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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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

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.


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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 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 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 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


Conway Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Geo Conway, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • George Conway, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Conway, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1750

Conway Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Jno Conway, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • William Conway, aged 25, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Levant Star" from Cork
  • Ellen Conway, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835
  • Jeremiah Conway, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Conway Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Conway, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Fanny Conway arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837
  • Mary Ann Conway arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" in 1838
  • F. Conway arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Delhi" in 1839
  • Edward Conway arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Waterloo" in 1840


Conway Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Robert Conway, aged 20, a farm labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Catherine Conway arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1851
  • Mary Conway arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1851
  • James Conway, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1856
  • Louisa Conway arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ernestina" in 1865


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  • William Conway (1802-1865), United States Navy quartermaster, eponym of the USS Conway (DD/DDE-507), a Fletcher-class destroyer
  • Peter J. Conway (1866-1903), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
  • Connie Conway (b. 1950), American politician, Minority Leader of the California State Assembly
  • Paul Conway (b. 1970), retired American soccer forward
  • Jon Conway (b. 1977), retired American soccer goalkeeper
  • James Terry Conway (b. 1947), retired United States Marine Corps four-star General, former 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps
  • Jack Conway (b. 1969), American politician and 49th Attorney General of Kentucky
  • Albert Conway (1889-1969), American lawyer and politician and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1955 to 1959
  • 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
  • Jill Ker Conway (b. 1934), Australian-American author

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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. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  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 21 May 2016 at 12:48.

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