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Canonigo Genealogy and Canonigo Family History Information

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About the Canonigo surname


The nationality of Canonigo is often very difficult to determine because country boundaries change over time, making the nation of origin a mystery. The original ethnicity of Canonigo may be in dispute as result of whether the surname came in to being naturally and independently in various locales; for example, in the case of family names that are based on professions, which can crop up in multiple places independently (such as the name "Clark" which evolved from the profession of "clerk").

The meaning of Canonigo come may come from a craft, such as the name "Bishop" which may have been taken by church officials. Some of these trade-based family names might be a profession in another language. This is why it is important to understand the ethnicity of a name, and the languages used by its family members. Many names like Canonigo come from religious texts like the Bhagavadgītā, the Quran, the Bible, and so on. In many cases these family names are shortened versions of a religious expression such as "Grace of God".

In Spanish, canonigo means someone who is an expert in the Roman Catholic Church's canon laws. The surname may have been bestowed upon "indios" who may have worked for the church (not necessarily priests as they were Spanish).


There are known variants of the surname considering the possible migration of people during the Middle Ages with CANONIGO getting its name from the Latin CANONICUS and its Italian derivative CANONICO. The English variant was CANON and CANNON.

The surname of CANONICO was a nickname, originally rendered in Old French as CANOINE, meaning a clergyman living in a house with others in a clergy house. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the form CANONICUS. Most early bearers of the name were serfs, who perhaps gained the name from a certain dignity of bearing. The name is also spelt CANONICI, CANONACO, CALONGE and the English form in CANNON. As the agricultural depression of southern Italy worsened towards the end of the 19th century, people began to escape to the New World. The exodus started in earnest in 1887 with Brazil and other parts of Latin America being the original destinations. By 1893, the economy had improved in the United States and people headed there from Italy in greater and greater numbers. In 1898 there were more Italian immigrants to the USA than from any other country. In the post war era, more than a quarter of Italians left the country for a new life. They joined a flood of immigrants to America which was averaging a million a year in the pre war years. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy. Early records of the name in England and Scotland mention John le Cannon 1273 County Oxford. William le Cannon of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Leghe married Alice Cannon in London in 1527. Jone Cannon was baptised at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1570. The name is widely spread and found in Kirkcudbrightshire and in parts of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. John Acannane, Balmakclellane is recorded in Scotland in the year 1574. John Cannan of Guffockland, Scotland, was documented in the year of 1684.


Records have shown that most Canonigos originated in Naga, Cebu for all Filipino-born individuals. Church records also showed that there is a huge concentration of Canonigos in southern Spain, particularly in Granada. Granada was once part of the Emirate of Cordoba where it was ruled by a Muslim before it was captured by the forces of Ferdinand and Isabela of Castille in 1492. Many of the new conversos, Jews and Muslims alike, were forcibly converted to Christianity at the risk of death and deportation. It may be possible that the Spanish ancestors were descendants from these conversos who were deported or migrated to far flung Spanish colonies like the Philippines.

There are significant population of Canonigos in Nueva Granada (present-day Colombia and Venezuela). By the late 18th century, there was a huge migration of Canonigos to Argentina and Brazil. It is also worth noting that there is an Italian-line of Canonigos from southern Italy, notably in the Calabria region. This region was part of the so-called Kingdom of Two Sicilies that was once ruled by Spain. There were also conversos here from former Muslim and Jewish inhabitants. Many of them have migrated to South America, the United States and Mexico.

By the 19th century and 20th century, there was a notable immigration of Canonigos to Guam, Hawaii and California.

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