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Family spelling variants includes Ó Conbhuidhe, Ó Connmhaigh, Ó Conbhuidhe, McConaway, Conmee, Conaway, McConomy, McConway, Connaway, Macconway, Conwy

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Macconway Family History

The surname Conway has Celtic roots, with the 'con' element meaning 'hounds' (from which the modern Welsh forms 'ci' and 'cwn', meaning 'dog' and 'dogs' respectively, derive).

The second origin derives from the old Welsh words for chief ('cyn') and water ('gwy') – Cynwy being the original name of the river Conwy in north Wales.

In Ireland the surnames Ó Connmhaigh and Ó Conbhuidhe have been anglicised to Conway. Ó Connmhaigh was found principally in counties Clare and Limerick and later in West Cork and Offaly as well as in Cavan and Roscommon. The presence of Conway in considerable numbers in Co Kilkenny in the 1659 'Census' suggests the name spread there also.

Ó Conbhuidhe derives specifically from the Irish 'cu buidhe' or yellow hound. Two families of the name existed in early times: that of the Uí Fiachrach (descendants of Fiachra, brother of Niall of the Nine Hostages, circa 4th century) who inhabited the barony of Tireragh in Co Sligo; and that of the Uí Mhaine (descendants of Maine Mór, an ancestor of the Orghialla i.e. Oriel) in Co Galway.

Other Irish surnames anglicised to Conway include Ó Connmhacháin found early on in Sligo, and later in West Ulster and Offaly; Mac Conmidhe which probably derives from 'cú Midhe' or hound of Meath. This name was found mainly in counties Derry and Tyrone in the 17th century.

The Irish birth registration figures for 1890 show most Conways were living in counties Mayo, Tyrone, Dublin and in Munster generally.

In Wales, the Conway name is strongly associated with the town and borough of Conwy in north Wales, Conway being the anglicised version of the Welsh name. It is today also the name of a Welsh county. This name in turn derives from the river Conwy that flows from Llyn Conwy (Lake Conwy), near Penmachno, to the sea near to the town of Conway.

The surname of the Conway family of Bodrhyddan, Flintshire, north Wales, however is derived from Sir William Coniers, high constable of England under William the Conqueror. One of his descendants, Sir Henry Conway, married Ellen (or Angharad), the daughter of the Lord of Prestatyn. Another descendant, Jenkyn Conway (d.c.1432) married into the powerful Wynn family of Gwydir, Llanrwst.

Unsurprisingly therefore, in Wales the surname was historically associated with the most northerly portion of the country, in particular of course the wider Conway area where it was recorded as a surname during the 16th century, for example a George Conway was baptised in Conwy parish church in 1545, and a Gyles ap Thomas Conway (Gyles son of Thomas Conway) who was baptised in the same church in 1583.

Such early references are also seen on the Hawarden and Cilcain parish registers in Flintshire. In the 17th century, the surname was also recorded elsewhere in north Wales, including for example in Llanycil, Merionethshire (the baptism of an Anna, the daughter of Harris and Jane Conway in 1647) and Llanasa, Flintshire (the baptism of Dorothea, the daughter of Henry and Margaret Conway in 1663).

In Scotland, the surname is an anglicised form of Mac Conmheadha or Mac Connmhaigh.

 

SOURCES:

British Family Names: Their Origin and Meaning (1903) by Henry Barber

Conwy or Conway family, Dictionary of Welsh Biography, https://biography.wales/

A Guide to Irish Names (1964) by Edward MacLysaght

Patronymica Britannica (1860) by Mark Antony Lower

Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison

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    Brenda Conway

    I'm looking to find Conways thats immigrated from Co Tyrone to Canada as USA in the early 90s
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    Mr Lee P Conway

    Good evening I am trying to find any Conway from county Offaly Tullamore. I have got as far back as John Conway a shoemaker who died in the workhouse in Tullamore he was my 2x g grandfather. He had nine children with his wife Bridget McGuire one of his sons who is my great grandfather George Patrick Conway.
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    Christy Conway

    Hi Everyone! Looks like many of us have the same challenge... I have x3 John Conway's' and 4 Patrick Conway's' not to mention the nephews and nieces with the same names as their ancestors. I believe we originated with... wait for it... John Patrick Conway from Sligo. Patrick Conway (John Patricks son) born Sligo Ireland date unknow, d.2 Nov 1806 married Ellen Kearney (Ireland 1620-1911 Birth records) - His son Patrick Conway Jnr b.1811 Sligo Ireland. In 1861 British Census - he is a Cotton Factory Worker aged 21yrs, d.1892 Buried 17 Feb 1892 Liverpool, Lancs, UK. He married Bridget Conway Snr b.1806 (1861 British Census) Res:102 Standish Street Chorley, Lancs, UK. They seem to have 2 sons named Patrick - I assume one died. Patrick Conway b. 1839 - d.1900 - res. 16 Park St Salford (10 Bk Park t Salford). He was a Coach Builder Journeyman and he took Irish labourers to Ellis Island USA. for work. He married Julia Hulichan (Hoolichan, Hoolighan,) b. 1837-39 Ireland. They moved to River Falls or Falls River USA with sons Charles b.29.8.1868 d.2 Feb 1909 41 yrs, who married Ellen Welch (sometimes spelt Welsh or Walch/ Welsh b.9.10.1869 d.12.12. 1944 and Arthur William Conway b 26.6.1873. If any of these details resonate, I’d love to hear from You. Regards Christy
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    Conway

    Professor E.J. Conway, (1933-1963).
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    Patrick Conway

    MY NAME IS PATRICK CONWAY - MOTHERS NAME IS MURPHY.( Waterford) I WAS BORN IN CORK, 1955 -FATHER IS FROM BURNCOURT CO. TIPPERARY/ I LIVE IN AMERICA - OLDEST OF 7. WENT TO BOARDING SCHOOL IN MOUNT MELLARY - ( Waterford) in the70s .Would like To move back To Ireland - Interested in Hôtel purchase and creating à CONWAY Memorial for all CONWAYS in thé world To help one another.
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    conway

    Hello My 3x great grandfather was Patrick Conway he was born in Galway county in 1824 his father was John Conway don't know the name of his mother or if he had any brothers or sisters Patrick married a Margaret Tracey in 1856 in Ashton Under Lyne UK .They lived with Margaret's parents in 1861 in Mossley Ashton Under Lyne. They had 9 children and lived in Mossley until Patrick died in 1887 and Margaret died in 1886.They are both buried in Mossley cemetery along with other Conway family members. Would love some info if I can get any about his father, mother and any brothers ,sisters and any other relatives Thank you x Yvonne Louise Conway
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    conwaygrl

    Looking for ancestors and current Conways living in Co Clare. My Conway family tree goes back as far as John and Catherine Murphy Conway born about 1812 in Miltown Malbay and had a son Patrick born 1832. Patrick married Bridget Hinchey in England and they had a son Martin who was born 1855 just before they came to the U.S. They settled in Wisconsin Wood Co. and raised 12 children. Martin is my great grandfather.
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    JOSEPHC

    Joseph Conway age 53 DOB 10 04 59 born Salford England Sarah Conway mother DOB 27 11 38 born Tullamore Co. Offlay Daniel Conway Mary Conway Nee Bohan grandparents NO DOB
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