Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in UK

James Connery then Connary was an Irish Catholic Traveller from Wexford who migrated to Great Britain during the Great Famine, where he found work as a laborer moving between Scotland and England. 

His great-grandson is actor Sir Sean Connery (1930-2020) best known for his iconic role as 007James Bond.

In 1863, James Connary married Elizabeth McPhillips in South Shields, Durham, England and they appear on record with the following children. 

  • James  b. 1865 in Durham, England

  • Elizabeth b. 1868/70 in Glasgow, Scotland

  • John b.1872 in Cambusnethan, Scotland

  • Isabella  b.1877 in Carlisle, England

  • Thomas Conary (1879–1949)  in Carlisle, England

  • Mary b.1880 in Cambusnethan, Scotland.

It is not known when the Connery family settled in Edinburgh (they are not recorded in any Scottish census in 1881). Their daughter Elizabeth was employed as a cotton reeler in a jute factory in Dundee when she married there in 1889.

James & Eliza Connery both died in Glasgow. James died of bronchitis on July 16, 1915. 

Sir Sean Connery – born Thomas Sean Connery – was named after his grandfather Thomas Connery (1879–1949).  Little is known about Thomas (James & Eliza's son) other than he was the widower of Jean McNab (born in Scotland c.1843) and "a pedlar" when he died in Edinburgh, age 70. There are no birth or marriage records for Thomas in Scotland nor in Ireland. 

Before they married, Thomas Connery and Jean McNab had: Joseph Connery (1902-1972)  and another son (born 1905). 

Sean Connery's father, Joseph Connery (1907-1972) married Euphemia Effie McLean at Tynecastle, Edinburgh. Sean and his brother Neil grew up in Fountainbridge, an area long since demolished, where his father worked in a rubber works.

Before going into acting, Sean worked as a milkman, lorry driver, a laborer, a coffin polisher, an artist's model for the Edinburgh College of Art and a bodybuilder.

As it happened, it was Connery's role as an Irishman in Darby O'Gill and the Little People that led to Bond...


Ó Conaire was Anglicized on records as Connery, Connary, Connory, Conry and Conroy. 

Irish Travellers

Traditionally Irish Travellers are a nomadic group of people that originate from Ireland and have a separate identity, heritage, and culture to the community in general.

The Irish Traveller community is categorized as an ethnic minority group under the Race Relations Act, 1976 (amended 2000); the Human Rights Act 1998; and the Equality Act 2010.

An Irish Traveller presence can be traced back to 12th century Ireland, with migration to Great Britain in the early 19th century.

Some Travellers of Irish heritage identify as Pavee or Mincéir, which are words from the Irish Traveller language, Shelta.

SOURCE Traveller Movement UK

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Irish Travellers in the 1930s

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Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1840 (circa)
Date of Death 16th Jul 1914 VIEW SOURCE
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Eliza McPhillips
Place & Date of Marriage
Names of Children James Connery; John Connery; Elizabeth Connery; Isabella Conroy; Thomas Connery; and Mary Connery

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