What is the origin of the last name Oconnor?

The last name O'Connor originates from Ireland and is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Conchobhair, meaning "descendant of Conchobhar." Conchobhar is a personal name derived from Irish mythology, popularized by Conchobar mac Nessa, the legendary king of Ulster in the ancient Irish epic, the Táin Bó Cúailnge. The prefix "Ó" indicates "descendant of," signifying that the bearer of the surname was a member of the O'Connor clan. This ancient and noble Irish family has played a significant role in Irish history, with notable individuals including kings, chieftains, and scholars.

Countries of origin for the last name Oconnor

The last name O’Connor is a surname of Irish origin. It belongs to the patronymic category of surnames, which are derived from the name of a male ancestor or an influential person in the family lineage. In the case of the O’Connor surname, it specifically indicates “descendant of Conchobhar,” a Gaelic personal name meaning “lover of hounds.”

O’Connor has a rich history in Ireland, and its prominence can be traced back to the ancient Irish kingdom of Connacht. The O’Connor clan held significant power and was known for their military prowess. They were one of the prominent ruling families within the kingdom, and their authority extended over a considerable territory.

The prefix “O” in O’Connor signifies “descendant of” and is a distinctive feature of many Irish surnames. It denotes a direct family connection and indicates the lineage of a particular individual. The O’Connor surname signifies that the bearer is a direct descendant of a person named Conchobhar.

As with many Irish surnames, the O’Connor name underwent various anglicizations and spellings over time due to English influences and different interpretations. Translations such as “Connors,” “Conners,” and “Connor” have been used interchangeably, but O’Connor remains the most common spelling.

The significance of the O’Connor surname extends beyond Ireland’s shores. With the Irish diaspora, particularly during the mid-19th century due to the Great Famine, many O’Connors emigrated to various parts of the world, including the United States. Consequently, O’Connor is a name frequently encountered among the Irish-American community.

The O’Connor surname carries a sense of identity and lineage for those who bear it. It symbolizes a connection to the ancient Irish heritage and the historical prominence of the O’Connor clan. It is a testament to the enduring legacy and cultural significance of Irish surnames.

While the known facts about the O’Connor surname provide a comprehensive understanding of its origins and significance, there is always the possibility of additional information or discoveries that may further enrich our understanding of this last name. The intricacies of genealogy and historical research continually offer new avenues for exploration and uncovering the hidden depths of a surname’s meaning.

Interesting facts about the last name Oconnor

  • The surname O’Connor is of Irish origin.
  • O’Connor is an anglicized form of the Gaelic surname “Ó Conchobhair,” which means “descendant of Conchobhar.”
  • Conchobhar is an Old Irish personal name derived from the elements “con,” meaning “hound,” and “cobhair,” meaning “assistance” or “help.”
  • The O’Connors were historically one of the leading clans of Ireland, with strongholds in Connacht and Thomond.
  • The famous Irish High King, Turlough O’Connor, ruled during the 11th century.
  • In the medieval period, the O’Connors split into multiple branches, including the O’Connors of Connacht, the O’Connors of Offaly, and the O’Connors of Tipperary.
  • Many individuals with the surname O’Connor have achieved prominence in various fields, including literature, politics, music, and sports.
  • Flannery O’Connor, born in 1925, was a highly regarded American writer known for her Southern gothic style and works such as “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Wise Blood.”
  • The surname O’Connor is fairly common in Ireland and among Irish diaspora communities worldwide.
  • O’Connor is a versatile surname that can be found in different spellings and variations, including O’Connor, O’Conner, O’Conor, and O’Connor-Kilkenny.

Name Rank


There are around 77923 people with the last name Oconnor in the US

Related Names

Related Regions