The surname lawn was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, in the mid 17th century. Most likely from the Gaelic name Ó Dubhshláine, comprised of "dubh" and "slán," meaning black and challenge.
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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:
lawn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
James Lawn, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1870
Mr. Charles H. Lawn, (b. 1870), aged 3, Cornish settler departing on 18th April 1873 aboard the ship "Halcione" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th July 1873 
Mrs. Harriet E. Lawn, (b. 1847), aged 26, Cornish settler departing on 18th April 1873 aboard the ship "Halcione" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th July 1873 
^ 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)