lawless History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname lawless is derived from the Old English word "laweles," which means "lawless" and is ultimately derived from the Old English word "laghles," which means "outlaw." As a surname, lawless came from a nickname for a person who was an outlaw, or was uncontrolled or unrestrained. The Gaelic form of the surname lawless is Laighléis.

Early Origins of the lawless family

The surname lawless was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing, 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.

Early History of the lawless family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our lawless research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1564, 1634, 1610, 1626, 1616, 1670, 1618, 1657, 1641, 1693, 1735, 1799, 1789, 1621 and 1675 are included under the topic Early lawless History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

lawless Spelling Variations

Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name lawless. Some of these variations included: Lawless, Lovelace, Lovelass, Loveless and others.

Early Notables of the lawless family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Richard Lovelace, 1st Baron Lovelace (1564-1634), of Hurley in the County of Berkshire, English MP and peer, High Sheriff of Berkshire (1610) and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire (1626); John Lovelace, 2nd Baron Lovelace (1616-1670), British peer; Richard Lovelace (1618-1657), an English poet in...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early lawless Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States lawless migration to the United States +

In the mid-19th century, Ireland experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name lawless:

lawless Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nich Lawless, who landed in Virginia in 1698 [1]
lawless Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Lawless, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [1]
  • Cornelius Lawless, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [1]
  • James Lawless who settled in Virginia in 1739
lawless Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mathew Lawless, aged 30, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [1]
  • Peter Lawless, who landed in New York in 1839 [1]
  • Rose Lawless, aged 41, who landed in New York, NY in 1849 [1]
  • M Lawless, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • Richard Lawless, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1854 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada lawless migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

lawless Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Francis Lawless, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Lawless, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Maras Lawless, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mary Lawless, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Lawless U.E. (b. 1730) born in Ireland from Massachuettes, USA who settled in Digdeguash, Passamaquoddy Bay, St Patrick's Parish, Charlotte County, NB c. 1784 married to Catherine he died in 1814 [2]
lawless Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ms. Ann Lawless, aged 18 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Pursuit" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [3]
  • Mrs. Bridget Lawless, aged 45 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Superior" departing from the port of Londonderry, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [3]
  • Mrs. Rebecca Lawless, aged 30 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Coromandel" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [3]

Australia lawless migration to Australia +

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

lawless Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Lawless, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1851 [4]
  • Edward Lawless, aged 41, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle" [5]
  • Mary Lawless, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [6]
  • Patrick Lawless, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"
  • Mary Lawless, aged 16, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"

New Zealand lawless 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:

lawless Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Stephen Lawless, (b. 1850), aged 29, Irish farm labourer, from Galway travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [7]
  • Mr. James Lawless, (b. 1852), aged 27, Irish farm labourer, from Galway travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Lawless, (b. 1854), aged 25, Irish farm labourer, from Galway travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [7]
  • Miss Kate Lawless, (b. 1826), aged 53, Irish settler, from Galway travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name lawless (post 1700) +

  • John A. Lawless, American politician, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1991-2002)
  • Richard Burton Lawless (b. 1953), former American college and professional NFL football player
  • Blackie Lawless (b. 1956), born Steven Edward Duren, an American songwriter and musician, best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P
  • Thomas James "Tom" Lawless (b. 1956), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1982 to 1990
  • Theodore K Lawless (1892-1971), American dermatologist, medical researcher, and philanthropist
  • John "Jack" Lawless (b. 1987), American musician
  • Cecil John Lawless (1821-1853), Irish politician
  • Frank J. Lawless (1870-1922), Irish politician
  • Frederick Lawless (1847-1929), 5th Baron Cloncurry, Irish peer
  • Valentine Lawless (1840-1928), 4th Baron Cloncurry, Irish peer
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The lawless Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtute et numine
Motto Translation: By virtue and prudence.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 39)
  4. ^ State Library of South Australia. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) ASIA 1851 from London 12 05 1851 and southampton with Captain Roskell, arrived Port Adelaide on 1-09-1851. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Asia.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 17th January 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Emerald Isle 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/emeraldisle1854.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/lordraglan1854.shtml
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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