This interesting name (once a byname) is of Irish origin, and is an Anglicization of the surname "O'Conaire", which derives from the Irish language, and can be analyzed as "O", meaning "grandson or descendant of", and "Conaire" (deriving from "cu", a hound), meaning "keeper of the hound"; hence, "descendant of the keeper of the hound". Another, and equally correct form of the original Irish surname is Maol, "(servant of) the keeper of the hound". Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O" (as above), or "M(a)c", denoting "son of". The surname, with the variants Conry and Connerry, is chiefly associated with the Province of Connacht. Attempts at Anglicization resulted in a proliferation of forms as synonyms such as Connery, Mulconry and Conroy; these were sometimes the result of confusion with other distinctly different Irish surnames. The Conroy's were the hereditary poets and chroniclers to the Kings of Connacht. The earliest available recording in Irish Church Registers is that of the marriage of Catherine Conroy to Michael Prendergast on November 27th 1846, at St. Nicholas', Galway. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Conroy, which was dated April 4th 1773, christened at St. Mary's, Stepney, Whitechapel, London, during the reign of King George 111, known as "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017