A Golden Gathering

by Jim Hannah – Independence, Missouri, USA

The Hannah family (left-to-right): James and Sharon of Independence, Missouri and Jay and Brad of Omaha, Nebraska.

Reflection: A family’s first Gathering experience, May–June, 2023

It was well worth the wait! The COVID pandemic delayed our 50th anniversary observance by four years, but Sharon and I finally celebrated by attending our first Clan Hannay reunion (May 26-28, 2023) with our sons, Jay and Brad.

Arriving at Sorbie Tower on the evening of May 26, we could hear the joyful buzz of conversation as we made our way up the path to see for the first time our family legacy home, built some 450 years ago. And it indeed felt like homecoming as we stepped inside to be greeted warmly by clan conveyor, Stephen Hanna, who saw us gaping at the banners and the building—most likely a look he’s seen on the faces of many first-timers.

The processional the following day was impressive—Clan Chief David Hannay leading the way, Clan Piper David Hanna on the bagpipes, banners flying in the breeze, and clan leaders attired in Hanna tartans. Most touching was the memorial service for John Hannah, whose request that his ashes be scattered here was a fitting tribute to his long-time love and support of Sorbie Tower.

Hanna's Close, Northern Ireland

Clan members touring Hanna’s Close

Another highlight was the two-day ‘paddy wagon’ bus tour of Northern Ireland, with scenic travel from the coastal village of Kilkeel to the Mountains of Mourne. We learned a great deal about our Scots-Irish heritage, with a running narrative by our tour guide and stops at the Schomberg Society, Dunluce Castle, and the Museum of Orange Heritage.

Best of all was visiting Hanna’s Close, where we were greeted by the last person born there, Norma Hanna, who gave us a tour of Tommy’s Cottage.

In sum, our Scotland/Ireland trip with members of Clan Hannay is a much-cherished memory. Thanks to all the organisers for your hospitality! We’ll soon be signing on as lifelong members.

Photo circa 1865 of a white-bearded James C. Hannah

The great-great-great-grandfather of today’s James B. Hannah, James C. Hannah, born circa 1800 and married in Pennsylvania to Elizabeth Fulton, born 1794. Anyone knowing of family ties to Sorbie, please email jim@jays.net.

You can also read about the 2023 Gathering in the Clan Hannay Society Newsletter.