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Surname O'Conner - Meaning and Origin

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O'Conner: What does the surname O'Conner mean?

The surname O'Conner is an Irish surname derived from the Gaelic Ó Conchobhair, which means "son of Conchobar". Conchobar, in turn, means “lover of hounds”, and was often used as a personal name in Ireland in ancient times. The O’Connor surname has a long history in Irish records, dating back to the 12th century. In the 16th century, some O'Connor families were driven from their lands to County Cork. The O'Connor name was also established in English records as early as the 14th century, with the spelling being adapted to English standards.

The O'Connor surname is linked to two distinct Irish clans: the O'Connors of Kerry and the O'Connors of Connacht. The O'Connors of Kerry descend from Donal Mor O'Connor, who was King of Ireland in 1160, while the O'Connors of Connacht are descended from Rory O'Connor, who was High King of Ireland in 1166.

Today, the surname O'Conner is found in significant numbers in Ireland, the United States, and other English-speaking countries. Historically, the O'Connors have been associated with many notable achievements, including military service, religious contributions, and various achievements in art and literature. Members of this family name tend to be fiercely loyal and determined, and are often seen as the guardians of family history and proud of their Irish heritage.

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O'Conner: Where does the name O'Conner come from?

The last name O'Conner is mainly found in Ireland and the UK today. It is found in moderate concentrations in Ireland's counties Cork, Tipperary, Galway, and Kerry. In the United Kingdom, the name is most common in the counties of Wales, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, and Oxfordshire.

In the United States, the population of O'Conner-named individuals is found mainly in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country, although some are scattered in various parts of the US. Ohio contains the largest population, followed by New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maine. According to the 2000 US Census, the name had a prevalence of about 0.0076%, meaning that O'Conner is a not very common name in the US.

In Canada, the surname is much more common as it has been found scattered throughout the country in provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia. According to the 2011 Canadian Census, the name O'Conner had a prevalence of 0.019%, making it significantly more common than in the United States.

No matter where it is found, it is certain that the name O'Conner has a rich Irish heritage. Likely descended from the ancient Gaelic O'Connchadha clan, the name is now celebrated in many places around the world.

Variations of the surname O'Conner

The O’Conner surname has many variants that can be derived from the same origin. These different spellings include O'Connor, Connors, Conor, Conner, O'Connors, Connery, Connarty, Connolly, O’Connelly, Conners, Conary, Connor, Convery, Conners, Connery, and O’Connelly. Each of these surnames has its own unique derivation and can be related to the original O'Conner surname.

The meaning and origin of the O'Conner surname is quite varied. In some cases it is traced to the Irish and Scottish surname Ó Conchubhair, which translates to “descendant of Conchobar” or “chief help.” In other cases it is derived from the Old English name Cunnere, which roughly translates to “hound or hunter”. Additionally, the derivation could also be from the Old French surname Connor, which loosely translates to “counselor”. Whatever the origin, it is safe to say that the different spellings of the surname O’Conner all have a common root.

The surnames and spellings mentioned above are the most common variants of the O’Conner surname. There is, however, no denying that many more related surname spellings likely exist. With the common origin of the O’Conner surname being largely uncertain and the historical prevalence of misspellings, it is quite possible for many more surnames to be related and derived from the same root. Of course, this can only be definitively determined via a detailed genealogical study.

Famous people with the name O'Conner

  • Flannery O’Connor: a famous 20th century novelist, short story writer, and essayist
  • Rose O’Connor: the first female mayor of Belfast
  • Bláthnaid O’Connor: an Irish radio presenter
  • Donal O’Connor: an actor, singer, director and choreographer
  • Cian O’Connor: an Irish show jumping athlete and Olympic gold medalist
  • Kevin O’Connor: a retired Irish footballer
  • Liam O’Connor: an Australian rugby union player
  • Sinéad O’Connor: a singer, songwriter, and musician
  • Ryan O’Connor: a cinematic photographer and director 10.Colin O’Connor: a Canadian Olympic rower 11.Tracey O’Connor: an actor and voice actor 12.Kirk O’Connor: a former Scottish international footballer 13.Brian O’Connor: a Major League Baseball player 14.Stephen O’Connor: an American novelist and professor 15.James O’Connor: an Australian rugby union player 16.Janet O’Connor: an Australian ecologist 17.John O’Connor: an Irish footballer 18.Art O’Connor: an Irish diplomat 19.Timothy O’Connor: an American film and television actor 20.Oisin O’Connor: an Irish footballer

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