Today, the surname is found principally in counties Armagh, Tyrone and Antrim, though it has also spread southwards into the provinces of Leinster and Connacht.
The family name is recorded in the townland of Annagh McCann's in Louth parish in Co. Louth.
.Patrick McCanna was a member of the United Irishmen in Paris during the Terror. He accompanied Wolfe Tone on his expedition to Ireland and went on to become successful merchant in Boulogne.
Tomas Mac Anna (1920 -) was artistic director of the Abbey theatre for many years. His son, Ferdia Mac Anna is well-known as a novelist, particularly for The Last of the High Kings (1992), despite an earlier incarnation as Rocky De Valera, leader of the proto-punk Rocky De Valera and the Gravediggers.
John McCann (1905-1980) was an extremely popular playwright in his day, as well as pursuing a successful career in politics. His son Donal McCann (1943 - 1999) had international success as a stage and film actor.