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About the study
A Study of the Conisbee & Coningsby names started in 1985. The name includes a number of variants. The study hads included a detailed history of the Coningsbys, many photos are available of Conisbee members and a detailed pedigree exists through to 1201.
Two Electronic Books on the Conisbees and Coningsbys have been written.
The family name Coningsby is believed to be descended originally from the Norman race. They were commonly thought to be of French origin, however records show the first recorded name of Coningsby was found in Lincolnshire, where they were anciently seated as Lords of the Manor of Coningsby, a parish 8 miles north of Horncastle. At the time of the taking of the Doomsday Book in 1086, a census taken by Duke William to assess taxation on his lands, Coningsby was the Kings land, held in tenancy by Earl Hugh, Drogo, and Robert the Steward.
The earliest of the names on record appears to be CUNINGESBI (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Doomsday Book of 1086. CONINGESBI (again without surname) was recorded in Lincolnshire in the year 1115.
Historical occurrences of the name
A Roger de Coningsby, Lord of Coningsby in Lincolnshire in the reign of John 1199 -1216 is mentioned in Debrett's. Later names are registered in old Church records, 1555 in Alvechurch, Worcester, and in 1552 in Chalgrave, Bedford. Coningsbys were registered in 1240 in London, 1458 in Worcester, and 1460 in Nine Solers, Shropshire. Debrettâs has a number of distinguished Coningsbys from 1199 through to 1729
Intriguingly enough the Coningsbys were a very well to-do family, rubbing shoulders with Kings and Queens; Earls and Barons; they were JP's and Kings Justices, even a Treasurer to Elizabeth 1st. They were soldiers, fighting in the 100 years war, in Ireland, and at The Battle of The Boyne. They were magistrates handing out sentences, even hanging a man without trial. They were philanderers, and prodigious breeders. At least three of them ended up in The Tower of London, but not one was executed, or so I thought! More recently we have uncovered the fact that one was hung, drawn and quartered for forging the Kings seal. They were MPs and Sheriffs and other things as well
This surname is found in many Counties including Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Nottingham. Many of the names were knighted including Sir Henry Coningesby, 1585; Sir Thomas Conisbye, 1591; Sir Humphrey Conisby, 1603; Sir Phillip Connisby, 1603; Sir Ralph Conesbie, 1603; Sir Richard Cunnisby, 1603; Sir Francis Coningesby, 1616; and Sir Henry Coningsby, 1660. Also of this name were the Earls Coningsby, created 1719, the male line became extinct in 1729, but continued as the Viscountess, Lady Margaret Coningsby until 1761.