This interesting and most unusual name is an occasional variant of Conway found mainly in East Ulster. Conway itself derives from three possible sources. It may be the Anglicized form of several gaelic-Irish names, the more important being "Mac Conmhaigh", son of Connmhach, a byname meaning "Head Smasher", a fierce warrior, and "Mac Connbhuidhe", son of Connbhuidhe, the yellow hound. Conway may also be of Welsh locational origin from "Conwy", in North Wales, of British origin meaning "reedy". Finally the name may derive from "Conway" in Scotland, from the Gaelic "Coinmheadh" free quarters, a district where the local lord's household troops were billeted. The surname is found in London church records as follows: On October 25th 1609, Margret, daughter of Willim Cannaway was christened at St. Stepney, Dunstan. Jane Cannaway married Alexander Hendry at Mullaghbreak, Armagh on November 24th 1772, while Sarah Cannaway believed to be her sister married John Gosling also at Mullaghbreak on April 7th 1773. Martenus, son of Martenus and Elizabeth Cannaway was christened Drumcliff and Magherow, Sligo, on June 16th 1844. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillananaev O'Connmhaigh, chief professor of music in Thomond, which was dated 1360, Four Masters, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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