laurence History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the name laurence date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name 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.

Early Origins of the laurence family

The surname laurence was first found in Lancashire at Yealand-Redmayne, a township, in the parish of Warton, union of Lancaster, hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands. "Yealand Hall, an ancient dwelling at Yealand-Storrs in the township, seems to have been possessed in the reign of Henry VIII. by the family of Lawrence, who held the manor of "Yeland-Redmayn" as of the manor of Warton." [1]

Early History of the laurence family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our laurence research. Another 103 words (7 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 laurence History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

laurence Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name laurence include Lawrence, Laurence, Lawerence, Lawrance and many more.

Early Notables of the laurence family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Laurence (1598-1657), an English churchman and academic, at the age of 16 he attended Balliol College, Oxford (1614); Sir John Lawrence (died 1692), an English merchant and politician, Lord...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early laurence Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

laurence Ranking

In the United States, the name laurence is the 9,429th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in France, the name laurence is ranked the 2,686th most popular surname with an estimated 2,000 - 2,500 people with that name. [3]


United States laurence migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name laurence or a variant listed above:

laurence Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Laurence, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [4]
  • Daniel Laurence, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [4]
  • George Laurence, aged 31, who landed in Maryland in 1684 [4]
laurence Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Fredrick Laurence, aged 26, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [4]
laurence Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johannes Laurence, aged 35, who landed in Missouri in 1845 [4]
  • Mary Ann Laurence, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1849 [4]
  • John Laurence, who arrived in Arkansas in 1882 [4]
laurence Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. William Herbert Laurence, (b. 1884), aged 19, Cornish miner, from Scorrier, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 28th November 1903 en route to Sacramento, California, USA [5]
  • Mr. William Laurence, (b. 1879), aged 25, Cornish farmer travelling aboard the ship "Umbria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 8th May 1904 en route to Chicago, Illinois, USA [5]

Canada laurence migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

laurence Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Laurence U.E. who settled in Augusta, Ontario c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. Richard Laurence U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [6]
laurence Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Laurence, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835

Australia laurence migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

laurence Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Murray Laurence, (b. 1789), aged 30, Irish carpenter who was convicted in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland for life , transported aboard the "Castle Forbes" on 3rd October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. Edward Laurence who was convicted in Kent, England for life, transported aboard the "Dick" on 2nd October 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Miss Elizabeth Laurence, (b. 1851), aged 20, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 31st October 1870 aboard the ship "Essex" arriving in Hobsons Bay, Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1871 [9]
  • Miss Elizabeth Laurence, (b. 1851), aged 20, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 31st October 1870 aboard the ship "Essex" arriving in Hobsons Bay, Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1871 [9]

New Zealand laurence migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

laurence Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Laurence, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [10]
  • Mrs. Laurence, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [10]
  • Miss Mary Louisa Laurence, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [10]
  • Miss Martha Laurence, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [10]
  • Miss Susannah Laurence, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name laurence (post 1700) +

  • Ann M. Laurence, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1972 [11]
  • Margaret Laurence (1926-1987), Canadian novelist
  • Edward Laurence Doheny (1856-1935), American oil tycoon who drilled the first successful oil well in the Los Angeles City Oil Field, eponym of the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library, after the tragic shooting of his son
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), American poet, novelist, and playwright
  • Percy Laurence Tetzlaff (1920-2009), New Zealand rugby union player
  • Charles Laurence Strum (1948-2021), American journalist and author, senior editor at The New York Times from 1979 until his retirement in 2014
  • Jonathan Laurence Marchini (b. 1973), English Bayesian statistician and professor of statistical genomics in the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford
  • Bruce Laurence Webster OAM (1927-2019), Australian broadcaster and politician, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Pittwater (1975-1978)
  • Edward Laurence Heimberger (1951-2006), known professionally as Edward Albert, an American film Golden Globe Award winning television actor, son of Eddie Albert; he died from lung cancer a year after his father
  • Edward Laurence Leahy (1886-1953), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Rhode Island State House of Representatives, 1911; U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, 1949-50 [12]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/castle-forbes
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Dick
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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