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Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish


Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Cain originally appeared in Gaelic as O Cathain.

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The surname Cain was first found in Derry, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Cain were encountered in the archives: Cain, Caine, Kane, Kain, Cahan, O'Cahan, Kean, Keane, O'Keane, Ceane, Cean, Kahan, O'Kean, O'Kane, O'Kaine, Kaine, Keann, Cainn, Cainne, Kainn, Cahann, O'Cain and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cain research. Another 281 words (20 lines of text) covering the year 1196 is included under the topic Early Cain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Cain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North Ameri ca. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Cain family came to North America quite early:

Cain Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Christopher Cain or Cayne who settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1639, died in 1653, he had two sons, Jonathon and Nathaniel
  • Claes Jansz Cain, who landed in New York in 1647
  • Charles Cain settled in Virginia in 1654

Cain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Cain, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763
  • Peter Cain, who landed in North Carolina in 1764
  • Ernst Cain, who landed in America in 1780

Cain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Cain, who arrived in America in 1803
  • Robert Cain, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Michael Cain, who landed in America in 1808-1809
  • Percival Cain, aged 19, arrived in New York in 1812
  • George Cain, aged 32, landed in New York in 1812
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Cain Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Barnabas Cain U.E who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Barnabas Cain U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Private Isaiah Cain U.E (b. 1737) who settled in Yonge [Toronto], Ontario c. 1783 he enlisted in 1763 served as part of Captain Richard Rea's Company of New Yorkers from Dutchess County, he died in 1813
  • Mr. John Cain U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. John Cain U.E who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783
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Cain Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Richard Cain settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1800
  • Mary Cain from county Kilkenny was married at St. John's, Newfoundland in 1813
  • Joseph Cain in Greenspond, Newfoundland in 1819
  • James Cain settled in King's Cove, Newfoundland in 1821
  • Peter Cain, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1825
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Cain Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Martin Cain arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Porter" in 1839
  • Margaret Cain arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Porter" in 1839
  • Thomas Cain arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Porter" in 1839
  • Jane Cain arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Porter" in 1839
  • John Cain arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Porter" in 1839
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Cain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • W Cain landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842
  • John Cain arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
  • Henry Cain arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865
  • Lillian Cain, aged 44, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Soukar" in 1874
  • George Cain, aged 30, a plasterer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
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  • James Mallahan Cain (1892-1977), American author and journalist
  • Matthew Thomas Cain (b. 1984), American Major League Baseball player
  • Dean George Cain (b. 1966), American actor
  • Ashley Thomas Cain (b. 1990), English footballer
  • John Cain (b. 1931), Australian Labor Party politician, 41st Premier of Victoria (1982 to 1990)
  • Major Robert Henry Cain (1909-1974), British Soldier awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • Elizabeth "Liz" Cain (b. 1962), former Australian pair skater
  • Herbert James Cain (1912-1982), Canadian professional ice hockey left winger
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Cain Historic Events



HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Dominic Cain, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Henry Cain, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. Thomas Cain, English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
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  • A History of our Cain Family of Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    3. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
    4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
    6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
    7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    11. ...

    The Cain Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cain 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 7 April 2016 at 18:12.

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