The name O'Conary 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 O'Conary family
The surname O'Conary 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 O'Conary family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Conary research.Another 375 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1641, 1561 and 1620 are included under the topic Early O'Conary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Conary Spelling Variations
Because early scribes and church officials often spelled names as they sounded, a person could have many various spellings of his name.Many different spelling variations
of the surname O'Conary were found in the archives researched. These included Conroy, Conry, Conray, Conrey, O'Conroy, O'Conry, Connery, Conneray, Conneroy, Connroy, Connry and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Conary family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Conary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Conary family to the New World and Oceana
In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of Irish families
fled an Ireland
that was forcibly held through by England
through its imperialistic policies. A large portion of these families crossed the Atlantic to the shores of North America. The fate of these families depended on when they immigrated and the political allegiances they showed after they arrived. Settlers that arrived before the American War of Independence
may have moved north to Canada at the war's conclusion as United Empire Loyalists. Such Loyalists were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Those that fought for the revolution occasionally gained the land that the fleeing Loyalist vacated. After this period, free land and an agrarian lifestyle were not so easy to come by in the East. So when seemingly innumerable Irish immigrants arrived during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s, free land for all was out of the question. These settlers were instead put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Whenever they came, Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O'Conary or a variant listed above, including: One family of Conroys settled in Hollis, New Hampshire
about the year 1640. Hannah Conray settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; James Conray settled in Philadelphia in 1828.