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Surname M'Can/M'Kane/Kean - Meaning and Origin

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M'Can/M'Kane/Kean: What does the surname M'Can/M'Kane/Kean mean?

The last name M’Can/M’Kane/Kean is believed to originate from the Irish Mac Cathain or Mac Cahan, both which mean “son of Cahan”. The Irish form of the surname has been related to medieval Gaelic Mac Catháin, derived from cath combined with the diminutive suffix án, with the literal translation of “Wolf Cub”. This points to the influence of the Norse personal name “Kàni” which means wolf cub.

The M’Can/M’Kane/Kean family were originally from Fermanagh, Ireland, and it has been noted that the name was particularly associated with the baronies of Rosclogher and Magheraboy both on the confines of Fermanagh, Longford and Cavan. From this, the surname would have been brought across Ireland during the 16th and 17th century. Today the surname is still most common in Fermanagh and neighbouring counties.

The M’Kane/Kean family are descended from the ancient kings of Érainn a Gaelic civilization from the Iron Age. They are said to be of the McGrath dynasty, with McGrath originating from the MacRaith which is derived from MacRaghaille which can loosely be translated as the servant of Chalice with Chalice being the chief of the Connacht people.

The M’Kane/Kean surname is now found throughout the world, and its ancient roots are still a source of pride for those that bear the name today.

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M'Can/M'Kane/Kean: Where does the name M'Can/M'Kane/Kean come from?

The last name M'Can, M'Kane, or Kean is most common today in the British Isles. According to historical records, the name was first found in Lanarkshire, an area of Scotland where the earliest forms of the name are recorded in the Morrayshire estate of Kean. The name is also found in considerable numbers in County Cork, Ireland. The earliest record of the surname dates back to the mid 14th century in Scotland.

The variants of the surname M'Can, M'Kane, and Kean are all thought to have originated from the same source. This is supported by the fact that the same areas of the British Isles are locations where the surname is present in large numbers. People with this surname can trace their ancestry back through both Scotland and Ireland, suggesting a strong connection between the two countries.

The M'Can, M'Kane, and Kean surnames all have Gaelic origins, translating to "son of the forest". It is believed that the surnames are associated with the early Celtic settlers of Ireland and Scotland. It is likely that the original bearer of the surname was a hunter or a woodsman.The family is thought to have descended from a noble family of Scotland, although the exact details of their history before the mid 14th century are unknown.

The surname is spelled differently all over the world, with variations including the Irish McKennan, McKeon, McShane, and Keany. In spite of the variations, the name is still very popular in the British Isles and America, suggesting a successful hereditary line stretching back many centuries.

Variations of the surname M'Can/M'Kane/Kean

The surname M'Can/M'Kane/Kean is derived from the Gaelic form of the personal name Cian, meaning ‘ancient’. This is thought to refer to the original Gaelic culture and language that existed in Scotland and Ireland prior to the Anglo-Saxon conquest. As different dialects and spelling conventions developed over time, the same name was spelt in many different ways, leading to the variants that are most commonly seen today.

Variants of M'Can/M'Kane/Kean include MacCain, McCabe, Mackane, McCane, McKain, McKin, McCann, and the more modern MacKeen and MacKain. Other spellings include MacAne, MacCayne, Cane, Keane, Keene and MacKeen.

In Ireland, the surname also has the anglicized forms of Kean, MacKean, MacKeane, Keaney, MacKeeney, MacKainey, and Kaney, which often get confused with the M'Can/M'Kane/Kean spelling.

In Scotland, the surname was sometimes spelled M'Kane, which is a contraction of MacCane, while other variants include M'Cain, MacKane, McKain, and MacKane.

The most common surnames derived from M'Can/M'Kane/Kean are Cane, Keane, Kains, and Mackay, which all descend from the original Gaelic name.

Despite coming from the same origin, M'Can/M'Kane/Kean, its variants, spellings, and surnames are quite diverse, making it a complicated surname to trace.

Famous people with the name M'Can/M'Kane/Kean

  • Niall M'Kane: British Actor and Singer
  • Robert M'Kane: Irish TV producer and documentary filmmaker
  • Cathy McAn: British TV Personality
  • Alison McAn: British Teacher Writer and Poet
  • David McAn: British Actor
  • Lucy McAn: British Actress
  • Lillian M'Kane: Irish Actress
  • Brian M'Kane: Irish Television Host
  • Frank M'Kane: Irish Political Analyst and Columnist
  • Rosemary McAn: Irish Photographer
  • Gerald M'Kane: Irish Artist
  • P. J. McAn: Irish Inventor of the McAn Keyboard
  • Tristin M'Kane: Canadian Actor
  • Matthew McAn: Canadian Actor
  • David M'Kane: Canadian Environmental Activist
  • Kieran M'Kane: Canadian Musician
  • Peter Kean: US Politician
  • John Kean: US Politician
  • Thomas Kean: US Politician
  • Peggy Kean: Canadian Actress

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