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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Lawrence family come from? What is the English Lawrence family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lawrence family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lawrence family history?

Lawrence is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that is derived from the name Lawrence. This name is in turn derived from the Latin name Laurentius, which literally means man from Laurentium, a town in Italy named for its laurels or bay trees. The popularity of this name in medieval Europe is due to the exploits of a saint who was martyred at Rome in the 3rd century.


Lawrence has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Lawrence, Laurence, Lawerence, Lawrance and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lawrence research. Another 205 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1252, 1150, 1598, 1657, 1614, 1692, 1664, 1665, 1618, 1699, 1635, 1672, 1674 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Lawrence History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 133 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lawrence Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Lawrences to arrive on North American shores:

Lawrence Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Blackwell Lawrence, aged 16, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Dorothy Lawrence, aged 28, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Lawrence, aged 17, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • John Lawrence, who landed in America in 1635
  • Maria Lawrence, aged 9, landed in New England in 1635

Lawrence Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Alice Lawrence, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Richd Lawrence, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Margt Lawrence, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Martin Lawrence, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Antho Lawrence, aged 36, arrived in Virginia in 1773

Lawrence Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Effingham Lawrence, who landed in New York in 1806
  • Vincent Lawrence, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1807
  • Nathaniel Lawrence, who arrived in New York in 1809
  • I F Lawrence, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1821
  • I Lawrence, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822


  • Major Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. (1935-1967), American Air Force officer and the first African-American astronaut
  • Vicki Lawrence (1949-2004), American actress, comedienne and singer
  • Vice Admiral William Porter Lawrence (1930-2005), highly decorated officer in the United States Navy who served as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy from 1978-1981
  • Ernest Orlando Lawrence (1901-1958), American physicist awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939
  • Doug Lawrence (1956-1971), American jazz saxophonist with Count Basie Orchestra
  • Wendy Barrien Lawrence (b. 1959), former NASA astronaut with over 1,225 hours in space
  • Major-General Thompson Lawrence (1889-1973), American Commanding General 99th Division (1942-1943)
  • Major-General Charles White Lawrence (1901-1982), American Commanding General of the 3700th Air Force Indoctrination Wing and Lackland AFB, Texas (1949-1951)
  • Francis Leo Lawrence (1937-2013), American educator and French literature scholar, President of Rutgers University (19902002)
  • John Laird Mair Lawrence (1811-1879), English administrator



  • The History of the Bemis, Perkinson, Fay, and Lawrence Families by Ted H. Bemis.
  • From the European Continent to American Colonist & Citizen: the 275 Year History of the Lowrance (also Lawrence) Family in America by Gayford Radar Lowrence.

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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Lawrence Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lawrence Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 July 2014 at 14:28.

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