This is an English locational name from a place in Wiltshire called Cannings, deriving from the Olde English 'Caningas' meaning 'people of cana' - a nickname of uncertian origin. Two families of this name came to C. Derry from England and were very active in organizing the plantation of Ulster in 1615. Two Gaelic Irish families O Cainin of Westmeath and Offaly, and Cannon of Co. Donegal have occasionally anglicized their name as Canning. In Ireland, Canning is a name chiefly found in West Ulster and Connacht. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O'Cannine and O'Cannyn. which was dated C.1550 - Fiants (Fiant Litterae Patentes) during the reign of Edward V1 The Boy King 1547 - 1553. 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.