Recorded as O'Conner, O'Connor, Conner, Conor and Connor, this is considered to be historically the most important of all Irish surnames. It represents the last of the true Irish monarchy. The clan is descended from Conchobhar, king of Connacht, who died in battle in 971 a.d. The last two High Kings of Ireland being of this line. They were Turlough O'Connor (1088 - 1156), and Roderick O'Connor (1116 - 1198). The name is a developed form of the Gaelic O'Conchobhair, the prefix O', meaning male descendant of, plus the personal name "Conchobhar", composed of the elements "cu", meaning the hound, and "cobhar", a desire. There are six distinct septs of the clan, the most numerous being from County Kerry, where thirty thousand members reside today. The other prominent septs are in Counties Clare and Offaly. Among the famous namebearers was Arthur O'Connor (1765 - 1852), commander of the Irish Brigade, and a General of Division in Napoleons army. He was later a political publisher in France. Thomas O'Connor, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the ship "St. Patrick", bound for New York on March 27th 1846. A coat of arms granted to the O'Connor clan has the blazon of a green shield, charged with a gold lion rampant, double queued and crowned. The Motto is "Nec timeo, nec sperno", and translates as, "I neither fear nor desire". Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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