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

Where did the Irish Conroy family come from? What is the Irish Conroy family crest and coat of arms? When did the Conroy family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Conroy family history?

The name Conroy 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.


Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name Conroy include Conroy, Conry, Conray, Conrey, O'Conroy, O'Conry, Connery, Conneray, Conneroy, Connroy, Connry and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conroy research. Another 375 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1641, 1561 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Conroy History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 29 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conroy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Conroy:

Conroy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Dennis James Conroy, aged 35, arrived in New York in 1806
  • Andrew Conroy, who arrived in Connecticut in 1811
  • Dominick Conroy, who arrived in America in 1832
  • Patrick Conroy, who arrived in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1843
  • Jahn Conroy, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1844

Conroy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Conroy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1816
  • John Conroy, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Conroy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Dennis Conroy, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett,"
  • Mary Conroy, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett,"
  • Mary Conroy, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"
  • William Conroy, aged 6, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Denis Conroy, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee"

Conroy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Michael Conroy, aged 33, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • Bridget Conroy, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • Mary Ann Conroy, aged 14, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • Ellen Conroy, aged 13, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • Bridget Conroy, aged 6, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865


  • Colonel Donald "The Great Santini" Conroy (1921-1998), United States Marine and a member of the famed Black Sheep Squadron during the Korean War
  • Jack Conroy (1898-1990), American writer
  • Anthony Joseph "Tony" Conroy (1895-1978), American silver medalist ice hockey player at the 1920 Summer Olympics
  • Bill Conroy (1915-1997), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Craig Conroy (b. 1971), American NHL ice hockey player
  • Ed Conroy, American basketball coach
  • Frances Conroy (b. 1953), American Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winning actress
  • Frank Conroy (1936-2005), American author
  • Frank Parish Conroy (1890-1964), English-born, American film and Tony Award winning stage actor
  • Kevin Conroy (b. 1955), American Annie Award nominated actor



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  1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  10. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  11. ...

The Conroy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Conroy 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 5 December 2014 at 08:59.

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