This unusual surname is of Irish origin, and is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "MacConmhaoil", the prefix "mac" denoting son of, plus the personal name "Conmhaoil", composed of the elements "cu" meaning hound, plus "maol" cropped. The alternative form of this name, MacConwell, is almost obsolete, but MacConville is numerous especially in the ancient territory of Oriel, its homeland, being found mainly in Counties Down, Armagh and Louth. Six of the name from Co. Down were among the Irish Jacobites attainted after the defeat of King James 11. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Convel, Convell, Convill, Convil, Connville, and Convill. Among the Church Records of the name are the marriage of James Conville to Elizabeth Waugh on December 25th 1860, at St. Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire, and the christening of Owen, son of Murtha and Catherine Conville, on May 20th 1865 at Ballickmoyler and Newtown, Queen's County. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Convel, which was dated September 30th 1786, witness to the christening of his daughter Mary, in Astley, Lancashire, 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.
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