It is the anglicised form of the gaelic name Mac Conmhaoil (son of Conmhaoil). Pronunciation rather than spelling guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the middle ages. This practice often resulted in one person’s name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname McConville are preserved in old documents including McConville, McConvill, McConwell, McConwel, Conwell, Conville, Convill, Convilles, Conwells, MacConville, MacConvill, MacConwell and many more.
First found in the county of Derry where they were anciently seated, some say, they were descended from the Cenel Eoghain, (Clan Owen) the great northern tribe who were descended from Eoghan, son of King Niall of the Nine Hostages, (who lived about 365 A.D. progenitur of the O'Neills. This ancient and distinguished tribe settled in Tyrone and Derry.