Show ContentsCanaday History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely over time. The original Gaelic form of the name Canaday is O'Cinneide , which is derived from the words "ceann," which means "head," and "éidigh," which means "helmet" [1] or O'Cinnidha, which means "a nation" or "kind." [2]

Early Origins of the Canaday family

The surname Canaday was 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. [2]

The name has a long and illustrious history that begins in early times: Flan O'Kennedy, Abbot of Tim, a learned poet who died in 1110; two O'Kennedy of Ormond chiefs who were slain in 1117; Giolla-Kevin O'Kennedy who died on a pilgrimage at Killaloe in 1159; O'Kennedy, Abbot of Innisfallen who died in 1198; Donal O'Kennedy, Bishop of Killaloe who died in 1212; and many more. [2]

Early History of the Canaday family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Canaday research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1615 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Canaday History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canaday Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were typically recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname spelling changed with each record. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Canaday family name include Kennedy, Minagh, Kennady, O'Kennedy and others.

Early Notables of the Canaday family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Mathew Kennedy, who was forced to leave Ireland for France after the Fall of Limerick; Sir Robert Kennedy, 1st Baronet, an official of the...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Canaday Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canaday Ranking

In the United States, the name Canaday is the 9,257th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Migration of the Canaday family

Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name Canaday or one of its variants: Teage O'Kenedy, who arrived in Virginia in 1666; Ffergos Kenedey, a Scotch-Irish settler in New England in 1718; David Kennedy, who arrived in Boston in 1737.

Contemporary Notables of the name Canaday (post 1700) +

  • Steve Canaday (b. 1967), American artist
  • John Edwin Canaday (1907-1985), leading American art critic, author and art historian
  • William P. Canaday, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1879-81 [4]
  • Ray E. Canaday, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1948 [4]
  • Ralph A. Canaday, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1936 [4]
  • Paul D. Canaday, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Greene County 2nd District; Elected 1964 [4]
  • Delmar A. Canaday, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1948 [4]

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook