The Hannays of Rusko, Gatehouse
The origins of this family are obscure, but they appear to be descended from John HANNAY in Skeog, near Whithorn in 1712 and was probably a descendant of the HANNAY settled in Broughton as early as 1520. He had a son, John in Skeog, of whom we know nothing. However, this second John`s son George was a Baillie and Burgess of Whithorn.
George HANNAY was a wright and lived till early in the 19th century. He married Grizzel MARTIN 11 Dec 1741 in Whithorn. She died Sept. 22 1786 aged 73 yrs. They are both buried in the Whithorn Churchyard. The stone is inscribed as follows:
"This is the burying place of Baillie George HANNAY Burgess of Wythorn and Grizzel MARTIN, Spouse. Here also lies Robert HANNAY their son who died Dec 1757 age 8 months. Here also lies the above mentioned Grizzell MARTIN, who died 22 Sept 1786 aged 73."
They had issue:
Alexander HANNAY son of George HANNAY and Grizzel MARTIN was apprenticed in 1765 to Anthony McGUFFOCK in Whithorn who bore witness to his faithfulness, capability, honesty and good character. Alexander emigrated to New York in 1774 in a ship with 300 people which took eighty days to do the voyage. He thought they were over crowded; but during the crossing they spoke to a vessel from Londonderry to Philadelphia with 590 aboard. He could not find work in New York and went to Norfolk, Virginia, where he obtained employment in building.
Alexander seems to have left the States and went to Jamaica to join his younger brother Robert. His will made in the parish of St. Andrew, County of Surrey in 1794, left bequests to his father, to Agnes and Jean his sisters, to John and Andrew his brothers and the residue to "My dearly beloved brother Robert" his sole executor.
Robert HANNAY, of Rusco, son of George HANNAY and Grizzell MARTIN, born 1760, was bound apprentice to Alexander LILLIE in Whithorn in 1777. At some date after 1780 he emigrated to Jamaica where he is found later in the parish of Vere, County of Middlesex. Where he was joined by his elder brothers Alexander and Andrew. In 1796 Andrew returned home by the "Active" from Milk River to Lancaster. Robert must have returned in 1797, for in 1799 he bought Rusco from Johnstone HANNAY (no relation) of Kirkdale Rusco Farms, consisted of Upper and Neither Rusco, Oronockenoch, Callside, Killeon Mill, Pulcree, Halfmark and Woodhead. They are located in the Parish of Anworth, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Robert married Janet KERR, daughter of John KERR of Stranrear on April 28, 1806. She was born 1779. Robert had made quite a fortune in his building business in Jamaica, and was now able to settle down to a quiet life.
His father left him Bruce Hall near Whithorn, which in a letter of Sept. 1812, he states he has no intention of selling. He certainly looked after the rest of his family. In 1836 he finally sold Bruce Hall to provide an annuity for the daughters of his sister Agnes (Mrs. CONNING). Robert died in 1836 and his wife in 1850.
They had issue:
Robert KERR HANNAY, who succeeded to Rusco, was the son of Robert HANNAY and Janet KERR, born Feb 3 1807. He served as D.L. and J.P., and was an industrial magnate. (see also Researchers' note #2). He married Bridget SMITH, daughter of Thomas SMITH of London Jan 24 1834. Bridget was born March 5 1809. Robert KERR HANNAY died at Springfield, Ulverston Sept 30, 1874. Bridget died at Ulverston April 20 1879. They had issue:
Bridget Smith HANNAY, dau of Robert KERR HANNAY and Bridget SMITH, was born Aug 6 1839 and married Harry TAROUDIN of an old Hugennot family, who settled in England. He was a solicitor in London, and d 1873. Bridget died March 19 1895. They had issue:
Thomas HANNAY was born June 8 1841, son of Robert Kerr HANNAY and Bridget SMITH. Thomas succeeded to Rusco and was a J.P. He was an iron master at Ulverston in Lancashire, with his sons, and started his first blast furnaces at Barrow in Furness. There was some considerable trouble and legal wrangling over this firm and Thomas was forced to sell Rusco in 1878 to settle various debts. He married Nov 15 1886 to Elizabeth MacDOWELL, third daughter of the Rev. Peter MacDOWELL of Alloa. Thomas HANNAY died Nov 30 1916. They had issue:
John HANNAY, son of Robert Kerr HANNAY and Bridget Smith, was born May 17 1843 and attended Edinburgh Academy (1858-60), married for his first wife Mary Georgiana Sophia RODWELL, who died after the birth of their first son in 1882. The child did not survive. John married for his second wife Helen SLAVIN. John died Aug 16 1904, and was an iron merchant. They had issue:
George KERR HANNAY was born July 19 1848, son of Robert Kerr HANNAY and Bridget SMITH. He attended Edinburgh Academy 1858-1863 and was an iron merchant in Ulverston. He married Harriet Alice PARK in Rampside, Furness Oct 15 1879 and died Aug 10 1893. They had issue:
Prof. Robert Kerr HANNAY, son of Thomas HANNAY and Elizabeth MacDOWELL was born in Glasgow Dec 31, 1867. He was a great Scottish Historian, and for the latter part of his life Historiographer Royal for Scotland in succession to Professor Rait. He was educated at Glasgow University, from whence he went to University College at Oxford. He was very much interested in family history, and was the author of several books. He married Jane Ewing WILSON Sept 19 1899, second daughter of Rev. John Stewart WILSON, D.D., New Abbet, Galloway and niece of Dr. John BROWN and descendant of the Rev. Ebenezer ERSKINE. Jane was educated Girthon College, Cambridge and London University. She was a J.P. and prominently known for her social work.
Prof. Robert KERR HANNAY died March 19 1940, Jane died Apr 14 1938. They had issue:
Peter MacDowell HANNAY, son of Thomas HANNAY and Elizabeth MacDOWELL, born March 26, 1870. Educated Edinburgh Academy 1887-8, married Margaret Witherspoon REED, daughter of Peter Reed of Glasgow, and emigrated to the U.S.A. and resided at La Jolla, California. Peter MacDowell HANNAY died in 1943. They had issue:
Commander Robert Stewart Erskine HANNAY was born Aug 16 1900, son of Prof. Robert KERR and Jane WILSON. Educated Edinburgh Academy 1911-1917. Entered the Royal Navy and was a midshipman on H.M.S. "Iron Duke" March 19, 1921, transferred to H.M.S. "Renown" in 1930 and retired in 1932. During WW II he was recalled to the Navy and was employed at the Boon Defense Department of the Admiralty. He received Companion of the Distinguished Service Cross O.B.E. in 1942 and was promoted Commander. Robert married Helen O`Hagen MORTON. Robert entered his Father in Law`s firm Ceinture Fabrics Ltd. where he was a director till his death March 25, 1956. They had issue:
Dorothy May HANNAY was born in 1881 at Ulverston, dau of George Kerr HANNAY and Harriet Alice PARK. She married her first cousin John Henry Dacres CUNNINGHAM, KCB, GCB, who was born at Demerara, British Guiana on Apr 13, 1885.
At the tender age of 15 John passed into the H.M.S. Britannia as naval cadet. After initial training there he served as a midshipman for three years from June 1901 in the cruiser Gibralter, flagship on the Cape of Good Hope Station and for this service he was awarded the South African War Medal. In Oct 1905 he was promoted to Lieutenant. He served as assistant navigator in Illustrious as well as the gunboat Hebe, and the cruiser Indefatigable in the West Indies, the minelayer Iphigenia in home waters. In 1920 when the new battle-cruiser Hood was commissioned, CUNNINGHAM was appointed to her as navigator and as a squadron navigator of the battle-cruiser squadron. In 1923 he was appointed Master of the Fleet in the Queen Elizabeth, flagship of the Admiral Sir John de Robeck. John was then promoted Captain in 1924. In 1962 he was living at 52 Westminster Gardens, Marsham Street, Westminster and died at Middlesex Hospital, St Marylebone, London on December 13, 1962. Dorothy May (HANNAY) CUNNINGHAM died at Carylls, Faygate, Horsham, Sussex Sep 1 1959. They had issue:
Patrick MacDowell HANNAY s/o Peter McDowell HANNAY and Margaret Witherspoon REED, married Elizabeth MOORE. Patrick is a designer for the North America Aircraft Corporation and was responsible for the design of the Saber Jet Fighter.