The name O'Conray 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'Conray family
The surname O'Conray 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'Conray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Conray research.Another 375 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1641, 1561 and 1620 are included under the topic Early O'Conray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Conray Spelling Variations
The recording of names in Ireland
in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name O'Conray revealed spelling variations
, including Conroy, Conry, Conray, Conrey, O'Conroy, O'Conry, Connery, Conneray, Conneroy, Connroy, Connry and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Conray family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Conray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Conray family to the New World and Oceana
Many destitute Irish families
in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of O'Conray were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists: 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.