Canet, or in its more usual early recording spellings of 'de Canete', is a surname which is recorded throughout the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and Portugal, and also in France from the middle ages. It is said that the name is a metonymic or nickname for a maker of a special pitcher or jug. This vessel was apparently called a 'canne' and the same word was used for a reed, the story being that the pitcher was made from reeds! Quite how water was carried in a pitcher made from reeds is far from clear. There are however a number of villages called 'Canet(e)' including one in the West Indies, and although the West Indian village is unlikely to have given rise to many surnames, the others most certainly have. What is certain is that this surname was, from the earliest days, very aristocratic. Many of the early recordings include the preposition 'de' to imply noble and land owning origins. These recordings Fernando de Canete de Arriaza, at Cordoba, in 1513, and later Gregorio de Canete de Heredia also of Cordoba, Spain, on July 1st 1600. Slightly later on June 10th 1688, Maria Canet married Juan Llinas at Castella de la Selva, Gerona, also Spain. Early recordings in America include Maria Soledad Marcelina Canet, christened at San Juan Bautista, San Benito, California, on July 1st 1832. The coat of arms most associated with the nameholders and granted to Canet de Catalonia' has the unmistakeable blazon of a gold lion rampant regardant, on a blue field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gonzola de Canete, which was dated March 1st 1508, married Catalina de Arriaza, at Cordoba, Spain, during the reign of King Ferdinand 11 of Spain, 1479 - 1512. 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.