Conway History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

All Irish surnames have a long, ancient Gaelic history behind them. The original Gaelic form of the name Conway is O Conbhuidhe or O Connmhachain. The former of these names likely comes from the Gaelic word "condmach," while the latter probably comes from "cu buidhe." Conway is also an Anglicization of the names Mac Conmheadha or Mac Connmhaigh.

Early Origins of the Conway family

The surname Conway was first found in Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, and Connacht.

Early History of the Conway family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Conway research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1360, 1300, 1st , 1564, 1631, 1623, 1628, 1631, 1594, 1655, 1st , 1623, 1683, 1681, 1683, 1586, 1623, 1631, 1679, 1st , 1630, 1669, 1661 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Conway History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conway Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Conway family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Conway, Conboy, Convey, O'Conway, McConway and others.

Early Notables of the Conway family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Edward Conway, 1st Viscount Conway PC (1564-1631), an English soldier and statesman, Secretary of State in 1623, Lord President of the Council (1628-1631); his son, Edward Conway, 2nd Viscount Conway PC (1594-1655), an English politician, military commander and peer; and his son, Edward Conway, 1st Earl of Conway PC...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Conway Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Conway World Ranking

In the United States, the name Conway is the 654th most popular surname with an estimated 44,766 people with that name. [1] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Conway is ranked the 249th most popular surname with an estimated 176 people with that name. [2] And in Australia, the name Conway is the 551st popular surname with an estimated 7,016 people with that name. [3] The United Kingdom ranks Conway as 443rd with 14,621 people. [4]


United States Conway migration to the United States +

Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century. However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land, those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers. These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of immigrant and passenger lists revealed many Conways:

Conway Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Aron Conway, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [5]
  • Edwin Conway, who arrived in Virginia in 1640 [5]
  • Edwin Conway of Worcestershire, England, who settled in the year 1645 in Virginia. From him was descended Mary Ball, the mother of George Washington
  • James Conway, who landed in Maryland in 1667 [5]
  • Coll Conway, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Conway Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Conway, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [5]
  • Charles Conway, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1787 [5]
Conway Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Conway, who landed in America in 1804 [5]
  • Wallis Thomas Conway, who landed in America in 1808 [5]
  • Francis B Conway, who arrived in North Carolina in 1808 [5]
  • William D Conway, who arrived in Maryland in 1810 [5]
  • Darlay Conway, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Conway migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Conway Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Conway, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • John Conway, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Geo Conway, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • George Conway, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Conway, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1776
Conway Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Conway, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • John Conway, aged 24, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Jeremiah Conway, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • William Conway, aged 10, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • William Conway, aged 25, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Levant Star" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Conway migration to Australia +

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

Conway Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Conway, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Fanny Conway, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [7]
  • Mary Ann Conway, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" in 1838 [8]
  • Mr. Owen Conway, (b. 1778), aged 60, Irish labourer who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th May 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Conway, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 27th July 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Conway migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Conway Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Conway, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Mr. Francis Conway, (b. 1798), aged , Irish settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [11]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Conway Née William, Irish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [11]
  • Mr. Francis Hewing Conway, (b. 1840), aged 7, Irish settler born in Dublin travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [11]
  • Catherine Conway, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1851
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Conway migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [12]
Conway Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Margaret Conway, aged 20, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [5]
  • Miss Margaret Conway, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [13]

Contemporary Notables of the name Conway (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Daniel "Tim" Conway Jr. (1933-2019), American Golden Globe and five-time Primetime Emmy Award winning comedian and actor, best known for his co-starring role alongside Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show and as Ensign Parker in the 1960s World War II situation comedy McHale's Navy
  • Kevin John Conway (1942-2020), American actor and film director who died on February 5, 2020, of a heart attack
  • Jill Ker Conway AC (1934-2018), Australian-American scholar and author
  • Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway (b. 1967), née Fitzpatrick, an American Republican campaign manager, strategist, pollster, Counselor to the President (2017-)
  • William Conway (1802-1865), United States Navy quartermaster, eponym of the USS Conway (DD/DDE-507), a Fletcher-class destroyer
  • Peter J. Conway (1866-1903), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher
  • Connie Conway (b. 1950), American politician, Minority Leader of the California State Assembly
  • Paul Conway (b. 1970), retired American soccer forward
  • Jon Conway (b. 1977), retired American soccer goalkeeper
  • James Terry Conway (b. 1947), retired United States Marine Corps four-star General, former 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps
  • ... (Another 15 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Kenneth G. Conway, British Signalman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [14]
Lady of the Lake
  • Miss Mary Conway (b. 1809), traveller who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and she died in the sinking
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Richard Conway, English First Waiter from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [15]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. P.W. Conway (d. 1912), aged 25, English Saloon Steward from London, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [16]
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. Jerry Conway (b. 1876), Newfoundlander from Turks Cove, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived
  • Mr. John Conway (b. 1875), Newfoundlander from Turks Cove, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived
  • Mr. William Conway (b. 1869), Newfoundlander from Turks Cove, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. M. Conway (1890-1914), Newfoundlander from Colliers who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. John Conway (1866-1914), Newfoundlander from Colliers who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found


The Conway Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et amore
Motto Translation: By fidelity and love.


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  4. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LORD GODERICH 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838LordGoderich.htm
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-grey
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  13. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  14. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  16. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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