The McCann Family

McCann family crest

(Crest No. 66. Plate 46.)

THE McCann family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The ancient name was Cannach and signifies “Handsome.” The chiefs of the sept were styled Princes of Clan Bresoail, and their possessions were located in the present County of Armagh.

This was the territory of the Ui-Breasal, or as they were called, the Ui Breasal Macha, descended from Breasal, son of Phelim, son of Fiachra Casan, son of Colla-da-Crioch. In later ages this territory was more usually called Clann Breasal, Anglicized Clanbrazil or Clanbrassil.

The tribe of O’Garveys were the ancient chiefs of this territory, but in more modern times it belonged to the McCanns, who were descended from Rochadh, the son of Colla da Crioch, grandson of Carbre Liffeachair, King of Ireland, A. D. 264. The McCanns, Lords of Clan Bresaoil, took their name from Cana, younger son of Mahon, Lord of O’Neill.