This interesting and unusual name is of Old French and early medieval English origin, and is a chiefly West Country variant of the surname Cannon. This is a "nickname" surname given to someone who worked at a clergy house, or who was given the name from his dignified or clerical behaviour, or perhaps to a clergyman living with others in a clergy house. The derivation is from the Old Norman French "canonie, canoine", or in the case of Channon, from the central French form "chanun". These terms were introduced into English by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and became "canun", canon, in Middle English; the ultimate derivation is from the Latin "canonicus", a derivative of "canon" rule, discipline, from the Greek "kanon", rule, measure. One Nicholas le Chanone is recorded in the 1332 Staffordshire Subsidy Rolls, and among the recordings of the name in Devonshire is that of the marriage of John Channon and Margery Munday, at St. Petrock's, in Exeter, on November 16th 1606. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Canun, which was dated 1177, The Cambridgeshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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