By John Concannon
The Concannon clan’s history has been recorded for over a thousand years in Ireland, and Concannon is one of its oldest family names. In the 1600s, when the English occupied the Irish territory, a choice was commanded: Give up your faith, or give up your land. With conviction and without hesitation, my family answered, “We’ll give up our land.”
The Concannon Family Crest tells much of our lineage:
Our motto, CON-GAN-AN – Gaois gan Smál, was introduced during the Crusades and is literally translated, “Wisdom without Compromise.” Its meaning is powerful, demanding that we don’t compromise our values. And, it reminds us that wisdom is the highest quality of mind, far exceeding intelligence or knowledge alone. Wisdom gives insight and discernment of that which is true, right and lasting. And by its very nature, wisdom imparts humility as well as knowing at a higher level.
The Green Oak on a Mound of Green is a heraldry symbol for hope, joy and loyalty. The oak also symbolizes plenty – the ability of its acorns to feed the animals.
The Falcon, from its vantage point, surveys the countryside, ready to protect and defend against the encroachment of the enemy.
The Two Crosses were granted as a result of participation in the Crusading movements and signify two expeditions to the Holy Land. They are blue which denotes Loyalty and Truth. Interestingly at that time, these crosses also communicated no loss of life to the Concannons who participated.
The Elephant symbolizes not only Great Courage, but also Great Strength, Great Wit and Great Ambition.
When I recently returned to Ireland, almost 150 years after my great-grandfather sailed for the shores of America, I was constantly reminded of our family’s roots, values and sacrifices made in search of new opportunities.
This Thanksgiving season, as we all give thanks for our families and their inspiring stories, I want especially to thank my mother, Helen Concannon, for thoroughly documenting our family and winery history as we continue instilling our ancestors’ ideals and legacy into each new generation.