The Hanson family tree, partially transcribed (B.M.L. 1856.G.6.107) to highlight the family’s connection with the Levant. There is no detail on the Smyrna branch of the family eventhough it is highly likely James Frederick and Eliza Zoe had offspring (there is a John buried within the family plot with these in Boudjah), and Jack Hanson and his namesake son is known from testimonies and documents. The family tree sheet has the following additional information.
The above pedigree was compiled by Cecil W. Brand, Esq. F.S.G. for private family reference in 1953 for college of Arms registration with the assistance of Charles A. Franklyn Esq. M.A., M.D., F.L.S. etc. 31 Dec. 1955
Presented to the British Museum WC1, by Clarence O. Hanson, Esq, I.S.O., M.B.E. Warborough, Oxford.

Portion of the above information is reflected in the book of registers, ‘A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain, 1862’.

There is another Levant family with almost the same surname, details included here as no doubt confusion could easily occur. Detailed in the article penned by researcher Behzat Uskiden, in the book ‘Avrupalı mı, Levanten mi? [European or Levantine] - 2006’ p.109, where the individual Joseph Paul Hamson is mentioned, born in Pera, Constantinople, the only son of an English immigrant family. Joseph Paul Hamson later married and had a son, ‘Charles Edward Hamson’, born on 31 Jan. 1862 and this person on 19 Jan. 1912, became the British consul for Constantinople. He had to leave the city between 1915-1919 due to WWI, returned to his service, and retired in 1924, died 7 May 1932, and is buried in the Protestant [Feriköy?] cemetery. He had 2 daughters, May Annie, born 17 May 1893 and Cecily Clara Bertha, born 1915 in the family house in Pera. These ladies lived in this building till 1935 and then moved permanently to their late father’s summer house on the nearby Prince’s islands. The web site mentions the father and his late son, Denys Otto Hamson. The Hamson family past in Turkey goes back to at least 1830s as the name (in partnership with what looks like an Armenian name) is recorded in the Galata stock exchange listing of 1840.

The cemetery in Scutari [Haydarpaşa] provides some extra information, as Helen Jane is buried there (marked above with the red triangle) with the inscription ‘Helen Jane, the beloved wife of George Henry Clinton, Esq and second daughter of Charles Simpson Hanson, Esq of Constantinople and Candilli on the Bosphorus. She was born12th June 1834, was married 4th February 1862 and died 19th July 1864. Leaving her sorrowing husband, two infant children and a large and loving circle of relatives and friends mourn her loss. ...’ Transcribed and photographed by Yolande Whittall.

There is a possible branch of this family derived from the recollections of Edward de Jongh, and a Jack F. Hanson was one of the group of merchants and engineers who banded together to commission a portrait of the chief engineer Edward Purser. His son had the same name and his family were on friendly terms with Edward’s parents, and he had 2 daughers of Edward’s generation. Checking on the family tree, either this is an unrelated family (no Pera house link mentioned), or descended conceivably from John Oliver Hanson junior, as we know from family records his namesake father did go to Smyrna early in the century.

In addition there is further information available from Donald Simpson’s account of ‘Anglican church life in Smyrna and its neighbourhood, 1636-1952’, concerning the Hanson-Freshfield line, viewable here:

The various early branches of the Hanson family who were involved in the Levant trade can be ascertained partly through Hyde Clarke’s article on the history of the British colony, viewable here:.

In November 2006, a researcher on the graduates of the Old Wykeman school in Winchester, England, Richard Stevens, contacted this forum and was able to provide much information on Maurizio de Bosdari who married into the Hanson family, and had a colourful life, details viewable here:

The memoirs book of a neighbour of the Hansons of Candilli, Dorina L. Neave of the Clifton family not only gives a glimpse of life of that time, but makes references to family members of the Hansons such as Ethel de Bosdari, details: (some supporting information in a Candilli history book in Turkish, section translation viewable here:).

According to contributor/researcher Chas Hill, a relation of the Constantinople Hanson line, Charles Hanson was the Lord Mayor of London for a year in 1917 and possibly related to the prominent Smyrna family descendant, the late Charles Werry of Tunbridge Wells - the exact links are currently (2007) being investigated.

In January 2008 Ms. Helen C. R. Bule contacted me and gave information on Adeline Eliza nee Hanson, her great-grandmother, and her descendancy, account and photos viewable here:

In October 2013 contact was made with Andrew Kendall of Nova Scotia, Canada, a descedant of the Hanson family through his great-grandmother Evelyn Mary Clifton (1863 – 1949 - daugher of Helen Jane nee Hanson) and her daughter Helen G. Joyce Townesend (Mr Kendall’s grandmother),who provided the following images and diary:

Article on the life and times of Henry James Hanson, Uzeyir Serdar Serdaroglu, Kadir Yıldırım, 2015:

Click to see the details of how the Hanson family are connected to the Cumberbatch, and current descendant the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Return to the ‘Henry James Hanson Collection’ archives.