O'Coner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'Coner originally appeared in Gaelic as O Conchobhair, derived from the personal name Conchobhar.
Early Origins of the O'Coner family
The surname O'Coner was first found in Connacht. There were six different septs of this famous name scattered throughout Ireland, of which four continue to boast many members. However, the most important O'Connors were those of Connacht, divided into three main branches: O'Conor Don; O'Conor Roe; and O'Conor Sligo.
The Connacht O'Connors were direct descendants of Conchobhar, King of Connacht, who died in 971 AD. Furthermore, this family produced the last two High Kings of Ireland: Turlough O'Connor (1088-1156) and Roderick O'Connor (1116-1196). It was the invasion of Leinster by Roderick O'Conner on behalf of the Prince of West Brefney that caused the King of Leinster, Dermod MacMorough, to flee to England for aid. This resulted in the Strongbow Invasion of 1168, the beginning of English domination over Ireland.
Despite remaining stubbornly Catholic, the O'Connor family continued to maintain their elite position among the Irish nobility throughout the entire period of British dominance.
Early History of the O'Coner family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Coner research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1002, 1641, 1652, 1666, 1698, 1666, 1710, 1791, 1838, 1906, 1763 and 1852 are included under the topic Early O'Coner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Coner Spelling Variations
A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name O'Coner include Connor, Conner, Conor, Connors, O'Connor, Connores, Conner, Connar, Connars, O'Connar, O'Conner, Connair, Connairs, Connaire, Connaires, Cawner, Cawners, Caunnor, Cauner, Cauners and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Coner family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Cabrach O'Conor and Hugh O'Connor, son and grandson of O'Conor Don, took a prominent part in the 1641-1652 wars
Bernard Connor or O'Connor (1666?-1698), Irish physician and historian, descended from an ancient Irish family...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Coner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Coner family
Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name O'Coner to North America: William Conner who settled in Plymouth, arriving on the "Fortune" in 1621; just a year after the "Mayflower," Cornelious Conner, who settled in Exeter in 1650.
Related Stories +
The O'Coner 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: O Dhia gach an cabhair
Motto Translation: From God Every Help