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

Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish

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

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Connor originally appeared in Gaelic as O Conchobhair, derived from the personal name Conchobhar.

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Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Connor are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Connor, Conner, Conor, Connors, O'Connor, Connores, Conner, Connar, Connars, O'Connar, O'Conner, Connair, Connairs, Connaire, Connaires, Cawner, Cawners, Caunnor, Cauner, Cauners and many more.

First found in Connacht. There were six different septs of this famous name scattered throughout Ireland, of which four continue to boast many members. However, the most important O'Connors were those of Connacht, divided into three main branches: O'Conor Don; O'Conor Roe; and O'Conor Sligo. The Connacht O'Connors were direct descendants of Conchobhar, King of Connacht, who died in 971 AD. Furthermore, this family produced the last two High Kings of Ireland: Turlough O'Connor (1088-1156) and Roderick O'Connor (1116-1196). It was the invasion of Leinster by Roderick O'Conner on behalf of the Prince of West Brefney that caused the King of Leinster, Dermod MacMorough, to flee to England for aid. This resulted in the Strongbow Invasion of 1168, the beginning of English domination over Ireland. Despite remaining stubbornly Catholic, the O'Connor family continued to maintain their elite position among the Irish nobility throughout the entire period of British dominance.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Connor research. Another 363 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1002, 1641, 1652, 1710, 1791, 1838, 1906, 1763 and 1852 are included under the topic Early Connor History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 111 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Connor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Connor or a variant listed above:

Connor Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Cornelius Connor, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Arthur Connor, who arrived in Maryland in 1748
  • Catharine Connor, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766
  • Laurence Connor, who landed in Virginia in 1769-1770
  • Charles Connor, aged 22, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1776

Connor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Dominick Connor, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1801
  • Biddy Connor, aged 14, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Andrew Connor, aged 45, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • William Connor, who landed in Louisiana in 1805-1809
  • Peter Connor, who arrived in Georgia in 1810


Connor Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Lt. Constant Connor U.E who settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia c. 1783
  • Mr. John Connor U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. John Connor U.E who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783
  • Mr. John Connor U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783

Connor Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Connor, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1803
  • Jane Connor, who arrived in Halifax or New York in 1811
  • Patrick Connor, aged 30, a blacksmith, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Leslie Gault" in 1833
  • Michael Connor, aged 20, a blacksmith, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Leslie Gault" in 1833
  • James Connor, aged 25, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork


Connor Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • George Connor, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Connor, a bricklayer, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Connor, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Patrick Connor arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840
  • Mary Connor arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840


Connor Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Connor landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Catherine Connor, aged 24, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Peter Connor, aged 40, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Esther Connor, aged 36, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Jane Connor, aged 10, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842


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  • Major-General William Durward Connor (1874-1960), American Chairman of the Construction Advisory Committee, War Department (1941-1942)
  • Patrick Edward Connor (1820-1891), American Union General during the American Civil War
  • Ralph Connor (1907-1990), American Chemist, recipient of the Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society (1967)
  • John Thomas Connor (1845-1907), United States attorney, political figure, US Secretary of Commerce 1965-1967
  • Sergeant James Phillip Connor (1919-1994), American soldier, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Daniel Connor (1831-1898), Irish convict who became one of the wealthiest men in Australia
  • Sean Connor (b. 1967), Irish former footballer and current manager of Galway United
  • Mr. John Connor (d. 1914), British Greaser from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. James Connor, British Donkeyman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Ashleigh Connor (b. 1989), Australian footballer

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  • The American Descendants of Henry Connor of County Antrim, Ireland by Robert Stephens Hand.
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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: O Dhia gach an cabhair
Motto Translation: From God Every Help

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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  5. 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.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  8. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Connor Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Connor 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 23 February 2015 at 09:47.

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