O'Connors History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'Connors originally appeared in Gaelic as O Conchobhair, derived from the personal name Conchobhar.
Early Origins of the O'Connors family
The surname O'Connors 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'Connors family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Connors 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'Connors History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Connors Spelling Variations
The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name O'Connors revealed spelling variations, including 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'Connors 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...
Migration of the O'Connors family
Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name O'Connors: 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.
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