Tombstone Tuesday: Hannan family in Girvan

In Girvan, on the west coast of Scotland, there are two tombstones for members of the Hannan family. They are made of sandstone, and relatively small compared with the surrounding tombstones.

The one on the left is the family of Thomas Hannan (c1830-1890) and his wife Janet McCartney (c1830-1915), my great great grandparents. I first saw it in May 1967, when my mother, Ella Hayes, and I visited her cousin Willie Hannan in Glasgow, and Willie took us to Girvan in Ayrshire, and showed us where the earlier generations of the family had lived. He said that they had had 9 children and the only one who didn’t die young was his and my mother’s grandfather, William Hannan (1856-1928). The names of the children who had died young were inscribed around the sides of the stone.

Thirty-eight years later we visited it again, and this time having a digital camera took more pictures of it.

Hannan tombstone in Girvan Cemetery

The children who died young were:

  • Jane (1847-1847)
  • James (1848-1849)
  • William (1852-1854)
  • John (1854-1855)
  • Thomas (1859-1866)
  • Samuel (1860-1864)
  • James (1864-1887)

But we quite recently discovered that there were actually two children who survived to adulthood and had children of their own. There was a second Jane (1850-1917). She married Samuel Kay, and they had nine children. Janet Ewing of New Zealand wrote to us in 2008 and said

I have been looking through some old e-mails and have
found that you and I have a relation in common. My gt
grandmother was a Jane Hannan. She married Samuel Kay
6 September 1872 at Girvan Ayrshire. She was 22. He
was 20. Her parents were Thomas Hanan (could have
been transcribed as Heenan) and Janet McCartney. Her
surname on the marriage certificate could have been
transcribed as Keenan. This has all been most
confusing in the past. However her death Certificate
(d 19 February 1917) shows that her parents were
Thomas Hannan and Janet McCartney. Does all this fit
into your tree? Janet

So there are a whole lot more cousins on the Hannan side that we didn’t know about.

The second tombstone is larger, and a generation later:

Stanley Livingstone Hannan (1891-1917)

There are several interesting things about this. One is that Tom Hannan, Stanley Hannan’s older brother, was jailed as a conscientious objector during the First World War. For more on this see this earlier entry, and also the Hannan family pages on Wikispaces.

7 Responses

  1. Another distant cousin emerges. Thomas HANNAN and Janet McCARTNEY are my great great grandparents. I am descended from Jane their daughter who married Samuel KAY. I am currently trying to find out more about Thomas and Janet.


    • Good to hear more from another cousin – I hope we can keep in touch!

      • I think we may be related aswell. The earliest ancestor I can trace on my male line goes back to Maybole, married a Mary Ann Haining, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth nee Lattimer. But her 1st born was called Sarah. I have the father Samuel being born in Ireland c.1776. Mary Ann had an older brother called Samuel, born c.1809. That Samuel married a Susannah McCracken.

        The father Samuel was a weaver. In 1851 he stayed in Drumellan St and as far as I know, the house is still there.

        Could you give me some more information on your Samuel?

        I’ve hit the proverbial brick wall with my ancestor and any information you have might, just might lead me in some direction.



        • Jim

          My Samuel HANNAN (+ various spellings) was born 5/5/1860. I believe he died in childhood. His parents were Thomas HANNAN and Janet McCARTNEY. I have not yet done any research on Thomas but he could very well be a brother of the Samuel above.


  2. Hi Kay,

    Apologies for my post not being clear 🙂

    I believe my Samuel might well be the father of your Thomas. My Mary Ann was born c.1803 – 1880. Possibly the sister of your Thomas. So far I’ve only found 1 brother called Samuel living with the father Samuel in the 1851 census.

    I don’t know if you have seen this link

    I’ll have to do some more research.

  3. Dear Jim

    I have dug out my HANNAN file which was working its way to the top of the pile anyway! I will try to do a bit of searching re Thomas and get back to you. I see that years ago I did find a marriage for a Samuel to Susannah McCRACKEN in 1833. My email address is if you wanted to contact me direct. It is a bit quicker and easier that way. Anyway I will get back to you when I have done a bit of rooting around. Maybe by now you have done some more. I looked at the Wiki link and I am very impressed by Steve’s research.


  4. […] went back down to the town and looked at the cemetery near the beach, where I found the graves of Thomas and Stanley Hannan without difficulty, and took photos of them with the digital camera. The inscriptions were a little […]

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