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

Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish

Where did the Irish O'connor family come from? When did the O'connor family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the O'connor family history?

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

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Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name O'connor revealed many variations, including 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 O'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 O'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 O'connor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name O'connor:

O'connor Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles O'Connor, who arrived in Dominica in 1774

O'connor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Arthur O'Connor who arrived in Philadelphia in 1804

O'connor Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bridget O'Connor who was married in Nova Scotia in 1803
  • John O'Connor, aged 21, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Preston" from Sligo
  • Jeremiah O'Connor, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork

O'connor Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Dennis O'Connor arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • James O'Connor arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840
  • Benjamin O'Connor arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840
  • Mary Teresa O'Connor arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840
  • John O'Connor, aged 38, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion"


O'connor Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Michael O'Connor arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wyvern" in 1856
  • John O'Connor arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wyvern" in 1856
  • James O'Connor arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Charles O'Connor, aged 24, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867
  • Johanna O'Connor, aged 20, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867


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  • Mr. John O'Connor (d. 1915), American 3rd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Daniel Emmett O'Connor (1957-1988), American U.S. Diplomatic Service from Dorchester, Massachusetts, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • William Scott O'Connor (1883-1939), American Olympic sliver medalist for fencing at the 1904 games
  • Donald David Dixon Ronald O'Connor (1925-2003), American dancer, singer, and actor, best remembered for his co-starring role as Gene Kelly's friend in Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  • Colonel, USMC, RET. Bryan D. O'Connor (b. 1946), NASA Astronaut with over 386 hours in space
  • Edwin O'Connor (1918-1968), American radio personality, journalist, and novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1962
  • Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930), American lawyer, who became the first woman justice in the U.S. Supreme Court and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Carroll O'Connor (1922-2001), American Emmy Award-winning television and stage actor
  • Patrick Edward O'Connor (1820-1871), American pioneer, Civil war soldier for the Confederate side
  • Michael O'Connor (1810-1872), American Catholic bishop

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 21 August 2015 at 07:05.

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