Conover History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Conover came to England with the ancestors of the Conover family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Conover family lived in Coisgnières, Normandy, "as the name was spelt in Normandy; one of the noblest families in the North of England." [1]

Early Origins of the Conover family

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.

"Roger Conyers was by William the Conqueror made Constable of Durham Castle and Keeper of all the arms of ye souldiers within the Castle, was after past to him ye saide Roger by deede to him and his heires mailes for ever, under the great scale of William de Santo Carilepho, Bishop of Durham." [1]

A second Roger succeeded to his father, and to him followed a third to whom "Henricus II. Rex. Anghse dedit vel confirmavit Constabulatum de Dunelme."

"I know, of no actual proof to establish this transmission ; but there is sufficient evidence from charters in the Treasury to prove that the Norman family of Conyers, Lords of Bishopton (and possibly from the same early date owners of Sockburn), held the rank of nobles or Barons of the Bishopric at least from the reign of Henry I. Bishop Ralph Flambard gave Rungetun in Yorkshire to Roger Conyers before 1126. His son was that Roger Conyers whose important services to Bishop William de St. Barbara are on record in Simeon. The story runs thus: Conyers afforded the Bishop a safe retreat in his strength or Peel-house of Bishopton; and he afterwards had the address to bring the Scotch intruder Comyn a humble, kneeling penitent before the Episcopal throne. To bring about this most wished conclusion implies as much courage, and certainly more address, than if the Constable had finished the contest in the usual manner with the bloody hand. The Constable's staff, and the Wardenship of Durham Castle, which he had recovered from Comyn, seems a most appropriate reward; and if the green acres of Sockburn were added to the gift, he was still not overpaid." [2]

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. " [3] Hutton-Conyers in the wapentake of Allertonshire in the North Riding of Yorkshire is another ancient family seat. "This place was anciently the residence of a branch of the Conyers family, whose Hall appears to have been on the north side of the village, in a field still called the Hallgarth." [3]

Early History of the Conover family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conover research. Another 379 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1313, 1324, 1507, 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Conover Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Conover family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Conyers of Horden; Deacon Edward Convers (1587-1663) born in Navestock, England, he arrived in Salem, Massachusetts with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, and quickly became one of the founders of Woburn, Massachusetts; Tristram Conyers (1619-1684), an English lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Maldon...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conover Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conover Ranking

In the United States, the name Conover is the 3,605th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Conover family to Ireland

Some of the Conover family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Conover migration to the United States +

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 [5]
  • Wolfert Gerretsen Van Conover, who landed in New York in 1630 [5]
Conover Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • P Conover, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • A Conover, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Conover (post 1700) +

  • 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 [6]
  • Garrett D. Conover (b. 1895), American Republican politician, Dentist; Mayor of Valparaiso, Indiana, 1943-44 [6]
  • Garret Conover, American politician, Mayor of New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1871-73 [6]
  • Daniel D. Conover, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1860 [6]
  • Charles H. Conover, American Republican politician, Chair of Ocean County Republican Party, 1914 [6]
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Conover +

  • Conover Pioneers and Pilgrim: Celebration of a Family: by Elizabeth Conover Kelley.

  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Surtees, Robert, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham. London: J. Nichols and Son, 25 Parliament Street, 1820. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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