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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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 Cannin is O Canain, from the word "cano," which means "wolf cub."

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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 Cannin revealed spelling variations, including Cannon, O'Cannon, MacCannon, Cannan, Cannen, Cannin, MacCannan, McCannon, McCannan and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cannin research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1659, and 1687 are included under the topic Early Cannin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Cannin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Cannin:

Cannin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Cannin, aged 21, landed in New York in 1812
  • Joseph Cannin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1816

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  11. ...

The Cannin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cannin 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 27 October 2010 at 13:25.

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