Show ContentsConboy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

All Irish surnames have a long, ancient Gaelic history behind them. The original Gaelic form of the name Conboy 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.

One of the first records of the family was Gillabrighde MacConmidhe (fl. 1260) the Irish "historian and poet, a member of a family which for more than three centuries acted as hereditary poets of the Cinel Eoghain, the O'Neills, and their kindred septs. He was born about 1200, and wrote a poem on Cathal Croibhdhearg O'Conor during the lifetime of that king, who died in 1224. Brian O'Neill, chief of the Cinel Eoghain, once gave him twenty horned cows (fiche bo bheannach) for poem, and on another occasion, after the feativities of May day, gave him twenty cows, besides gold and clothing." [1] He was the progenitor of a long line of early Irish poets that were known into the mid 16th century.

Early Origins of the Conboy family

The surname Conboy was first found in Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, and Connacht. The name is "the anglicized form of several different Irish surnames." [2] The name MacConway (McConway) was typically found in Donegal while the name Conway was found in nearby Sligo in the parish of Easky. [2]

Early History of the Conboy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conboy research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1360, 1300, 1564, 1631, 1623, 1628, 1631, 1594, 1655, 1623, 1683, 1681, 1683, 1586, 1623, 1631, 1679, 1630, 1669, 1661 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Conboy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conboy Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Conboy family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Conway, Conboy, Convey, O'Conway, McConway and others.

Early Notables of the Conboy family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Edward Conway, 1st Viscount Conway PC (1564-1631), an English soldier and statesman, Secretary of State in 1623, Lord President of the Council (1628-1631); his son, Edward Conway, 2nd Viscount Conway PC (1594-1655), an English politician, military commander and peer; and his son, Edward Conway, 1st Earl of Conway PC...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conboy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conboy Ranking

In the United States, the name Conboy is the 14,370th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Conboy migration to the United States +

The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Conboy:

Conboy Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Conboy, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1904 [4]

Canada Conboy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Conboy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Conboy, aged 20, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Preston" from Sligo, Ireland
  • Eliza Conboy, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Preston" from Sligo, Ireland

Australia Conboy migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Conboy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Conboy, (b. 1823), aged 23, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 1st August 1846, sentenced for 7 years for stealing clothing, transported aboard the ship "Ratcliffe" on 1st August 1846 to Van Dieman's Land, Australia [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Conboy (post 1700) +

  • Sara Agnes Mclaughlin Conboy (1870-1928), labor organizer in the United States
  • Andrew Conboy (b. 1988), American professional ice hockey forward
  • Tim Conboy (b. 1982), American professional ice hockey defenseman
  • John Conboy, American soap opera producer
  • Kenneth Conboy (b. 1938), federal judge of the United States District Court in New York
  • Martin D. Conboy, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 9th District, 1992 [6]
  • Martin Conboy (1878-1944), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 1933-35 [6]
  • John Conboy, American politician, Candidate for Justice of New York Supreme Court 5th District, 1920 [6]
  • James C. Conboy Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives 106th District, 1974 [6]
  • Charles R. Conboy Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 35th District, 1934, 1936 [6]
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Conboy Motto +

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.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 3) . Retrieved from on Facebook