While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Connolay is O Conghalaigh, O Conghaile, or O Coingheallaigh.
Early Origins of the O'Connolay family
The surname O'Connolay was first found in Connacht
, as well as County Monaghan
. There were three Gaelic septs whose name was Anglicized as Connolly: the O Conghalaigh sept (also known as O Conghaile) who lived in Connacht
and the adjacent County Monaghan; the O Coingheallaigh sept, which also used the alias Mac Coingheallaigh, were subordinate to the powerful O'Donovans and dwelled in West Cork in Munster; and another sept, related to the O'Maddens, resided in Connacht
and were of the Ui Maine.
Early History of the O'Connolay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Connolay research.Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1591, 1660, 1729, 1738, 1803, 1750 and 1825 are included under the topic Early O'Connolay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Connolay Spelling Variations
Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations
of the surname O'Connolay that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are Connolly, Conolly, Connally, O'Connolly, Connolley, Conally, Connelly, Conoley, Connaleigh, Connelay, Conley, Conlay, Conlaye and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Connolay family (pre 1700)
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Connolay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Connolay family to the New World and Oceana
In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland
when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name O'Connolay, or one of its variants: Michael and Thomas Connally who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834 and 1856 respectively; M. Connolley settled in New York in 1820; John Connolly settled in Virginia in 1773.