The Clan/Sept History
All Irish surnames have a distinct meaning. The meaning behind the name O
Concannon begins when the name originally appeared in Gaelic as O Concheanainn,
possibly meaning fair headed hound. The family descends from Cuceannan, who was
killed in 991.
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to
the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames
were not rigidly fixed by this period because the general population was
illiterate and could not specify an exact spelling for their names. The
following variations for the name O Concannon were encountered in the archives:
Concannon, O'Concannon, Cancannon, Concanon, Cancanon, O'Concanon, Connon and
First found in Galway, and Roscommon where they held a family seat from ancient
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for
North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the
eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of
owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato
Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on
ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these
passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease,
starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did
safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor
of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical
to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada.
Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the O Concannon family
came to North America quite early: Patrick Cancannon arrived in New York State
in 1811; Michael Concannon who arrived in Philadelphia in 1878; Edward, George,
James, Michael, Timothy, arrived in Philadelphia or Boston between 1840 or 1870.
Motto Translated: Wisdom without blemish.
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