Show ContentsConray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Conray has changed considerably in the time that has passed since its genesis. It originally appeared in Gaelic as O Maolconaire, denoting a descendant of the follower of Conaire. However, this was not the only Gaelic name Anglicized Conroy; others were O Conraoi, Mac Conraoi, O Conaire, and O Conratha.

Early Origins of the Conray family

The surname Conray was first found in around Galway Bay, where counties Galway and Clare meet. The Conroys first settled in Lough Corrib and Lough Lurgan, the ancient names of two lakes which now constitute Galway Bay. In modern times, Conrys are also common in Leix and Offaly. There were several different septs whose Gaelic names were Anglicized as Conroy, the most important of which was O Maolconaire.

They held a family seat in the parish of Clooncraff, near Strokestown in the county of Roscommon. They used the Anglicized form O'Mulconry, which was later shortened to Conry, and were distinguished as hereditary poets and historians to the kings of Connacht. One of the most significant members of this sept was Fearfasa O'Mulconry, who, with three of the O'Clerys, compiled the "Annals of the Four Masters" in 1636.

Also belonging to this sept was Maurice O'Mulconry, who completed a magnificent copy of the Book of Fenagh in 1517. Other septs who took the name Conroy included the O Conraoisept of Ui Maine, occupying territory in east Galway and south Roscommon, and also the Mac Conraoisept of Moycullen, who were found near the lakes of Lough Corrib and Lough Lurgan, now the Bay of Galway.

The surname King was often erroneously used during the late 17th and 18th century as an Anglicized form of several of these names, due to the similarity in sound between them and the Gaelic words Mac an Righ, which means 'son of the King.' This was particularly true among the MacConroys of Moycullen, who changed the name of their ancestral seat from Ballymaconry to Kingstown.

Early History of the Conray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conray research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1560, 1561, 1616, 1620, 1629, 1641 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Conray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conray Spelling Variations

The archives that survive today demonstrate the difficulty experienced by the scribes of this period in their attempts to record these names in writing. Spelling variations of the name Conray dating from that time include Conroy, Conry, Conray, Conrey, O'Conroy, O'Conry, Connery, Conneray, Conneroy, Connroy, Connry and many more.

Early Notables of the Conray family

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Most Rev. Florence Conry (1561-1620), Archbishop of Tuam. His name in Irish is Flathri O'Moelchonaire, and he was a native of Connaught. "After receiving a suitable education in Spain and the Netherlands he became a Franciscan friar of the Strict Observance at Salamanca, and he was for some time provincial of his order in Ireland (Sbaralea, Supplementum et Castigafio, p. 238). He was commanded by Clement VIII to return to his native country, to assist by his counsels the army which Philip II had sent to Ireland in support of the rebellious...
Another 208 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Conray migration to the United States +

The 18th century saw the slow yet steady emigration of Irish families to British North America and the United States. Those early Irish settlers that left their homeland were typically moderately well off: they were enticed by the promise of a sizable plot of land. However, by the 1840s, this pattern of immigration was gone: immigrants to North America were seeking refuge from the starvation and disease that the Great Potato Famine of that decade brought. The great numbers of Irish that arrived to the United States and the soon to be Canada were instrumental in their quick development as powerful industrial nations. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists uncovered many early immigrants bearing the name Conray:

Conray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Conray, who settled in Philadelphia in 1828
  • Hannah Conray, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849

Australia Conray migration to Australia +

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

Conray Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Judith Conray, (Conroy, Conway), (b. 1814), aged 35, Irish country servant who was convicted in County Laois (Queen's), Ireland for 7 years for house robbery, transported aboard the "Australasia" on 26th June 1849, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1898 [1]
  • Mr. Patrick Conray, Scottish convict who was convicted in Jedburgh, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 9th Mary 1852, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [2]

  1. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th September 2022). on Facebook