The name O'Conrey 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'Conrey family
The surname O'Conrey 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'Conrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Conrey research.Another 375 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1641, 1561 and 1620 are included under the topic Early O'Conrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Conrey Spelling Variations
Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations
during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name O'Conrey include Conroy, Conry, Conray, Conrey, O'Conroy, O'Conry, Connery, Conneray, Conneroy, Connroy, Connry and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Conrey family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Conrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Conrey family to the New World and Oceana
The English-ruled Ireland
of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name O'Conrey: 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.