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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Canady family come from? What is the Irish Canady family crest and coat of arms? When did the Canady family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Canady family history?

The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely over time. The original Gaelic form of the name Canady is O'Cinneide, which is derived from the words "ceann," which means "head," and "éidigh," which means "helmet."

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The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Canady family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Kennedy, Minagh, Kennady, O'Kennedy and others.

First found in County Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster. This distinguished Irish family were descended from Kennedy, nephew of King Brian Boru, Ireland's great Warrior King who fell in the battle of Clontarf in the year 1014.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Canady research. Another 133 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1615 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Canady History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 109 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Canady Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name Canady or one of its variants:

Canady Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Canady, who arrived in Virginia in 1652
  • Jane Canady, who landed in Maryland in 1670

Canady Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Canady, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Hugh Canady, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741

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  • Charles Terrance Canady (b. 1954), American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
  • Dr. Alexa Canady (1950-1981), the first African-American woman to become a neurosurgeon (1981)
  • Herman George Canady (1901-1970), African-American social psychologist


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Canady Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Canady Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 February 2014 at 00:45.

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