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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Conway family come from? What is the Irish Conway family crest and coat of arms? When did the Conway family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Conway family history?

All Irish surnames have a long, ancient Gaelic history behind them. The original Gaelic form of the name Conway is O Conbhuidhe or O Connmhachain. The former of these names likely comes from the Gaelic word "condmach," while the latter probably comes from "cu buidhe." Conway is also an Anglicization of the names Mac Conmheadha or Mac Connmhaigh.

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In the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Conway family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Conway, Conboy, Convey, O'Conway, McConway and others.

First found in Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, and Connacht.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conway research. Another 285 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1360, 1300, 1st , 1564, 1631, 1623, 1628, 1631, 1594, 1655, 1st , 1623, 1683, 1681, 1683, 1586, 1623, 1631, 1679, 1st , 1630, 1669, 1661 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Conway History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 209 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conway Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century. However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land, those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers. These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of immigrant and passenger lists revealed many Conways:

Conway Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Aron Conway, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Margaret Conway, aged 20, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Edwin Conway, who arrived in Virginia in 1640
  • Edwin Conway of Worcestershire, England, who settled in the year 1645 in Virginia. From him was descended Mary Ball, the mother of George Washington
  • James Conway, who landed in Maryland in 1667


Conway Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Conway, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Charles Conway, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1787

Conway Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Wm Conway, who landed in America in 1804
  • Wallis Thomas Conway, who landed in America in 1808
  • Francis B Conway, who arrived in North Carolina in 1808
  • William D Conway, who arrived in Maryland in 1810
  • Edw Conway, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811


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  • Jill Ker Conway (b. 1934), Australian-American author
  • Thomas Daniel "Tim" Conway Jr. (b. 1933), American Golden Globe and five-time Primetime Emmy Award winning comedian and actor, best known for his co-starring role alongside Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show
  • Albert Conway (1889-1969), American lawyer and politician and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1955 to 1959
  • Jack Conway (b. 1969), American politician and 49th Attorney General of Kentucky
  • Gary Conway (b. 1936), American actor and screenwriter
  • James Terry Conway (b. 1947), retired United States Marine Corps four-star General, former 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps
  • Jon Conway (b. 1977), retired American soccer goalkeeper
  • Paul Conway (b. 1970), retired American soccer forward
  • Connie Conway (b. 1950), American politician, Minority Leader of the California State Assembly
  • Peter J. Conway (1866-1903), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et amore
Motto Translation: By fidelity and love.

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  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Conway Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Conway Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 March 2014 at 10:10.

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