Should LNAB Cannada be changed to Kennedy?

+5 votes
71 views

I have many relatives who arrived in America as Kennedy, and whose names have been entered into records phonetically, including Canada, Cannada, Canady and a couple of other variations. Eventually, they returned to the proper Kennedy spelling. This misspelling was perpetuated by the Windham CT Town Records (Connecticut Births and Christenings, 1649-1906) which referred to the births of the children of "Isaac Cannada and Meriam Fitch" but the deaths of those same children, written in a different hand, the spelling was "Kennedy."

In fact, this specific family line is addressed by Henry Whittemore in The Heroes of the American Revolution and Their Descendants in which he states "The name of Canada, or any construction of the name spelled with a "C" is not found in Marshall's Genealogical Guide (London, 1879), nor in any of Burke's heraldry or other works...There is little doubt that all of the above named are descendants of the old family of England and Ireland."

In Whittemore's well-regarded book, and in many sources, my relative Leonard Cannada [Cannada-12] is listed as Leonard Kennedy. Should he be listed as his name was properly spelled or as the phonetic spelling? His son is Kennedy, His father is Isaac Canada, son of Isaac Kennedy, son of Daniel Canady, son of "Mr. Kennedy"

in The Tree House by Karen Fuller G2G6 Mach 2 (21.5k points)
I appreciate that there are surname databases which may add insight to where these names originated. However, I would like to know if I should create a consistent pattern of father-to-issue LNAB as it is apparent that "Cannada" is a phonetic spelling rather than the name which the family called themselves.

If you look at [Cannada-12] you will see that although the Windham Town Records recorded his last name when he was born as "Cannada", he was a woodworker who stamped the items he made with "Kennedy." Earlier relatives bore the LNAB Kennedy.

2 Answers

+3 votes

Last name: Canada

SDB Popularity ranking: 1182

This interesting surname has three possible sources; firstly, it may be of Old French origin, and is either a nickname for a tall, thin man, or a metonymic occupational name for someone who gathered reeds, which were needed in the Middle Ages as a floor covering, and for weaving small baskets, or a topographical name for someone who lived in a damp area overgrown with reeds. It derives from the Middle English "cane", a development of the Old French "cane", meaning cane, reed. Secondly, it may be a Norman locational name from the town of Caen, in Calvados, Normandy, named with the Gaulish elements "catu", battle, plus "magos" meaning field, plain. Finally, it may be of Welsh origin, deriving from the female given name "Keina", perhaps a short form of such Welsh personal names as "Ceindrych, Ceinwen", from the Welsh "cain" meaning beautiful. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below). London Church Records list the marriage of Michaell Cain to Rebecca Chapell, on February 2nd 1600, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is ermine, on a bend azure a dove between two pheons argent, on a canton gules a bezant (gold coin).The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey Kein, which was dated 1198, in the "Abbey of Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017



Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Canada#ixzz5EBhANv7Q

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
The issue is that the Kennedy was the name they came to America with. The same document refers to the same family with different spellings. I was wondering if it was useful to unite the family with a single LNAB. They apparently called themselves Kennedy, even if the transcription of that name was misspelled. Are we supposed to use the name transcribed on one document or should we use the name they appear to have called themselves throughout the generations?
+3 votes

Last name: Kennedy

SDB Popularity ranking: 165

This is an anglicized form of an Olde Gaelic (Scots and Irish) personal/nickname 'cinneidigh or cinneide', a compound of the elements 'cinn' meaning 'head', plus 'eide' translating variously as 'grim' or 'helmeted'. Cinneide was the nephew of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland (1002 - 1014), and the surname O Cinneide (the Gaelic prefix 'O' indicating 'male descendant of') came into being in Ireland in the 11th Century. The 'Annals of the Four Masters' record an O Cinneide, Lord of Tipperary in 1159. The first recorded Scottish name bearer appears to be Gilbert Mac Kenedi who witnessed a charter in Melrose circa 1165 - 1170. (The prefix 'mac' means 'son of'). The Scottish Kennedys are by remote origin Irish Gaels. In 1296 one, Alexander Kennedy was canon of Glasgow. Duncan Kennedy, provost of Aberdeen, 1321 - 1322 was the first recorded of the name in the north east. The Kennedy's held the lands of Kermuck (Aberdeenshire) for generations. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Kennedy or Mac Kenede, which was dated 1185 - Leader of a rebellion in Galloway, during the reign of King William, The Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017



Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Kennedy#ixzz5EBhRxN5G

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
They may have different origins if surnamedb.com is accurate.
I appreciate the insight from the surname databases. However, the source specific to the family, which I cited, notes the settlers who arrived in America and their surnames; the Kennedy line which encompasses my specific family, was called out as having been spelled phonetically on multiple occasions.
My grandmother is a cousin of Ernest Miller Hemingway, the writer. He is the tenth generation after the first in his line came to America. My grandmother is the 9th in that line, but her maiden name was spelled Hemenway, as was her father and grandfather. So, I have a somewhat similar situation to yours.
Hemingway presumably has a single origin, tracing back to one man who took the name of his house.  Which is not to say there was an original fixed spelling.  The house and the man would have been spelled every which way at the time, if they were written down at all.  So there's no "correct" spelling.  But you can say they all have the same name, however spelled.

But first names don't belong to one family like houses.  Even though they run in families, they get aped by the neighbours.  This means that surnames derived from first names usually arise more than once, creating unrelated genetic clans with the same name. Whittemore is assuming a false premise when he talks about "the old family of England and Ireland".

But in this case there seems to be no clear evidence that the immigrant was descended from Kennedys, or that he left cousins behind who were Kennedys or became Kennedys.  It could just be that the American descendants assimilated their name to Kennedy.  It's a very common fallacy to suppose that all surnames have reverted to their original correct form now we're all educated.  If there had ever been an original correct form, how would anybody know what it was?

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