Connolly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Connolly is O Conghalaigh, O Conghaile, or O Coingheallaigh.

Early Origins of the Connolly family

The surname Connolly was first found in Connacht and Munster, as well as County Monaghan and Leinster. There were three Gaelic septs whose name was Anglicized as Connolly: the O Conghalaigh sept (also known as O Conghaile) who lived in Connacht and the adjacent County Monaghan; the O Coingheallaigh sept, which also used the alias Mac Coingheallaigh, were subordinate to the powerful O'Donovans and dwelled in West Cork in Munster; and another sept, related to the O'Maddens, resided in Connacht and were of the Ui Maine. [1]

Early History of the Connolly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Connolly research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1591, 1660, 1729, 1738, 1803, 1750 and 1825 are included under the topic Early Connolly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Connolly Spelling Variations

Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Connolly are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include Connolly, Conolly, Connally, O'Connolly, Connolley, Conally, Connelly, Conoley, Connaleigh, Connelay, Conley, Conlay, Conlaye and many more.

Early Notables of the Connolly family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Connolly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Connolly migration to the United States +

Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Connolly:

Connolly Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Connolly, who settled in Virginia in 1773
  • John Connolly, who settled in Maryland in 1776
Connolly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Connolly, aged 32, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • James Connolly, aged 31, who arrived in New York in 1813 [2]
  • William J Connolly, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [2]
  • Edward Connolly, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [2]
  • Henry Connolly, who landed in New York in 1822 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Connolly migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Connolly Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Philip Connolly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Philip Connolly, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
Connolly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Connolly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1814
  • Bernard Connolly, aged 26, a tailor, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Ellen Connolly, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Peter Connolly, aged 13, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Edward Connolly, aged 40, a weaver, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Connolly migration to Australia +

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

Connolly Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William Connolly (b. 1760), aged 26, Cornish settler convicted in Bodmin, Cornwall, UK on 19th March 1785, sentenced for 7 years for breaking and entering, transported aboard the ship "Scarborough" on 13th May 1787 to New South Wales, Australia [3]
Connolly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Connolly, (Connelly), (b. 1780), aged 21, Irish flax dresser who was convicted in Meath, Ireland for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Christopher Connolly, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • James Connolly, aged 20, Irish convict from Antrim, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on August 24, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. James Connolly, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 19th November 1827, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • C. Connolly, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dawson" in 1839 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Connolly migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Connolly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W C Connolly, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1838
  • Mr. Michael Connolly, British settler as part of the 8th Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Oriental Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th September 1849 [9]
  • Miss Margaret Connolly, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Stately" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 1st June 1851 [9]
  • Margaret Connolly, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stately" in 1851
  • Michael Connolly, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Connolly (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Joseph Connolly (1922-2015), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Baker in Oregon from 1971 to 1999
  • Theodore William Connolly (1931-2014), former professional American football player for the San Francisco 49ers from 1954 to 1962 and Cleveland Browns in 1963
  • James Brendan Bennet "Jamie" Connolly (1865-1957), Irish-born, American Olympic gold, two-time silver and bronze medalist athlete for the 1896 and 1900 games, as well he is an author [10]
  • Daniel Paul "Dan" Connolly (b. 1982), American NFL football guard and center for the New England Patriots
  • Major-General Donald Hilary Connolly (1886-1969), American Deputy Army-Navy Liquidation Commissioner (1945-1946) [11]
  • Maureen Catherine "Little Mo" Connolly (1934-1969), American tennis player who was the first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments during the same calendar year
  • Patrick "Paddy" Connolly (1927-2016), Irish lawyer, Attorney General of Ireland in 1982
  • Eddie Connolly (1985-2015), Irish hurler who played for Tipperary (2011-2013)
  • John Connolly O.P. (1750-1825), Irish-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of New York (1814 until his death in 1825)
  • James Connolly (1868-1916), Irish Labour leader and insurgent
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Richard  Connolly (1882-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [12]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Eli Connolly (d. 1945), British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]
  • Daniel Connolly (d. 1945), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Stephen Connolly, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Michael Connolly, American 3rd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [15]
RMS Titanic
  • Miss Catherine "Kate" Connolly (d. 1912), aged 35, Irish Third Class passenger from Bank Place, Tipperary who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
  • Miss Katherine "Kate" Connolly, aged 22, Irish Third Class passenger from Cortrasna, Cavan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 13 [16]


Suggested Readings for the name Connolly +

  • 1014 "James C. Connolly: Parents and Descendants, 1805-1974" by Nancy Christensen Manly.

  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 4 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1820
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1827
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAWSON 1839 (also called DAWSONS). Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Dawsons.gif
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2013, July 15) James Connolly. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/james-connolly
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 23) Donald Connolly. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Connolly/Donald_Hilary/USA.html
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  13. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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