This Old Irish surname is the Connacht variant form of the original "Mac Canna", which translates as "the son of Wolf Cub". The earliest known records show that the original clan chiefs were the Lords of Clanbrassil in the 10th Century, a place on the southern shore of Lough Neagh, County Antrim. It appears that they were still holding this title in 1598, when they apparently supported the uprising led by Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. O'Neill was successful for nearly nine years, but he was finally defeated at Kinsale in 1602. Most of his supporters were dispossessed and driven from their homelands and this would seem to include the branch of the McCanns, who became the McGanns. One of the earliest emigrants who fled from the effects of the Irish Famine (1845 - 1851) was Owen McGann, aged 18 yrs., who was a passenger on the ship "Liverpool" out of Liverpool on March 13th 1846, bound for New York. The Coat of Arms is a blue field, a silver chevron between three silver boars courant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Amhlaibh MacCanna, which was dated circa 1155, Lord of Clanbrassil, as recorded in the "Annals of the Four Masters", during the reign of Turlough Mor O'Conor, High King of Ireland, 1119 - 1156. 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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