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Irish Surname - Connor or O'Connor

Connor / O'Connor is one of the 10 commonest names in Ireland with the name deriving from the Irish 'Ó'Conchobhair' or 'Ó'Conchúir', meaning hero, champion or patron of warriors.

Not everybody with the surname is descended from the same source or the same clan. There are at least three main groups each descended from a different Conor or Connor, a first name which was once particularly common.

Possibly the best known group are the O'Conors of Connacht whose surname is taken from Conchobhar, King of Connacht (d.971), direct ancestor of the last two High Kings of Ireland, Turlough O'Connor and Roderick O'Connor. Unlike the vast majority of the rest of the old Gaelic aristocracy, the O'Conors of Connacht (O' Conor Don), managed to retain most of their property and influence through many calamities from the 17th century onwards. Clonalis House in Castlerea County Roscommon is the ancestral home of the O'Conors of Connacht. The O'Conor Don title originated in 1385, when two cousins with the same name vied for the Kingship of Connacht. In order to distinguish one from the other, one was known as Ua Conchobhair Rua, anglicised to O'Conor Roe (this line is now extinct) and the other, Ua Conchobhair Donn (O' Conor Don).

The majority of all the many O'Connor names in Ireland are largely in the Kerry, Limerick and Cork areas.

Alternate Surname Spellings

Connor, Conner, Connors

Researching Irish Surnames

We have researched many sources for the origins of Irish surnames and extracted a fair representation of the origins of each. As there are many variations we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection.

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