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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Connolly is O Conghalaigh, O Conghaile, or O Coingheallaigh.

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Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Connolly are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include Connolly, Conolly, Connally, O'Connolly, Connolley, Conally, Connelly, Conoley, Connaleigh, Connelay, Conley, Conlay, Conlaye and many more.

First found in Connacht and Munster, as well as County Monaghan in Leinster. There were three Gaelic septs whose name was Anglicized as Connolly: the O Conghalaigh sept (also known as O Conghaile) who lived in Connacht and the adjacent County Monaghan; the O Coingheallaigh sept, which also used the alias Mac Coingheallaigh, were subordinate to the powerful O'Donovans and dwelled in West Cork in Munster; and another sept, related to the O'Maddens, resided in Connacht and were of the Ui Maine.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Connolly research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1591, 1660, 1729, 1738, 1803, 1750 and 1825 are included under the topic Early Connolly History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 49 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Connolly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Connolly:

Connolly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Connolly settled in Virginia in 1773
  • John Connolly settled in Maryland in 1776

Connolly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Connolly, aged 32, landed in New York in 1812
  • James Connolly, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1813
  • William J Connolly, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Edward Connolly, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Henry Connolly, who landed in New York in 1822


Connolly Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Philip Connolly, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749

Connolly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bernard Connolly, aged 26, a tailor, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Ellen Connolly, aged 19, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Peter Connolly, aged 13, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Edward Connolly, aged 40, a weaver, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Biddy Connolly, aged 40, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast


Connolly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Christopher Connolly, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Connolly, aged 20, Irish convict from Antrim, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on August 24, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • C. Connolly arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dawson" in 1839
  • J. Connolly arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dawson" in 1839
  • Thomas Connolly arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dawson" in 1839


Connolly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • W C Connolly landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1838
  • Margaret Connolly, aged 16, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stately" in 1851
  • Michael Connolly, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Mary Connolly, aged 33, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Mary Connolly, aged 4, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864


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  • Thomas Joseph Connolly (1922-2015), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Baker in Oregon from 1971 to 1999
  • Mr. Michael Connolly (d. 1915), American 3rd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Theodore William Connolly (1931-2014), former professional American football player for the San Francisco 49ers from 1954 to 1962 and Cleveland Browns in 1963
  • James Brendan Bennet "Jamie" Connolly (1865-1957), Irish-born, American Olympic gold, two-time silver and bronze medalist athlete for the 1896 and 1900 games, as well he is an author
  • Daniel Paul "Dan" Connolly (b. 1982), American NFL football guard and center for the New England Patriots
  • Major-General Donald Hilary Connolly (1886-1969), American Deputy Army-Navy Liquidation Commissioner (1945-1946)
  • Maureen Catherine "Little Mo" Connolly (1934-1969), American tennis player who was the first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments during the same calendar year
  • Miss Katherine "Kate" Connolly, aged 22, Irish Third Class passenger from Cortrasna, Cavan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 13
  • Miss Catherine "Kate" Connolly (d. 1912), aged 35, Irish Third Class passenger from Bank Place, Tipperary who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • John Connolly O.P. (1750-1825), Irish-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of New York (1814 until his death in 1825)

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  • James C. Connolly: Parents and Descendants, 1805-1974 by Nancy Christensen Manly.
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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  5. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  11. ...

The Connolly Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Connolly 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 19 August 2015 at 11:50.

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