Show ContentsConkey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Conkey surname is derived from the personal name Robert. This name was originally came from the Old German words "hrod" and "behrt," which mean "fame" and "bright." It was introduced to Britain by the Normans during the time of Edward the Confessor, and became very popular. A large number of diminutives and pet-forms were derived from this name in early times.

Early Origins of the Conkey family

The surname Conkey was first found in Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county in Northeast Wales created by the Laws in Wales Act 1536, where they were descended from Einion Efell, Lord of Cynllateh, through Howell ap Iolyn of Llangedwyn, and were directly descended from Rhodri Mawr, King of Wales.

Early History of the Conkey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conkey research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1606, 1648, 1649, 1657, 1660, 1665, 1679, 1682, 1684, 1685, 1718, 1719, 1722, 1723 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Conkey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conkey Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Conkey has occasionally been spelled Roberts, Robert, Robartes, Robarts and others.

Early Notables of the Conkey family

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was William Roberts (1585-1665), Welsh Bishop of Bangor; Richard Roberts, Sheriff of Cornwall; Michael Roberts (died 1679), Welsh-born, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford from 1648 to 1657; John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor and Viscount Bodmin PC (1606-1685), an English politician; and his son, Francis Robartes FRS (c. 1649-1718), an English politician; and John "Bartholomew" Roberts (1682-1722), Welsh pirate who raided ships off America and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He changed his first name to Bartholomew after the buccaneer Bartholomew Sharp. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden...
Another 115 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conkey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Conkey family to Ireland

Some of the Conkey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Conkey migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Conkey:

Conkey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Phineas Conkey, aged 58, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 1
  • M. C. Conkey, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Jason" from Montego Bay, Jamaica 2
  • Samuel Conkey, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Majestic (1890)" from Liverpool, England 2
Conkey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Y.F. Conkey, who arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Duca Degli Abruzzi" from Napoli, Italy 2
  • Walter B. Conkey, aged 63, who arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Olympic" from Southampton, England 2

Australia Conkey migration to Australia +

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

Conkey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Conkey, a shoemaker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. William Conkey, English convict who was convicted in Cumbria (Cumberland), England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 3

Contemporary Notables of the name Conkey (post 1700) +

  • James Conkey, early American settler of Lockport, New York; his home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003
  • William Conkey (1717-1788), born William McConkey, American innkeeper, founder of Conkey's Tavern, Pelham, Massachusetts in 1758
  • Margaret W. Conkey (b. 1943), American archaeologist and academic
  • John A. Conkey, American baseball executive, President of the Boston Red Stockings of the National League in 1872

The Conkey 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: Ewch ymlaen
Motto Translation: Go forward.

  1. 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)
  2. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook