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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Dutch, English

Where did the English Conover family come from? When did the Conover family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Conover family history?

The name Conover was brought to England in the great wave of migration following 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.


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Conyers, Coniers, Coigniers, Convers, Converse and many more.

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.


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.


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


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.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing 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


  • 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



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


  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 19 November 2015 at 10:12.

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