This is an Irish surname. It is understood to originate from the pre 10th century Gaelic Mac Ainmhire, meaning 'The descendant of the fierce one'. Many, indeed the majority of Gaelic Irish surnames, originate from the nickname for the first chief. Surnames which contain elements of nobility, toughness, and victory, perhaps not surprisingly dominate the lists. This particular name, despite its 'appealing' origin is quite rare, being particularly associated with the county of Derry in Ulster, and specifically Lough Neagh, but is not often found in any numbers in other areas of Ireland. Seemingly by mistake the surname is recorded in the Hearth Tax Rolls for County Armagh in 1664 as O'Convery, but this is clearly a clerical error, one of many found in all registers, and there is no evidence that any nameholders actually used this spelling in normal life. Most Irish church registry records were destroyed in 1922, when the IRA in an act of vandalism, blew up the Public Records Office in Dublin, during the Civil War of 1922 - 26. This contained most of the priceless records of the country from the very begining of written history. Amongst the interesting surviving recordings is that of John Convery aged twenty two, and Matilda, a child aged nine, who left on the ship Henrietta-Maria of Liverpool, bound for New York on May 15th 1846. This was at the begining of the terrible Potato Famine 1846 - 1848.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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