Select Hanson Miscellany



Here are some Hanson/Hansen stories and accounts over the years:

Hansen and Hansson in Scandinavia


Hansen is the main spelling in Denmark and Norway, Hansson in Sweden.  The following are the approximate numbers there today.

Numbers (000's)
Hanson
Hansen
Hansson




Sweden

    5
   50
Norway

   75

Denmark

  210   

Total
         
  290
   50


Hansen and Hanson in America

The numbers below show the emigrants to America according to shipping records and the rough numbers in America today.

Numbers (000's)
Hanson
Hansen
Hansson




Arriving



Sweden
   1.9
   1.8
   0.6
Norway
   0.9
   2.7

Denmark
   1.0
   6.3

Total
   3.8
  10.8
   0.6




In America Today



Total
   42
   52
   -

Note
In addition to the Scandinavian Hanson/Hansen arrivals shown above, there was another 4.0 from Germany and 0.4 from England.

The Danes were the numerically the largest in their home country.  But a greater share of the Swedes emigrated, followed by the Norwegians, with the Danes lagging behind. 



Hanson Origins in Yorkshire


According to John Watson's 1775 book The History of Halifax, the earliest known progenitor of the Hansons in Yorkshire was a certain Roger de Rastrick.  He lived around the year 1250 and was apparently a person of some importance.  He owned land in various places in Yorkshire, England, Rastrick being one of his estates. 

John de Rastrick had a son Henry, who in turn had a son John.  In those days, when only Christian names were in use, the two Johns of Rastrick were doubtless confused.  In order to distinguish them, the younger John became Henry's son, shortened to Hen's son and Henson, or Hanson as it was spelled later.  John married Alicia, the daughter and heiress of Hugh de Woodhouse in neighboring Eland. 

In T.W. Hanson’s 1920 book The Story of Old Halifax a second Hanson surfaces.  But this William Hanson of
Halifax, the son of Henry of Heaton, had no kinship with the Hansons of Rastrick who were living at the same time (around the 1360’s).


Captain Thomas Hansen in New Zealand

The Rev. Samuel Marsden who accompanied Captain Thomas Hansen to bring the first missionaries to New Zealand in 1814 always referred to him as an Englishman.  He had in fact been born in London in 1762.  At the time there was a sizeable Scandinavian community living in London, centered around Well Close Square in Wapping.  They had come to London after the Great Fire in London in 1666, being the end of a supply line bringing timber from Northern Europe to rebuild the town.  

Hansen and his family had come to Australia in 1807 as free settlers and acquired land near to Parramatta and near to land owned by the Rev. Samuel Marsden who was Chief Chaplain for New South Wales.  That was probably how Hansen and Marsden struck up an acquaintance and how Hansen, a master mariner, came to be enlisted to take Marsden to New Zealand.  

When the brig Active left Port Jackson in November 1814, the entire Hansen family of three generations was on board.  The Active also carried what was described as a ‘Noah's Ark' by Nicholas; horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry, cats and dogs intended for the mission settlement.   Three days before Christmas the brig dropped anchor in the small cove near Rangihoua on the east coast of North Island, the home of chief Ruatara.  While surrounded by canoes from every direction, the guns of the Active were fired as a salute to Ruatara and his people.  

The Hansens remained in New Zealand at Oihi on the Bay of Islands and left a family there.  In all there were 22 grandchildren of Thomas Hansen born in New Zealand between 1815 and 1837.  Eric Hansen’s 2014 book The Founding Family is a history of the Hansen family in New Zealand.


The Swedish Myth About John Hanson

In 1876 George A. Hanson had written an article entitled Old Kent: The Eastern Shore of Maryland and created the hoax story that the immigrant John Hanson was one of four brothers who had come to the New Sweden colony along the Delaware river in 1642.  

The four brothers' father, said to have been an Englishman who had married into Swedish royalty, had died in the Battle of Lutzen, fighting next to King Gustavus Adolphus.  It was supposed that these brothers had been sent to the New Sweden colony by Queen Christina of Sweden.  

The birth of Hans Hanson was recorded in the colony in 1646.  But there was no connection with the Hanson family of Charles county, Maryland.



Hansen and Hanson in Selected States in the West

The table below shows the approximate numbers of Hansons and Hansens in selected states in the Upper Midwest and on the West Coast today.
 

State (000's)
Hanson
Hansen



Upper Midwest


Minnesota
   9.2
   4.8
Wisconsin
   4.9
   4.5
Illinois
   2.4
   1.4



West Coast


Utah
   0.8
   5.9
Washingron
   3.2
   4.3
Oregon
   1.6
   2.1
California
   5.1
   8.6

The data would indicate that Hansons have generally stayed put more in the Midwest; while more Hansens headed to the West Coast in the 20th century.  The Utah numbers may suggest a number of Danish Hansen conversions to the Mormon faith.



The Death of John Ernest Hansen in New Zealand in 1927

The following article appeared in the Thames Star after the death of John Ernest Hansen on October 3, 1927. 

“The death of John Ernest Hansen occurred at his late residence, Hauraki Terrace, Parawai on Saturday, in his 89th year.  The late Mr. Hansen was a very old and highly respected resident of Thames, having arrived with the early pioneers.  

Born in Denmark he came out to Victoria, Australia in 1858 and remained there until 1861, working in the mines at Bendigo and on the construction works of the Victorian railways.  After leaving Australia he came to New Zealand and took part in the Gabriel's Gully and other Otago gold rushes.  After spending six years there he went in the later part of 1867 to Paeroa and in the following year came to Thames, where he started a grocery business at Shortland.  This he carried on until 1900 when it was taken over by his sons until 1911.  

The late Mr. Hansen took a lively interest in all public affairs, being a member of the Thames Borough Council in 1879, the Parawai School Committee and Thames Licensing Committee for some time.  During the last 15 years the late Mr Hansen has lived in retirement at Parawai.  He is survived by his widow, three sons and four daughters.” 




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