The Romans will have needed channels to supply their armies and other strategic purposes, while the CF may have made ones primarily to have dry land to live and farm on.
1. Who says smaller channels and ditches would not have been known as CAN* (whatever old term that evolved into our "kanaal")?
2. If the CF made many ditches and were named after that activity, that does not imply that they were the only ones making ditches, or that they only made ditches.
People can be named "Van Dijk" without living near a dike, while others can live there, without having that name.
If the CF had dug ditches or canals to drain their land, we would have found traces of them, even now.
If CAN means ditch or canal, what does CANAN or CANIN or CANNIN mean?
IF CAN in Cananefates does indeed mean ditch, canal or waterway, then their name hints at their main occupation: digging canals and so on.
You cannot compare the way they received their names with how we receive our (family)names now. The surnames we have now originated in Napoleontic times: everybody received a family name, based on profession, habit, physical characteristic and so on. These surnames were passed on to next generations: even if your profession wasn't a butcher, you still inherited that name, Butcher, from your ancestors.
Edited by Abramelin, 06 November 2012 - 03:06 AM.