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Irish Surname - Condon - (Irish Condún)

Like many Irish surnames, the origins of the Condon surname are with a Norman French name. The original Condon surname is recorded as being as 'de Caunteton', possibly linked with the place name 'Caunton', in Nottinghamshire, England, but also with Caneton, now Canton, a suburb of Cardiff, the modern capital of Wales. Canton was named after the 6th century Welsh saint, Canna, said to have been a female relative of King Arthur,

The name de Caunteton was then De Caunton, then Caunton, before finally becoming Condon.

So were the original Condons English or Welsh?

Cardiff is a seaport, and much closer geographically to Ireland than landlocked Nottinghamshire. Caunton is recorded as having been a very isolated community in the medieval period, so it seems likely that the original de Cauntetons were from 'Caneton', in South Wales, and descended from Norman invaders of Wales.

Many of the Norman French were thought to be Danish Vikings who settled in Normandy, so like many Irish people, you may have some Viking blood, if you have this name, but via France.

One of the earliest names linked with the modern Condon surname was that of Nicholas de Caunteton, who married Mabel, .great-grandaughter of the Welsh king Rhys ap Twdwr (Tudor). So the Condon ancestors certainly had influential family links. This regal Celtic link further strengthens the likelihood of the prosperous Welsh place name being the origin of the surname, rather than an isolated inland English village.

In Ireland, the Condons were a powerful enough family to have control of a barony in north-east County Cork (Condon and Clangibbon ) until the 1600s, when David Condon recorded himself as 'chief of his sept'.

The Condon surname is not particularly common, being the 284th, most common surname in Ireland, but Condons spread through the English-speaking world. Some even returned to South Wales, where the surname is widely recorded in the present day.

Famous People With The Condon Surname

Arguably by far the most famous Condon was the Irish boy soldier John Condon, long thought to be the youngest Allied soldier to be killed in World War I. His age on his gravestone is recorded as being 14, but extensive research has cast doubt on this story, Census records show the most likely person of this name to have been born in 1896, in Waterford, and to have been 18 when he died. The myth endures however, and John Condon's grave is one of the most visited of the Commonwealth War Graves,

Of those who stayed in Ireland, former jockey Davy Condon, of County Cork (b, 1985) is possibly one of the best known, along with hurler Tom Condon, (b, 1987) of Limerick. Actress Kerry Condon (b,1983) first became well-known in Ireland, before finding further fame in Britain and the USA

Condons further afield include American ice-hockey player Michael J. Condon (b 1990) , and coincidentally, English field-hockey player David Condon. In the arts, the American screenwriter William Condon, (b 1955) and musician Zach Condon (b. 1986, Santa Fe), have both gained fame in their fields.

The Condon Family Crest

A lion gules on a shield argent.

The Condon Family motto

In Deo Spes Mea - In God Is My Hope.


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