Canel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Canel is O Conaill.

Early Origins of the Canel family

The surname Canel was first found in County Limerick where O'Connell was the chief of Hy-Cuilean, a territory south-east of Abbeyfeale, in the barony of Upper Connello near the borders of Cork and Kerry. The O'Connells had their chief residence in Castle Connell. In the twelfth century the O'Connells settled in Kerry. One reference claims that the O'Falvies, admirals of Desmond; the O'Connells, of Kerry; O'Sheas, chiefs of Muskerry, in Cork; and several other chiefs, claim descent from the Clan na Deaga, Chiefs of Munster, originally a branch of the Heremonians of Ulster.

The Cannell variant is "a name peculiar to the Isle of Man, is from the Celtic MacConaill." [1]

Early History of the Canel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Canel research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1300, 1641, 1621, 1678, 1743, 1833, 1775 and 1826 are included under the topic Early Canel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canel Spelling Variations

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 Canel were encountered in the archives: Connell, O'Connell, Cannell, Connall, Conell, Conall, Connill, Connull, Connel, Connal, Connul, Canell, Cannel, O'Connall, O'Conell and many more.

Early Notables of the Canel family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Canel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Canel family

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. 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 Canel family came to North America quite early: John Cannell who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1652; John Cannell settled in New England in 1652; Henry Cannell settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.



The Canel Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ciall agus neart
Motto Translation: Reason and power.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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