Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name O'Conors originally appeared in Gaelic as O Conchobhair, derived from the personal name
Early Origins of the O'Conors family
The surname O'Conors 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'Conors family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Conors research.Another 363 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1002, 1641, 1652, 1710, 1791, 1838, 1906, 1763 and 1852 are included under the topic Early O'Conors History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Conors Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations
for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name O'Conors were encountered in the archives: 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'Conors 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; Turlough O'Connor of Connacht, High... Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Conors Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Conors family to the New World and Oceana
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia
. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the O'Conors family came to North America quite early: William Conner who settled in Plymouth, arriving on the "Fortune" in 1621; just a year after the "Mayflower," Cornelious Conner, who settled in Exeter
The O'Conors 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