trans-Atlantic shipping line begun by Samuel Cunard (1787-1865), shipowner, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who won the first British transatlantic steamship mail contract in 1839 and the next year formed the British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company (reorganized 1879 as Cunard Steamship Company).

The family came to Pennsylvania with Penn in 1683, where their descendants are the Conrads; the shipping magnate's line took an older spelling; his grandfather was a Loyalist who fled to Canada after the Revolution.

updated on September 13, 2018