Rawson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rawson was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Ralph. This name, which also occurs as Ralf, Rolf, and Raoul, is adapted from the Old French given name Raol. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Rawson family

The surname Rawson was first found in Yorkshire where "Rawson has been a familiar Yorkshire surname for the last five hundred years." [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Willelmus Raufson, 1379; Johannes Rauson; and Ricardus Raweson.

Further north in Scotland, the first record of the name was William Rauessone of Berwickshire who rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296. Later, Andrew Rawsoun was messenger of arms in Banff in 1569 and James Rawson was reidare at Raffort, 1574. [4]

Early History of the Rawson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rawson research. Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1595, 1626, 1655, 1570, 1470, 1547, 1478, 1483, 1476, 1517, 1543, 1615, 1693, 1616, 1656, 1692 and 1849 are included under the topic Early Rawson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rawson Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Rawson, Rawsone and others.

Early Notables of the Rawson family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rawson, Viscount Clontarff (c. 1470-1547.) He was descended from an ancient family seated at Water Fryston in Yorkshire; his father, Richard Rawson, was from 1478 to 1483, senior warden of the Mercers' Company, and in 1476 served as alderman in London, subsequently becoming sheriff. In 1517 Rawson was made Treasurer of Ireland. A brother Richard (died 1543) was chaplain to Henry VIII and archdeacon of Essex. [5] Edward Rawson (1615-1693), was an English settler to America from Dorset...
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rawson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rawson Ranking

In the United States, the name Rawson is the 5,329th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Rawson family to Ireland

Some of the Rawson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rawson migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Rawson or a variant listed above were:

Rawson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christo Rawson, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [7]
  • Christopher Rawson, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Edward Rawson (1615-1693) of Dorset, settled in Newbury in 1637, where he would becme the first Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Edward Rawson, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1637 [7]
  • Richard Rawson, who arrived in Maryland in 1678-1679 [7]
Rawson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Rawson, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [7]
Rawson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Rawson, aged 32, who arrived in Rhode Island in 1812 [7]
  • William Rawson, aged 21, who landed in Georgia in 1812 [7]
  • Robert Rawson, aged 26, who landed in Virginia in 1813 [7]
  • H. N. T. Rawson, who arrived in San Francisco in 1822
  • James Rawson, who arrived in Mississippi in 1856 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rawson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rawson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Nathaniel Rawson, who landed in Anapolis (Annapolis), Nova Scotia in 1760

Australia Rawson migration to Australia +

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

Rawson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Rawson, (b. 1795), aged 24, English convict, born in Winkburn, Nottinghamshire, England who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1865 [8]
  • Thomas Rawson, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • James Rawson, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Soloman Rawson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Thomas Lowry" in 1848 [11]
  • John Rawson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1849 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rawson 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:

Rawson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Rawson, American settler travelling from San Francisco aboard the ship "William" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd April 1853 [13]
  • Mr. Charles Rawson, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [14]
  • Mr. Henry Rawson, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [14]
  • Frederick Rawson, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eastfield" in 1857
  • Mr. Frederick G. Rawson, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Eastfield" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 12th December 1857 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rawson (post 1700) +

  • William Rawson, American politician, Representative from Michigan 2nd District, 1896 [15]
  • Warren W. Rawson (b. 1843), American Republican politician, Market gardener; Member of Massachusetts Governor's Council 3rd District, 1905-06 [15]
  • Samuel Rawson, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Ontario County, 1831 [15]
  • Levi Rawson, American politician, Mayor of Akron, Ohio, 1847 [15]
  • Judy Rawson, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2008 [15]
  • James F. Rawson, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maine, 1884 [15]
  • Joseph B. Rawson, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Salisbury, Maryland, 1946-60 [15]
  • Francis George Rawson, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Nottingham, 1862-71 [15]
  • Edward S. Rawson, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Rhode Island, 1908 [15]
  • Edmund G. Rawson, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Montgomery County, 1815-16 [15]
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Clyde Jackson Rawson, American Boatswain's Mate First Class from Maryland, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [16]


The Rawson 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: Laus virtutis actio
Motto Translation: The Praise of Virtue is Action


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Adamant voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1821 with 144 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adamant/1821
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THOMAS LOWRY 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848ThomasLowry.htm
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DOROTHY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Dorothy.htm
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook