What is the origin of the last name Cannon?

The last name Cannon has its origins in the British Isles, specifically in England and Scotland. Derived from the Middle English word "canun" or "canunne," meaning clergyman or canon, the surname Cannon was likely bestowed upon individuals who were associated with the church or held a clerical position. The name may also have been given to mark a familial connection to someone who was a clergyman. As with many surnames, variations in spelling and pronunciation over time have led to different regional adaptations, but the fundamental etymology of Cannon remains rooted in ecclesiastical contexts.

Countries of origin for the last name Cannon

Cannon is a last name that can be traced back to English, Irish, and Scottish origins. It is derived from the medieval name ‘Canun’ which was an occupational name for someone who operated a cannon or was associated with the use of cannons. The first recorded instance of the surname Cannon can be found in 1172 in Wiltshire, England.

The surname Cannon is still quite common in the United States today, especially in states with a strong Irish and Scottish heritage, such as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It is currently ranked as the 1,096th most common surname in America.

Throughout history, the name Cannon has undergone various changes in spelling, including Canun, Canon, Canone, Cannan, and Canne. These alterations may have been influenced by regional dialects and accents, as well as the literacy levels of individuals recording the name in official documents.

Interestingly, the name Cannon also has associations with military or maritime backgrounds. In addition to being an occupational name for someone associated with cannons, it may have been used as a nickname for a person with a powerful or explosive personality. It is also worth noting that the surname Cannon can be found in areas with historical connections to the military, such as those near naval or artillery bases.

Etymologically, the surname Cannon can be traced back to the Old French word ‘canun’, which means “large tube or barrel.” This is further connected to the Latin term ‘canna’, which means “reed” or “pipe.” The literal translation of the name Cannon can be interpreted as “one who works with or is associated with cannons.”

One possible alternate origin for the surname Cannon is the Irish Gaelic name “McCannain,” which means “son of Cannan.” This suggests a potential Irish connection, as the name Cannon may have been anglicized during periods of Irish migration. However, further research is needed to establish this link with certainty.

The name Cannon exemplifies the richness and complexity of surname etymology, reflecting the occupational, military, and linguistic influences that have shaped its evolution over time. It remains a distinctive surname that serves as a testament to the diverse roots and histories of individuals and communities.

Interesting facts about the last name Cannon

  • The surname Cannon is of Irish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic word “canán” which means “reed” or “flute”.
  • The name could be a reference to a person who played the flute or worked with reeds.
  • The Cannon surname has multiple variants including McCannon and MacCann.
  • Many people with the surname Cannon can trace their ancestry back to County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
  • The Cannon family has a long history in the United States, with the name appearing in records as early as the 17th century.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Cannon include former Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Cannon.
  • The Cannon surname is relatively common in the United States, with a significant number of individuals carrying the name.
  • There are also several place names associated with the surname Cannon, such as Cannon Beach in Oregon and Cannon Falls in Minnesota.
  • The surname Cannon is often used as a military reference, symbolizing power or strength.

Name Rank


There are around 71085 people with the last name Cannon in the US

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