This page was created by Mary Taylor on December 18, 2004.

The McCann Family Home Page

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Descendants of Jane Caterson McCann and James McCann

A photo of Ellen Eagen McCann and James Joseph Aloysius McCann with great grandson, Joseph Gleave.

I found the following information on a website. As soon as I find the URL again, I will put it here.

MacCann, (Canny)

In Irish Mac Anna (son of Annadh) it has become, by the attraction of the C of Mac, Mac Canna in Irish and MacCann in English (Fr. John Ryan rejected this, the usually accepted derivation of this name and argued that it is derived from Cana wolf-hound). The MacCanns were lords of Clanbrassil, a district of Co. Armagh on the southern shore of Lough Neagh - a territory originally occupied by the O'Garveys. One of these, Amhlaibh Mac Canna, who died in 1155, is described by the Four Masters as "Pillar of chivalry and vigour of Cinel Eoghain"; the last to be mentioned in their Annals was killed in 1260, after which they do not appear prominently in the history of the country.

Donnell MacCanna was, however, still styled Chief of Clanbrassil as late as 1598 and the name is still numerous in the vicinity of Lough Neagh, though uncommon elsewhere. The most noteworthy of the name, in modern times, is Michael Joseph MacCann (1824-1883), author of the poem "O'Donnell Abu." Patrick MacCanna, a native of Armagh, was the hero of an unusual incident at the height of the Terror in the French Revolution - he not only defended the Irish College from the mob but won them from hostility to friendship toward Irishmen by his well chosen words - this MacCanna was a member of Wolfe Tone's expedition to Ireland, and became a leading merchant in Boulogne.

The cognate name Mac Annaidh is called Canny in English and as such is well known in Co. Clare and Limerick.

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