Blazons & Genealogy Notes
Notes: (granted to William Eugene Edward Conwell, M.D., son of John Conwell, Esq., of Ballymilligan, co. Londonderry). Motto—Age in Aeternum. Blazon: Vert an eagle rising or, betw. four annulets ar. Crest—Out of a ducal cornnet or, a staff also or, with two serpents entwined thereon ppr.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Conwell Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origin of Conwell:
According to the early recordings of the spellings of the surname, this name is listed in many forms such as McGonigle, McGonigal, McConigal, and the variations McConville or Conwell. It is an important Irish surname. It is considered to have been given to more people of the ministry of church, than any other Irish tribe, and still at the same time to have had many representatives who have supported a warlike culture. Until the 20th century, the name bearers were closely related with the division of Donegal, and still afterwards, the name is infrequently listed somewhere else. The tribe is frequently what is known as an ‘erenagh’ family. That is to say that they were the ancient owners of parish lands, and in charge of the working and management of the land. It gave them noticeable civil powers, especially in the church of Raphoe. It is considered that some of the tribe supported the O’Donnells in their different trials to defeat the English rule. The surname is most popular for its priests, no less than three coming from Raphoe in the 16th century, of whom the most popular being priest Donat Magonail, who passed away in 1589. The tribes joined to help of King James II (1685 – 1690) in his try to regain the charge of Ireland. After his defeat at the war of the Boyne, it said that they had some of their estates coniscated, and different representatives exiled to France.
More common variations of this surname are: Conewell, Coynwell, Connwell, Conwelly, Conwwell, Conell, Conwel, Connell, Conelly, Canwell.
The surname Conwell was organized in the Division of Derry, where they held a family seat. Some say they descended from Cenel Eoghain, (Clan Owen) the great northern clan who defeated Eoghan, son of King Niall of the Nine Hostages, (who resided around the year 365 A.D.) forebear of the O’Neills. This old and famous clan stayed in Tyrone and Derry.
United States of America:
Some of the people with the surname Conwell who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Anthony Conwell at the age of 26, Bernard Conwell and Catherine Conwell at the age of 27; all arrived in New York in the same year in 1803. Anthony, Bernard, Catherine, James, and Jeremiah Conwell, all settled New York in 1803. James Conwell at the age of 28, landed in New York, NY in 1803.
Some of the people with the surname Conwell who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included Thomas Conwell at the age of 21, who was a farmer, and Jane Conwell at the age of 27, both arrived in Wellington, New Zealand in the same year in 1878 aboard the ship “Hermione.”
Here is the population distribution of the last name Conwell: United States 4,710; England 220; Northern Ireland 95; Ireland 60; Singapore 2; Solomon Islands 2; Australia 254; Canada 28; South Africa 2; New Zealand 62.
Angell Conwell was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina in the year 1983. He was an American model and entertainer. She moved to Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 2. She joined Seven Oaks Elementary School in Columbia where she was the first African-American student body administrator.
Carolyn Conwell was a Chicago-born American artist. She studied under Herbert Berghof in New York and Jeff Corey in Los Angeles. She performed in many theater series, such as Hamlet and A Streetcar Named Desire. She had three children and lived in Los Angeles.
Ernie Conwell was born in the year 1972. He is an American football player.
Esther M. Conwell was born in the year 1922. He is an expert in physics educated on the properties of semiconductors and organic conductors.
Henry Conwell (1745–1842), was a Roman Catholic priest.
Joe Conwell (born 1961), was an American football player.
Leagh Conwell (born 1990), is a British actor and entertainer.
Leon M. Conwell was an American scholar.
Nula Conwell (born 1959), is a British-born actress with strong Irish family background.
Russell Conwell (1843–1925), was an American Baptist minister, speaker, philanthropist, advocate, and author.
Tommy Conwell was an American guitar player, composer, and actor.
Tony Conwell (born 1932), is an old English professional football player.
Wilfred Conwell Bain was born in 1908. He was an American musician and an opera theater manager.
Conwell Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Conwell blazon are the eagle, annulets and serpent. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and vert.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” . It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found . More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald . More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims.
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The serpent Is a typical example of a mythical creature, as real to a person of the middle ages as dogs, cats and elephants are to us today.