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

Origins Available: Dutch, English


The name Conover came to England with the ancestors of the Conover family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Conover family lived in Durham. The family were originally from the area of Coigners, Normandy, and it is from this location that their name derives.

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The surname Conover was first found in Durham at Sockburn, where the then Bishop of Durham, Ralph Flambard, granted lands to Roger de Conyers sometime between 1099 and 1133. Many of the family were found at East and West Newbiggin. "This place formerly belonged to the Conyers family, with whom it continued until the beginning of the 17th century, when Sir George Conyers, Knt., and his son, alienated the manor in various parcels to their tenants. " [1]

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Conyers, Coniers, Coigniers, Convers, Converse and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conover research. Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1628, 1628, 1731, 1810, 1587, 1663, 1630, 1619, 1684, 1660, 1685, 1758, 1650, 1725, 1695, 1666, 1728, 1633 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Conover History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 203 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conover Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Conover family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Conover or a variant listed above:

Conover Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Wolfert GerreiSe Conover, who arrived in New York in 1630
  • Wolfert Gerretsen Van Conover, who landed in New York in 1630

Conover Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • P Conover, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A Conover, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Willis Clark Conover Jr. (1920-1996), American jazz producer and broadcaster on the Voice of America
  • Ted Conover (b. 1958), American author and journalist
  • Lloyd Conover (b. 1923), American inventor of the antibiotic tetracycline
  • Henry Boardman Conover (1892-1950), American ornithologist
  • David Conover (1919-1983), American author and documentary photographer who is credited with discovering Marilyn Monroe
  • J. J. Conover, American politician, Delegate to Kentucky secession convention, 1861
  • Garrett D. Conover (b. 1895), American Republican politician, Dentist; Mayor of Valparaiso, Indiana, 1943-44
  • Garret Conover, American politician, Mayor of New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1871-73
  • Daniel D. Conover, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1860
  • Charles H. Conover, American Republican politician, Chair of Ocean County Republican Party, 1914

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  • Conover Pioneers and Pilgrim: Celebration of a Family: by Elizabeth Conover Kelley.
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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Conover Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Conover 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 15 January 2016 at 14:46.

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