CONMAN This is a rare and a mysterious surname. The earliest English notices I’ve found to date belong to the 1670s and appear in Northumberland, Norfolk and Herefordshire. In addition an Irish instance is recorded in the Hearth Money Rolls for Arklow, Co. Wicklow, in 1669. In spite of the wide distribution the name did not flourish and so has not attracted the attention of students of surnames.
The meaning of the surname is difficult. I can only guess that it is the same in meaning as Conner, which Reaney and Wilson (“A Dictionary of English Surnames”) explain as “examiner, inspector, especially an ale-conner”.
The name appears in the East Riding at Beverley in the 1860s and in Hull in the 1880s.

I post these notes in the hope that they will elicit more information from someone with an interest in the the surname Conman.


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