The name O'Connray 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'Connray family
The surname O'Connray 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'Connray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Connray research.Another 375 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1641, 1561 and 1620 are included under the topic Early O'Connray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Connray Spelling Variations
The spelling of names in Ireland
during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations
such as Conroy, Conry, Conray, Conrey, O'Conroy, O'Conry, Connery, Conneray, Conneroy, Connroy, Connry and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Connray family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Connray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Connray family to the New World and Oceana
In the late 18th century, Irish families
began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of O'Connray: 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.