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About The Conroy Coat Of Arms

By Edward Alan Conroy Sr.

Conroy Coat Of Arms

The Coat of Arms, above, was sent to me by the Catholic Church in Ireland. They sent out many of such things in the hope that ancient alumni would send them funds--which most did. They got the name from their church records and because Conroy is an Irish Catholic name, they assumed we were still practicing their particular brand of religion.

I once asked Dad (Edward Alonzo Conroy) why, since we were Methodists, we had an Irish Catholic name. He relied that we (the family) had once been Catholic but had been excommunicated. I asked him what for and he said for stealing horses. He was a very witty man and he thought this was a very funny answer. I thought it was funny too.

According to the literature received with the Coat of Arms, the family motto, at the bottom of the design is Gaelic for "The Strongest Hand Uppermost." The other symbols in the design also mean various things but I cannot remember what.

It is interesting to note that the shield in the center has a field of blue at the top and a field of yellow on the bottom. The other Conroy family in the Portland-Milwaukie area also has the same Coat of Arms except the blue field is on the bottom and the yellow field is on top. This family IS Catholic.

The book open on the shield may be the Bible but is more likely the Book of Kells or some other Pagan treatise--and is probably the reason we were excommunicated. Just kidding!

At the top of the design can be seen the name "Mac Conraoi" which is apparently a more ancient form of the now shortened "Conroy." In my personal study of European root-words, Roi or Roy means King. However, Con can mean fool--or joker--such as the "fools" or jesters that performed tricks and entertained Royalty. In fact, in the southern Gallic root words, Conroy can be directly translated into "The King of the Jokers." This may seem somewhat appropriate given the Conroy propensity for making terrible puns. But all jokes aside, the "Con" in Conroy more likely comes from Connacht. The reasoning behind this idea follows:

In addition to the Coat of Arms that the Irish Catholic Church sent us was a short, one-page history of the Conroys. This is missing but as best I can remember it:

In early times, the Conroy family originated in Spain. The King of Spain had a large family with many sons. Only the oldest son would inherit the throne so several of the brothers took their royal wealth and set off, by boat, for Ireland. This may have happened anywhere between 1000 and 1300 AD. In any case, apparently they conquered and ruled Connacht. Galway Bay and the land for 500 miles around it was owned by the Conroys, who had become the O'Connerys by that time. The last true Irish ruler of Connacht, which was lost to the invading English (may curses be heaped upon their tea pots) was Cahil McRory O'Connery.

And so, there are many variations of the name Conroy. And we may more closely related to these than other people with the Conroy name. Some of these names are Conro (I know a lady with the last name Conro), Conry, Conrey, Conray, Conners, and O'Conner--but not Conrad--which is German. If you take a close look at Caroll O'Conner, the actor who played the bigoted "Archie Bunker in the TV show: "All in the Family";and the role of the sheriff in the TV show: "In the Heat of the Night," you will see a man with the Conroy nose and a forehead just like Edward Alonzo Conroy's. Caroll also has the same gravely voice as my Father did. Watching him, I am reminded of my Dad--they could have been brothers.. In other words, if Caroll O'Conner is not a close relative, he is at the least the almost spitting image of Edward Alonzo Conroy.

Back in ancient times, people had only one name. However, when a community got too large and all the known names were used-up, a situation arose where many people carried the same name--which caused a lot of confusion. In order to end the confusion, at the first, the sons of known men were given a different name that was just modification of their Father's. So a man named Robin might have a son named Robinson. "Mac" or "Mc" and "O'" also meant "son-of." Therefore the name O'Connery meant the son of Connery.