1610s, from Latin congeries "heap, pile, collected mass," from congerere "to carry together" (see congest). False singular congery is from 1866.
Man should have some sense of responsibility to the human congeries. As a matter of observation, very few men have any such sense. No social order can exist very long unless a few, at least a few, men have such a sense. [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Economics," 1933]