I am back with some good info on the last name Cannon. Back in September of 2008 we published the family crest of the last name Cannon. And since then two visitors have contributed detailed information for those of you that are trying to find your origins. Hopefully, this information will help you connect the dots.
Ryan Young’s Contribution on Nov 25th, 2008
I don’t have much information on the Cannon family, but know that I am a descendant of Jeremiah Cannon, who originated from County Cork Ireland. He would be my great Great Grandfather, and is buried in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetary in McGregor, Iowa. One of his Daughters married my great grandfather, Mark C Young, who is also buried in St. Mary’s. I don’t really know any more about the family history, other than he was the first generation of Cannon in his family to make it to the U.S.
Dana (Cannon) Caldwell’s contribution on March 3rd, 2009
The Cannons are descended from two of Ireland’s most renowned Kings: Conn of the Hundred Battles and Niall of the Nine Hostages. The O’Cannons have been described as “Ancient Princes of Tir Connaill” and “Valiant Chiefs”. However their 350 year dynasty in Tir Connaill ended in 1250. Their ancient territory would seem to have been Tir Aeda (now the barony of Tirhigh) after the deaths of Rory O’ Canannain and his son Niall O’Canannain in 1250, the sept declined greatly in power. Brian O’Neill died ten years later in 1260, he had supported an O’Canannain claimant to Tir Conaill i.e. to the Kingdom of Tir Conaill (Tirconnell). The personal name Canannain is a diminutive of Cano meaning ‘wolf cub’. Canannain was fifth in descent from Flaithbertach mac Loingsig (died 765), high-king of Ireland; they were the descendants of Neill of the Nine Hostages (Irish: Niall Noigiallach) who died c. 405 A.D. by his son, Conall Gulban who gave his name to Tir Conaill, the Land of Conall, now County Donegal.
Ui Canannain was the ancestral name of the Cannons and Tir Connaill (all of County Donegal and part of County Londonderry) was the “Land of the Cannons”. By the early 1600s the name Ui Canannain had been anglicised to O’Cannon. Further anglicisation took place during the Penal laws in the late 1700s and early 1800s and the name in County Donegal became Cannon. In the early 1880s there were just 200 families bearing the Cannon surname living in County Donegal, who were mainly tenant farmers. The Cannons/O’Canannains, were of the ancient sept of Cenell Conaill, a branch of the northern Ui Neill and descend from Ruaidri ua Canannain (died 30 November 950 A.D.) King of Cenel Conaill, and grandson of Canannain, who flourished in the second half of the ninth century. One of Neill’s most famous descendants was George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. The site of the ancient seat of the O’Canannains was near Letterkenny the largest town of County Donegal, which is said on good authority to represent the hillside of the O’Cannons (English translation).
Again this is very helpful information for those of you that are researching their family origins. We welcome all contributions regarding this last name or others.Read More