By Donald N. Conoly
In "Virginia Valley Records", by John W. Wayland, pub.
BGFCo., 1965, p. 224, it states that the name Connelly/Conoley was descended
from Mileseus, King of Spain, through his son Heremon. The founder of the
family was Eogan, ancestor of the Northern Hy Nials, the son of
Neal-of-Nine-Hostages, King of Ireland, 379 A.D. The ancient name was
Conally and signifies "a light". The possessions of the Clan were located in
the present counties of Galway, Meath, and Donnegal. The Connelly’s were
also Chiefs in Fermanagh.
The spelling on the name has had many variants Conally, Conley, Conoly,
Conoley, Connelly, Connolly etc. The Conoly, Conoley, etc. family has been
gathering each year for the past forty nine years. The idea of a clan
gathering was started by the late John Duncan McMillan a business owner of
Raeford. They are descendants of a Scotsman Daniel Conley and Nancy
Daniel Conley (1768-1849) and wife, Nancy Campbell (1770-1851) were natives
of Scotland, where they were born, reared and married on 23 June 1792 at
Bowmore Parish (now Kilarrow), Isle of Islay. A few days after the marriage
they left their native country for the United States, settling in the Cape
Fear River basin of Robeson Co., NC with a Scotch colony, with which he came
to this country, and spent the rest of their lives in Robeson County. He was
an educated farmer and landowner in the Lumber Bridge/Shannon area. Their
family consisted of six sons and four daughters. Elements of the family
moved to lower Georgia, Alabama, and Texas. Some of the descendants became
Son Peter Conoly married Effie McDonald and they had 10 children. Peter was
a farmer and landowner, he moved to what is now Hoke Co., NC. He lost 3 sons
in the War Between the States. One son, Simeon was murdered in 1891 and it
led to the most famous trial of the time in the State, and a book “The Trial
of D. A. McDougald for the Murder of Simeon Conoley”. Descendants of this
family have served the City of Raeford as Mayor, Justice of the Peace, City
Council, County Commissioner, and business leaders.
Daughter Mary Conoly appears on the 1850 census in the upper division of
Robeson County; also in her household was Flora Brown age 50 and Patrick age
Son James Conoley married Mary Johnson Currie and had 12 children. He was a
farmer, landowner, and teacher. He was a postmaster at Fair Play Post Office
in Robeson Co. They lived near Shannon, NC.
Daughter Elizabeth Conoly married John McEachern. This family moved to
Sumpter Co., Georgia then to Pike Co., Alabama. They had 8 children. A
former governor of Alabama was a descendant.
Daughter Margaret Conley married Neill Mathews. They had 5 children all born
in Robeson Co. This family moved to Georgia.
Son William Conoley married Annie Patterson and they had 6 children. William
was a large landowner, farmer and educator near Lumber Bridge, NC. J.A.P.
Conoley an officer in J.E.B. (Jeb) Stuart’s Calvary found his church had
been burned when Sherman’s Army came through. He contacted the commander of
the unit involved and they took up a collection and sent the money to
rebuild the church. He was a respected leader of the community.
Son Malcolm Campbell Conoley married Nancy Ann Thompson they had 11
children. He became a Presbyterian Minister and preached in Sampson Co., NC
before moving to Texas in 1851. During his life he was a respected Minister,
a Missionary, a renowned educator and teacher, a landowner and farmer.
Daughter Isabella Conoly married Hugh Galbreath and had nine children. This
family moved to Montgomery Co., GA.
Twin son John Francis Conoley married Mary Eliza Pitts and had 7 children.
In 1833 he moved to Selma, Alabama and started the John F. Conoley & Co. He
organized the Selma Rangers against the Creek Indians. He was elected
sheriff in 1843. In 1850 he was a lawyer in Selma. John was a Colonel in the
29th Alabama Regiment in the War Between the States and was wounded by a
cannon ball at Resaca, GA; he was later General of the State Militia. He was
elected Judge in 1867.
Twin son Alexander Hamilton Conoley followed his brother John to Selma,
Alabama. He was single, took the 1840 census for Selma and was active in
« « « «
Written by Don Conoly
~ The Conoly Family
~ Photos ~
~ Movies ~
For more info
about what's included on the CD
click here or
« « « «
Scotland County Highland Games
Society tents, quality vendors, five pipe bands, amateur athletic
competitions, Scottish dance demonstrations, and solo piping and
drumming competitions. Come enjoy Scottish musical entertainment,
sheep dog demonstrations, and special children’s athletic events
where all participants can wear a kilt that will be provided.
information, go to their website at