The Cahan Family

Cahan family crest

(Crest No. 58. Plate 27.)

THE Cahan family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Maine, ancestor of the Southern Hy Nials, son of Nial of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland, A. D. 379. The ancient name was Sionagh and signifies “The Fox.” The possessions of the clan were located in the present Counties of Mayo, Galway, and Carlow. The O’Cahans, or O’Canes, were chiefs in Aidhne, or South Fiachra, and were descended from Gauire Aidhne, a king of Connaught in the seventh century.

Cahan family crest

(Crest No. 142. Plate 60.)

Major-General O’Cahan was a brave soldier and skillful commander in the wars, 1641-52. He was killed at the battle of Scarriffhollis, 1650. A notable man of this name was Dr. Robert Cane, an Irish Nationalist, born in 1807. He was a friend of John Banim and Smith O’Brien, and in 1848 he was imprisoned for a time under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. He was instrumental in founding the Celtic Union for the publication of works relating to Irish history. His “Williamite and Jacobite Wars” and Supple’s “Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland” appeared in the projected series.