ireland during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.