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Origins Available: English, Irish


The family name Lawler has an intrinsic connection to the Gaelic culture of Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Lawler is O Leathlobhair, which is derived from the words leath, which means half, and lobhar, which means sick person or leper.

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The surname Lawler was first found in County Leix (Irish: Laois) formerly known as Queen's County, located in central Ireland, in Leinster Province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Throughout the early history of this name, spellings of the surname in various records changed frequently largely due to the recorder's interpretation of how the name sounded at the time of the entry. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Lawler family name include Lawlor, Lalor, O'Lalor, O'Lawlor and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lawler research. Another 380 words (27 lines of text) covering the year 1854 is included under the topic Early Lawler History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent amongst the family at this time was Patrick Lalor, M.P. for Leix, and his sons, James Fintan, writer and revolutionary, Peter, who led the miners revolt at Eureka, Australia in 1854 and later became speaker of...

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lawler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many Irish families did not fare so well within the English-ruled Ireland. Besides racial and religious discrimination, many families were renting out small tracts of farmland from absentee landowners at often unreasonable rates. Beginning in the late 18th century, moderately well off Irish families decided to emigrate to British North America or the United States in order to own their own plot of land. A radical change occurred in the 1840s, however, with the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Up to this point, the island's population had been increasing rapidly and a steady demand over the years for grain crops had depleted soil. Two failed crops and one poor one caused widespread disease and starvation. Thousands boarded ships looking for opportunities elsewhere. North America welcomed them as a source of cheap labor required for the many industrial and infrastructure projects underway, and as a means to quickly occupy the western regions. Research into immigration and passenger ship lists indicates that people bearing the name Lawler were among the earliest settlers to arrive in North America:

Lawler Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Lawler, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Margaret Lawler settled in Maryland in 1741
  • Darby Lawler settled in Boston in 1766 along with Betsy
  • William Lawler, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1768

Lawler Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Lawler, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Michael Lawler, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Edward Lawler, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Mathew C Lawler, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849
  • H Lawler, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
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Lawler Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Elis Lawler, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Michael Lawler, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Michael Lawler, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752

Lawler Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Lawler, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1820
  • John Lawler, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • William Lawler, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Thomas Lawler, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • Sarah Lawler, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
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Lawler Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Lawler arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Birman" in 1840
  • James Lawler arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847
  • Maria Lawler, aged 20, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "David Malcolm"
  • Judith Lawler, aged 18, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa"
  • Catherine Lawler, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
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Lawler Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • H C Lawler landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
  • Patrick James Lawler, aged 38, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Esther Therese Lawler, aged 33, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • John Joseph Lawler, aged 13, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Hugh Lawler, aged 10, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
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  • Ralph Anthony Lawler (b. 1938), American television and radio voice of the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Clippers
  • Michael Kelly Lawler (1814-1882), Irish-born, American brigadier general in the United States Army in both the Mexican War and the Civil War
  • Gregory Francis Lawler (b. 1955), American mathematician, best known for his work since 2000 on the Schramm-Loewner evolution
  • Jerry O'Neil Lawler (b. 1949), American professional wrestler
  • John Jeremiah Lawler (1862-1948), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Rapid City (1916 to 1948)
  • John Arthur Lawler (b. 1912), American aeronautical engineer
  • Feargal Lawler, Irish musician
  • Rod Lawler (b. 1971), English professional snooker player, nicknamed "Rod the Plod"
  • Sir Peter James Lawler OBE (b. 1921), retired Australian senior public servant and diplomat, Secretary of the Department of the Special Minister of State (1973-1975), Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services (1975-1983)
  • Peter Lawler (b. 1941), British sprint canoer who competed in the semifinals of the K-4 1000 m event at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
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Lawler Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Philip Lawler (1856-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Herbert Lawler (1899-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914
  • Mrs. Ellen Lawler (1867-1914), née Grathwaite Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Neil Charles Lawler (1921-1941), Australian Ordinary Seaman from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
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  • Lawler Family in America by Harold Henry Lawler.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    2. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
    3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    5. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    10. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
    11. ...

    The Lawler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lawler 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 13 June 2016 at 07:52.

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