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

Origins Available: Dutch, English

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

The name Conover came to England with the ancestors of the Conover family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Conover family lived in Durham. The family were originally from the area of Coigners, Normandy, and it is from this location that their name derives.

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Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Conyers, Coniers, Coigniers, Convers, Converse and many more.

First found in Durham at Sockburn, where the then Bishop of Durham, Ralph Flambard, granted lands to Roger de Conyers sometime between 1099 and 1133.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conover research. Another 269 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1628, 1628, 1731, 1810, 1587, 1663, 1630, 1619, 1684, 1660, 1685, 1758, 1650, 1725, 1695, 1666, 1728, 1633 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Conover History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 203 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conover Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Conover family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Conover or a variant listed above:

Conover Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Wolfert GerreiSe Conover, who arrived in New York in 1630
  • Wolfert Gerretsen Van Conover, who landed in New York in 1630

Conover Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • P Conover, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A Conover, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • David Conover (1919-1983), American author and documentary photographer who is credited with discovering Marilyn Monroe
  • Henry Boardman Conover (1892-1950), American ornithologist
  • Lloyd Conover (b. 1923), American inventor of the antibiotic tetracycline
  • Ted Conover (b. 1958), American author and journalist
  • Willis Clark Conover Jr. (1920-1996), American jazz producer and broadcaster on the Voice of America


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  • Conover Pioneers and Pilgrim: Celebration of a Family: by Elizabeth Conover Kelley.
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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Conover Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Conover 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 27 November 2013 at 08:57.

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