Show ContentsCanan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While the Anglicized versions of Irish names are often familiar to people, their Irish Gaelic heritage is often unknown. The original Gaelic form of the name Canan is O Canain, from the word "cano," which means "wolf cub."

Early Origins of the Canan family

The surname Canan was first found in Tirconnell (Irish: Tír Chonaill) present day Donegal, located in Northwestn Ireland in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Canan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Canan research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1659, and 1687 are included under the topic Early Canan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canan Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Canan revealed spelling variations, including Cannon, O'Cannon, MacCannon, Cannan, Cannen, Cannin, MacCannan, McCannon, McCannan and many more.

Early Notables of the Canan family (pre 1700)

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

United States Canan migration to the United States +

Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Canan:

Canan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Milton C Canan, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Chantier" from Dieppe, France [1]
  • John C. Canan, aged 18, who arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Scythia" from Liverpool, England [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Canan (post 1700) +

  • Daniel Canan (b. 1953), American politician, Mayor of the city of Muncie, Indiana (1996-2007)
  • Janine Canan (b. 1942), born Janine Burford, an American poet, essayist, story writer, translator, and editor
  • Samuel Wakefield Canan (1898-1964), United States Navy officer, and the 34th Governor of American Samoa
  • Linda Canan Stephens, American Democratic Party politician, Member, Rules Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008 [3] on Facebook