Show ContentsRawlinson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Rawlinson is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest of 1066 brought to England. 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 Rawlinson family

The surname Rawlinson 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 Rawlinson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rawlinson research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1508, 1521, 1523, 1536, 1576, 1610, 1620, 1631, 1647, 1670, 1679, 1690, 1705, 1706, 1708, 1755 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Rawlinson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rawlinson Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Rawlinson family name include Rawlings, Rawlins, Rawlington, Rawlinson and others.

Early Notables of the Rawlinson family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • 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 London (1705-1706)
  • Daniel Rawlinson (died 1679), of Graythwaite and London, a London vintner

Rawlinson Ranking

In the United States, the name Rawlinson is the 13,945th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Rawlinson family to Ireland

Some of the Rawlinson 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 Rawlinson migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Rawlinson family to immigrate North America:

Rawlinson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Rawlinson, who landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1638 [7]
  • Charles Rawlinson, who arrived in Maryland in 1641 [7]
  • Robert Rawlinson, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • John Rawlinson, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [7]
Rawlinson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sara Rawlinson, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [7]

Australia Rawlinson migration to Australia +

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

Rawlinson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Rawlinson, British Convict who was convicted in Essex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. William Rawlinson, English convict who was convicted in Plymouth, Devon, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Rebecca Rawlinson, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [10]
  • Richard Rawlinson, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Charlotte Rawlinson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1851 [12]

New Zealand Rawlinson 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:

Rawlinson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joshua Rawlinson, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859
  • Mr. John Rawlinson, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [13]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rawlinson (post 1700) +

  • Johnnie Blakeney Rawlinson (b. 1952), American jurist, Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • John Anderson "Spike" Rawlinson (1944-2006), English footballer who later became a TV entertainer
  • John Frederick Peel Rawlinson (1860-1926), English footballer and Member of Parliament for Cambridge University from 1906 to 1926
  • Peter Anthony Grayson Rawlinson PC, QC (1919-2006), Baron Rawlinson of Ewell, an English barrister, politician and author
  • Richard Rawlinson FRS (1690-1755), English clergyman and antiquarian collector of books and manuscripts
  • Thomas Hutton Rawlinson (1712-1769), West Indies merchant, father of Abraham Rawlinson
  • Abraham Rawlinson (1738-1803), English politician and merchant
  • Henry Rawlinson (1743-1786), English politician, Member of the Parliament for Liverpool from 1780 to 1784
  • Sir Robert Rawlinson KCB (1810-1898), English engineer and sanitarian
  • Canon George Rawlinson (1812-1902), English scholar and historian
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Leonard Rawlinson (b. 1922), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Brixton, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [14]
  • Mr. Albert G E Rawlinson (b. 1919), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Great Thurlow, Suffolk, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [14]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Frederick W Rawlinson, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [15]

The Rawlinson 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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANTON 1838. Retrieved from
  11. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  12. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1851. Retrieved
  13. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  14. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  15. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook