Plaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Plaw is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in Plowden, a hamlet in the parish of Lydbury North, Shropshire. The local dates back to 1252 when it was first listed as Plaueden and literally means "valley where play or sport takes place," from the Old English words "plaga" + "denu." [1]

Early Origins of the Plaw family

The surname Plaw was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Plowden. Traditionally, they held these estates at the time of the Norman Conquest, but the first record is of Sir Roger Plowden who accompanied King Richard on his Crusade to the Holy Land and was present at the siege of Acre (1191). For his gallantry he was awarded by the King an augmentation of two fleur-des-lys on his Coat of Arms, a distinction the family has borne ever since. [2] "The name occurs upon all county records from the reign of Henry III." [2]

Early History of the Plaw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Plaw research. Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1829, 1518, 1585, 1594, 1664, 1590, 1659, 1632, 1649 and 1562 are included under the topic Early Plaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Plaw Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Plaw were recorded, including Plowden, Plowdon, Ploughden, Ploweden, Plough and many more.

Early Notables of the Plaw family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Edmund Plowden (1518-1585), a distinguished English lawyer, legal scholar and Member of Parliament, he was born at Plowden Hall, Lydbury, Shropshire; Thomas Plowden (1594-1664), an English Jesuit from Oxfordshire; Sir Edmund Plowden (1590-1659), grandson of the aforementioned Edmund was...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Plaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Plaw 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:

Plaw Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Plaw, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Plaw (post 1700) +

  • John Plaw (1745-1820), English architect and master-builder in Westminster; h built the new church at Paddington (1788-1791) and Mrs. Montagu's house in Portman Square (1790)


The Plaw 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: Quod tibi, hoc alteri
Motto Translation: That is for thee, not the other.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. ^ 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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