Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Lawford Name
Origins of Lawford:
This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a geographical name from any of the different places called Lawford which have as their component elements the Olde English pre 7th Century special name “Lealla,” similar to the Old High German “Lallo,” and the Olde English “Ford,” a fort. These places contain Lawford in Essex, noted as “Lalleford,” near the year 1042 in the Anglo-Saxon Wills Recordings, and as “Laleforda” in the Domesday Book of 1086. Parish and Long Lawford in Warwickshire, showing as “Leileforde, Lilleford” and “Lelleford” in the Domesday Book, and respectively as “Churche,” and “Long Lalleford” in the 1235 Charter Rolls of Warwickshire and Lawford, a locality in the Williton rural county of Somerset. Locational surnames, like this, were originally given to local landholders, and the lord of the estate, and especially as a source of classification to those who departed from their birthplace to settle elsewhere. In December 1589, Thomas Lawford and Isabella Holbech married at Fillongley, Warwickshire.
More common variations are: Laford, Lafford, Leaford, Layford, Layford, Lewford, la Ford, Lauford, Laforde, Lawfort, Lowford.
The surname Lawford first appeared in Essex, where they held a family seat from old times.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Lawforde, dated about 1569, marriage to Elizabeth Carlett, in the “St.Giles’ Cripplegate,” London. It was during the time of Queen Elizabeth I who was known to be the “Good Queen Bess,” dated 1558- 1603. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Lawford had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Lawford landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 20th. Some of the people with the name Lawford who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Mary Lawford, who sailed to Virginia in 1649. William Lawford to Barbados in 1671. Richard Lawford to Barbados in 1671.
The following century saw much more Lawford surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Lawford who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included Betty Teesdale Lawford, aged 1, who landed in America from England, in 1907. Charles H. Lawford, aged 33, who emigrated to America from Leicester, England, in 1907. Algernon Lawford, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Liversedge, England, in 1908. Egerton C. B. Lawford, who moved to the United States from London, England, in 1908. Ernest Lawford, who landed in America from London, England, in 1909.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Lawford: England 1,006; Australia 470; United States 234; Canada 156; South Africa 73; New Zealand 50; Scotland 46; Italy 45; Ireland 33; Norway 20.
Herbert Lawford (1851–1925), was a Scottish tennis player.
John Lawford (c. 1756–1842), was a Royal Navy administrator.
Ningali Lawford (born 1967), was an Australian actress.
Lawford Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Lawford blazon are the crescent, lion rampant, anchor and mullet. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and gules .
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter . The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” .
There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms . The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.
A wide variety of inanimate objects appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the anchor is a typical case. For any meaning, we need look no further than a nautical or sea-faring heritage. Indeed, some arms go into great detail of the colours and arrangement of the stock, stem, cables and flutes of the anchor reflecting a detailed knowledge of the form and use of this device. .