Oldest living member of the Hannan clan?

My second cousin, Fiona Hannan Smyth (born Reddick) recently posted a photo of her mother Ria Reddick (born Hannan) on Facebook, with some of her great grandchildren.

Ria is the youngest of the children of  Thomas Hannan (1879-1941) and Hannah Carson (1884-1972), and my mother, Ella Hayes, and I visited them in Glasgow in 1967, and we took a few “whozit” pictures of the family gathering.

Back Row: Willie Hannan, Tilda Aitken, Ria Reddick, Stephen Hayes, Joyce Buchanan, Ella Buchanan. Front Row: Ives Duff (daughter of Tilda), Alastair Duff, Ella Hayes (cousin of Willie, Tilda, Ella & Ria), Hannah Hannan (born Carson) & Nellie Hannan (wife of Willie). Glasgow 6 May 1967.

Ria was my mother’s first cousin on the Hannan side and I think she is the only one of that generation still alive. We tried to see her when we went to Scotland in 2005, but she was out when we called.

Ella Hayes and Ria Reddick, Glasgow 6 May 1967

I think the family resemblance can be seen in this photo.

Ria and her husband Hugh went to Southern Rhodesia after the Second World War, and their two younger children, Carson and Heather, were born there. Hugh died in 1963, and in 1965, with the Rhodesian UDI threatening, Ria decided to return to Scotland.

I met her at Heathrow airport with her brother Willie — I had been in the UK just over a fortnight, as a semi-refugee, and had met Willie in London a short time earlier. I wrote in my diary at the time (4 Feb 1966)

When the plane with Ria arrived at about 1:20 we had to go over to another building for them to get the plane to Glasgow (there are 3 terminal buildings at Heathrow — one internal, one European, and one intercontinental) and there we had tea and talked about Rhodesia. Ria said that she had had a Rhodesian passport and citizenship, and felt that she could not stay after UDI, so had got a British passport on the 9th of November, two days before Smith went mad. Two of Willie’s parliamentary colleagues joined us while we were waiting, and Ria showed us a letter she had had to get from the government giving her permission to resign from her job with Shell Oil. Then Willie and Ria and the children left. The kids were quite sweet — a boy of about 15, called Carson, and Heather, about 12. Both had dark hair, like their mother.

All the Hannans seemed to have dark hair, and wherever I got my hari from, it wasn’t from the Hannan side of the family.

Anyway, fastforward again to the present, when Fiona (Ria’s eldest daughter, who didn’t come with them on the plane, and whom I haven’t met) posted this picture on Facebook, of Ria with her great-grandchildren. Fiona writes:

In the photo of Mum with 4 of her great grandchildren are (the 2 older boys are my grandsons, Karen & David Browns sons, Connor David (12 1/2) & Challum Harry (11) & the small boy & baby are 2 of Heather’s grandchildren, Kathryn & Gary Booths kids, Harris (3) & Ava Hannah (1).

Ria Reddick with her great-grandchildren

And they all have the Hannan hair!

There’s more on the Hannan family here.

The Hannan family

My grandmother was Janet McCartney Growdon, born Hannan (1882-1946). She died a couple of days before my 5th birthday, so I have only a few childhood memories of her, and of going to visit her and my grandfather at McKenzie Road in Durban, where they lived. In their back garden was a big avocado pear tree. Their house was near the Stamford Hill aerodrome, long since removed further north to Virginia, and replaced by sports stadiums – Kingsmead, Kings Park, and a new one being built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

When we were in Durban a couple of months ago we visited my grandparents’ grave in Stellawood Cemetery, where they are buried with my uncle Willie Growdon, whom I never met — he was killed in a motorbike accident before I was born.

Three years ago, however, we visited some other graves — of my grandmother’s grandmother, after whom she was named — Janet Hannan, born McCartney, and her husband Thomas Hannan. Their graves are in Girvan cemetery, in Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland.

Gravestone of Thomas and Janet Hannan in Girvan

Gravestone of Thomas and Janet Hannan in Girvan

For much of the 19th century the Hannan family lived in Girvan. Janet McCartney came from Maybole, not far away, and they were married there. But most of their children died young, and their names are inscribed around the gravestone.

The eldest son, William Hannan (1856-1928), went to Glasgow, where he met and married Ellen McFarlane. He was a carpenter and joiner. One of their sons, Stanley Livingstone Hannan, was killed in action in the First World War, and his memorial is next to that of his grandparents in Girvan Cemetery.

Memorial to Stanley Livingstone Hannan, and his father William Hannan

Memorial to Stanley Livingstone Hannan, and his father William Hannan

William and Ellen Hannan’s eldest son Tom Hannan (1879-1941) married Hannah Carson and lived in Glasgow. He was a life-long socialist, and was jailed as a conscientious objector in the First World War. His youngest sister Maria (Ria) married Jack Cochrane, and we know nothing about what happened to them. If anyone knows, please let us know!

The other children of William and Ellen Hannan came to southern Africa. Janet McCartney Hannan met George Growdon in Waterval Boven, Transvaal, where he worked as an engine driver for Central South African Railways, and they were married there on 2 June 1909. My mother Ella Growdon was born in Pretoria exactly a year later, and a couple of years after that they moved to Durban permanently.

Emily Livingstone Hannan married first Charlie Mould, and then Arthur Sharp, and lived in Berea in Johannesburg.

David McFarlane Hannan went to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and died at Ndola in 1951. Their children lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Duncan MacFarlane Hannan (1894-1957) married Margaret Helen Bain, and was a butcher in Durban.

If anyone reading this is related to this Hannan family, please visit our family Wikispace, and have a look at the Hannan family pages there. You can goin Wikispaces and add to the family stories there.

Davi

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