Rawlings History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Rawlings family bears a name that was brought to England by the wave of emigration that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Radulphus. [1] This name, which also occurs as Ralf, Rolf, and Raoul, is adapted from the Old French given name Raol. Alternatively, the name could have been a baptismal name as in "the son of Rowland" which is pronounced Rawland and Rolland in Furness and Cumberland, "where a large family of Rawlinsons has sprung up, undoubtedly descendants of Rowland through Rawlandson." [2]

Early Origins of the Rawlings family

The surname Rawlings was first found in Oxfordshire where William Raulyn was listed at Evynsham in 1290. A few years later, John Rawlynes was found in Warwickshire in 1343. Almost two hundred years later, Richard Rawlinson was listed in Yorkshire in 1538. [3]

The Rawlin, Rawline and Rawling spellings have been frequent in Scotland since the 16th century. Concentrated in Dumfriesshire, one of the first records was David Rawlynge who held a "botha seu opella" in Dumfries, 1588. Marcus Raulling was listed in Glencapill in 1630, Catherine Railing in Dumfries, 1642, and Thomas Rawling of Dumfries, 1696. [4] Some of the family were far to the south in Lansalloes, Cornwall where "the family of Rawlings" held titles. [5]

Early History of the Rawlings family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rawlings research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1536, 1523, 1536, 1508, 1521, 1620, 1670, 1576, 1631, 1610, 1647, 1708, 1705, 1706, 1679, 1690, 1755 and are included under the topic Early Rawlings History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rawlings Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Rawlings, Rawlins, Rawlington, Rawlinson and others.

Early Notables of the Rawlings family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Rawlins (died 1536), English cleric, Bishop of St David's (1523-1536) and Warden of Merton College, Oxford (1508-1521); Thomas Rawlins (c.1620-1670), an English medallist and playwright; John Rawlinson (1576-1631), an English churchman and academic who was principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford from 1610; Sir Thomas Rawlinson (1647-1708), Lord Mayor of the City of...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rawlings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rawlings Ranking

In the United States, the name Rawlings is the 3,103rd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [6] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Rawlings is ranked the 945th most popular surname with an estimated 7,359 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Rawlings family to Ireland

Some of the Rawlings family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rawlings migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Rawlings or a variant listed above:

Rawlings Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Rawlings, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [8]
  • Christopher Rawlings, who settled in Virginia in 1639
  • John Rawlings, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Rowland Rawlings, who arrived in Maryland in 1651 [8]
  • William Rawlings, who landed in Maryland in 1661 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Rawlings Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Rawlings, (b. 1827), aged 23, Cornish artist departing from Bristol aboard the ship "Cosmo" arriving in the United States on 19 October 1850 [9]
  • Prudence Rawlings, aged 47, who arrived in New York in 1868 [8]
  • Richard Rawlings, aged 45, who landed in New York in 1868 [8]
  • Sarah Rawlings, aged 7, who landed in New York in 1868 [8]
  • Walter Rawlings, who arrived in New York in 1868 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Rawlings migration to Australia +

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

Rawlings Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Stephen Rawlings, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" in May 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Peter Rawlings, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 22nd September 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. James Rawlings, British Convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Edward Rawlings, a bricklayer, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. John Rawlings, (b. 1809), aged 23 who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rawlings 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:

Rawlings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Rawlings, aged 22, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Edward Rawlings, aged 2, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Thomas Rawlings, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Eliza Rawlings, aged 9 mths., who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Jane Rawlings, aged 21, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Rawlings migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [14]
Rawlings Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Rawlings, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and servants
  • John Rawlings, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Rawlings (post 1700) +

  • William Vincent Rawlings (1913-1975), American politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 15th District, 1974-75 [15]
  • Thomas Rawlings, American politician, Member of University of Nebraska Board of Regents, 1897-1900 [15]
  • Roy Rawlings (b. 1883), American Republican politician, Member of Rhode Island State House of Representatives, 1923-33; Speaker of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives, 1927-33 [15]
  • Joseph Warren Rawlings, American politician, Honorary Consul for Cuba at Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1910 [15]
  • Joseph Rawlings, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1860 [15]
  • John H. Rawlings, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1856 [15]
  • Isaac Rawlings, American politician, Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, 1829-31, 1833-36 [15]
  • James Wilson Rawlings (b. 1929), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, 1986-89 [15]
  • Howard Peters Rawlings (1937-2003), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates District 40, 1979-2003; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1988, 1996, 2000 [15]
  • George C. Rawlings Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from Virginia, 1970 [15]
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Rawlings 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: Cognosce teipsum et disce pati
Motto Translation: Know thyself, and learn to suffer.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th February 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eliza
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  13. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 8th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/circassian)
  14. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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