Canavan Family History
The family history of the ancient name Canavan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Canavan is derived from the Gaelic O'Ceanndubhain sept name.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The families of Canavan were prominent physicians to the leading O'Flahertys of Connemara and are mentioned in the ancient document 'The Four Masters' as early as the year 1416. One of these was the medical attendant of the O'Flahertys up until the end of the eighteenth century. This name may be regarded as a County Galway name and they were domiciled almost exclusively in that County and in County Mayo. Canavan is also found in County Waterford as Guinevan and in other places Whitehead has been used as a synonym. Today the name is widely spread throughout the four Provinces of Ireland. The Canavan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Canavan