Teresa Mccann

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"mccann" family name, ancestry, and history


The McCanns, according to tradition, are a Milesian People see Goidelic mythology, descended from Colla-da-Chrioch, the first king of Orghilla or Oriel. The kingdom of Oriel encompassed the land from County Donegal to County Louth. Oriel is almost synonymous with Ulster. Colla-da-Chrioch, a southern conqueror of Ulster, was one of the three Collas. The identity of the folks who lived in Oriel is shrouded in mystery and disagreement among historians. Historians who give credence to their existence, generally place Colla-da-Chrioch's conquest of Ulster in 331 AD. Some disagree placing it anywhere in the succeeding 100 years. Some scholars feel that the three Collas never existed. The McCanns (Old Gaelic, Mac Cana) are said to have descended from Breasail, a grandson of Colla-da-Chrioch. It is well accepted that the McCanns originated on the banks of Lough Neagh; they were called the lords of Clan Breasail. Over time, this district was sometimes referred to as Clanbrassil, and Breasal Macha and was located on the southern shores of Lough Neagh. On a present day map Breasal Macha would cover the current baronies of Oneilland East, Oneilland West and Middle Dungannon. The first two are located in present day County Armagh and the third in County Tyrone. These geopolitical divisions (counties) were not created until late in the sixteenth century and therefor did not exist in the early days of the McCann clan. Notwithstanding this fact, McCann is thought of as a County Armagh sept. The McCann surname is considered to be among the earliest hereditary surnames in the world. Of course at the time of Colla-da-Chrioch's grandson, surnames were not in use. Ireland was one of the first countries in Europe to adopt the use of hereditary surnames. It has been claimed by the late Edward Lysacht, the famous Gaelic etymologist, that O'Clery (O' Cleireach) was one of the earliest of all surname recordings anywhere in the world, dating from the 10th century. Unfortunately he does not give any examples or proof of this. The surname McCann began to be used in the 12th Century. Its original form was Mac Cana and it means "son of Cana", which was the given name of an early McCann chieftain. McCann is the anglicised form of the Gaelic 'Mac Cana', 'son of Cana', a personal name meaning 'wolf cub'.

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