Show ContentsCannell 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 Cannell is O Conaill.

Early Origins of the Cannell family

The surname Cannell 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 Cannell family

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

Cannell Spelling Variations

Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Cannell family name. Variations found include 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 Cannell family

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

United States Cannell migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Cannell family in North America:

Cannell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Cannell who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1652
  • John Cannell, who settled in New England in 1652
  • John Cannell, who arrived in America in 1652 [2]
Cannell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Cannell, who arrived in New York State in 1823
  • Henry Cannell, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852
  • P W Cannell, who arrived in Texas in 1867 [2]

Australia Cannell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cannell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Cannell, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. Robert Cannell, English harness maker who was convicted in Colchester, Essex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Eden" on 27th August 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. William Cannell, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 15 years for assault, transported aboard the "Emerald Isle" on 28th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]

New Zealand Cannell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cannell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • R. Cannell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1873
  • William Cannell, aged 36, a bricklayer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874
  • Mary Ann Cannell, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874
  • Alice Cannell, aged 11, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874
  • Philip Cannell, aged 8, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rooparell" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Cannell (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Joseph Cannell (1941-2010), American Emmy Award winning television producer, writer and novelist; creator of The Rockford Files, The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, 21 Jump Street, and The Commish
  • Skipwith Cannell (1887-1957), American poet associated with the Imagist group
  • Kathleen Eaton "Kitty" Cannell (1891-1974), Paris-based American dance and fashion correspondent
  • Dorothy Cannell (b. 1943), English-born, American mystery writer
  • William J. B. Cannell, American Republican politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Lebanon; Elected 1938 [6]
  • Paul Anthony Cannell (b. 1953), English former footballer
  • Geoffrey Thornton Cannell (1942-2007), Manx sportscaster and politician, Member of the House of Keys
  • Brenda Josephine Cannell (b. 1952), Manx politician, Member of the House of Keys for Douglas East

The Cannell 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
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia. Retrieved 25th March 2022 from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook