Scannell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Scannell originally appeared in Gaelic as O Scannlain or Mac Scannlain, which are both derived from the word "scannal," which means "contention."

Early Origins of the Scannell family

The surname Scannell was first found in County Louth (Irish: Lú) the smallest county in Ireland, located on the East coast, in the Province of Leinster. "The Mac Scanlans were a sept of Louth, from whom the ancient locality of Bally Mac Scanlan took its name. The first of the family mentioned by D'Alton is Patrick O'Scanlan, who was made archbishop or Armagh in 1261. " [1] According to O'Hart, the family claim descent from the Heremon Kings of Ireland, more specifically through the O'Shaughnessey pedigree as Tuadan, brother of Duach was the ancestor of O'Scannla which is Anglicized as Scanlan. [2] However, MacLysaght claims that there are two quite distinct septs; the O Scannlain of Munster and MacScannlain of Louth. The latter claimed Bally Mac Scanlan (Ballymacscanlan) as their ancient homeland. He continues pointing out that there are six places names Ballymacscanlan throughout Ireland eluding to the family's widespread distribution. [3]

Early History of the Scannell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scannell research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1272 are included under the topic Early Scannell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Scannell Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Scannell were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Scanlan, O'Scannell, O'Scanlan, O'Scanlon, MacScanlan, Scanlin and many more.

Early Notables of the Scannell family (pre 1700)

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


United States Scannell migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Scannell or a variant listed above:

Scannell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Timothy Scannell, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [4]
Scannell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Scannell, who landed in Mississippi in 1840 [4]
  • Matthew Scannell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1840 [4]
  • D Scannell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Scannell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Scannell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Scannell, aged 31, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Matilda" from Cork, Ireland
  • Matthew Scannell, aged 22, a carpenter, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Matilda" from Cork, Ireland
  • Mary Scannell, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Matilda" from Cork, Ireland
  • Johanna Scannell, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Matilda" from Cork, Ireland
  • Mary Scannell, aged 4, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Matilda" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Scannell 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:

Scannell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Scannell, (b. 1842), aged 20, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Scannell, British dairymaid travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [5]
  • Mr. John Scannell, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [5]
  • Mr. Daniel Scannell, (b. 1851), aged 20, English labourer from Surrey, England, travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship 'Merope' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th August 1871 [5]
  • Miss Julia Scannell, (b. 1852), aged 19, English general servant from Surrey, England, travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship 'Merope' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th August 1871 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Scannell (post 1700) +

  • Susan Scannell (b. 1958), American actress, known for her roles in television soap operas
  • John J. Scannell (1841-1918), 1st Fire Commissioner of the Consolidated City of New York (1898)
  • Herb Scannell (b. 1957), American CEO of Next New Networks and former President of Nickelodeon Networks
  • Tony Scannell (1945-2020), Irish actor best known for his role as DS Ted Roach in ITV's The Bill
  • Thomas "Tom" Scannell (1925-1994), Irish professional football player, father of Tony Scannell
  • Sean Scannell (b. 1990), Irish footballer
  • Vernon Scannell (1922-2007), British poet and author
  • Damian Scannell (b. 1985), English footballer

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Charles Scannell, Irish Fireman from Roberts Cove, Minane Bridge, Cork, Ireland, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [6]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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