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
. 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 375 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1641, 1561 and 1620 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 (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Conray family to the New World and Oceana
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