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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Brough Hall, co. York, bart., extinct 1834; Sir Henry Lawson, sixth and last bart., d. s. p., when his estates passed to his nephew, William Wright, son of John Wright, Esq., of Kelvedon Hall, co. Essex, by Elizabeth Lawson, his wife, second dau. of Sir John Lawson, fifth bart., who assumed the name of Lawson, and was created a bart. 1841). Crest granted 1592. Ar. a chev. betw. three martlets sa. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a martlet sa.
2) (Brough Hall, co. York, bart.). Motto—Leve et reluis. (Longhirat, co. Northumberland; descended from Robert Lawson, of Longhirst, whose will bears date 1610). (Neaham Abbey, co. Durham; descended from Thomas Lawson, d. 1499, m. the heiress of Cramlington, of Cramlington). Motto—Rise and shine. (Little Osworth, co. Durham; confirmed 1558). Ar. a chev. betw. three martlets sa. Crest—Two flexed arms ar. supporting the rising sun ppr.
3) (Popleton and Moreby, co. York; descended from Sir George Lawson, Knt., Treasurer of Berwick-upon- Tweed, temp. Henry VIII., and Lord Mayor of York in 1530; represented by Lawson, of Aldborough Lodge and Boroughbridge Hall, co. York). Motto—Loyal, secret; Loyal, confidential—adopted by Sir George Lawson, Knt., on his appointment as Treasurer of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Paly of four gu. and vert, on a chev. or, a greyhound’s head erased sa. betw. two cinquefoils az. on a chief of the third an ogress, thereon a demi lion ramp. ar. betw. two crescents of the fourth, on each three plates. Crest—A wolf's head erased ppr. charged on the neck with three bezants, one and two, betw. the bezants a collar vert.
4) (co. York). Paly of six gu. and vert, on a chev. ar. three wolves’ heads erased sa. on a chief or, as many ogresses.
5) (Ushworth). Per pale sa. and ar. a chev. counter-changed.
6) (Isell, co. Cumberland, bart., extinct 1806; descended from John Lawson, Lord of Fawlesgrave, temp. Henry III.; Wilfred Lawson, Esq., of Isell, was created a bart. 1688; Sir Wilfred Lawson, tenth bart., d. s. p., and bequeathed the estates of Thomas Wybergh, aon of Thomas Wybergh, Esq., of Clifton Hall, co. Weatmoreland, by Isabella Hartley, his wife, sister of Anne, the wife of Sir Wilfrid, he d. s. p. 1812, and was s. by his brother, Wilfrid Wybergh, Esq., of Brayton, co. Cumberland, who assumed the name of Lawson, and was created a bart. 1831). Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. counterchanged.
7) (Brayton, co. Cumberland, bart., created 1831). Motto—Quod honeatum utile. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. counterchanged, a canton sa. charged with two bars or. Crest—Out of clouds ppr. two arma embowed, vested erminoia, cuffs sa. holding a sun also ppr.
8) (Longhirst, co. Northumberland). Ar. a chev. betw. three martlets sa. Crest—Two arms embowed couped at the elbow, vested erm. cuffed ar. supporting in the hands ppr. the sun in splendour gold.
9) (Cramlington, co. Northumberland). Motto—Tant que je puis. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a chev. betw. three martlets sa., for Lawson, 2nd and 3rd, ar. two chev. betw. three trefoils vert, for De Cardonel (granted to Mansfeldt, Esq., of Chirton, co. Northumberland); 2nd and 3rd grand quarters, Hilton, of Hylton Castle, co. Durham. Crests— 1st: Two arms embowed supporting a sun ppr., motto over, Rise und shine, for Lawson; 2nd: A dove ppr., for De Cardonnel.
10) (London). Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. counterchanged, in chief an escallop of the second.
11) (Boghall and Cairnmuir, co. Peebles). Ar. a saltire and chief sa. on the last three garbs or.
12) (Humbie, co. Haddington). Az. two crescents ar. in chief and a star in base or.
13) (Halheriot, co. Edinburgh, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, 1863). Motto—Dominus providebit. Per saltire ar. and aa. a saltire gu. on a chief az. three garbs or. Crest—A garb or.
14) Ar. on a bend betw. two trefoils slipped sa. three mascles or.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Lawson Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Lawson Origin:

England, Scotland

Origins of Lawson:

The surname of Lawson can be traced to the Hold Land, but was brought there by the 12th Century crusaders on their quest from the Holy Land to England and Scotland. Within the earliest form of the name, the surname of Lawson was originally introduced as “Law” and was a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the case of the surname of Lawson, the nickname of Law was used as a nickname of endearment. In the country of Italy, the surname of Lawson is believed to be a locational surname. This means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Lawson, it was believed to have been a name for someone who hailed from the Italian city of Laurentum, which was notably known for the laurels which populated the city. It is believed that those who originally bore the surname of Lawson lived by their sword and had no other occupation.


More common variations are: Lawsson, Lawison, Laweson, Llawson, Lawason, Leawson, Lawsaon, Lawsion, Lawsone, Lawsonn


The first recorded spelling of the surname of Lawson can be traced to the country of England. One person who was recorded as having the name of Richard Lawisson was mentioned and named in the document known as the Subsidy Rolls of the County of Cumberland in the year of 1327. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Edward III of England, who was known throughout the ages, and commonly referred to as “The Father of the Navy.” King Edward III of England ruled from the year 1327 to the year 1377. Other mentions of the surname of Lawson include Henry Laweson, who was mentioned in the Poll Tax Rolls of the County of Yorkshire in the year 1379. Those who bear the surname of Lawson within the country of England can be found in high concentrations in the areas of Durham, Northumberland, Lancashire, and within a large population of those who are known by the surname of Lawson in the county of Yorkshire.

United States of America:

Throughout the 1600’s many people migrated to the United States in search of a better life. Among them was an early settler to the United States, Christopher Lawson, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1623. Those who carry the surname of Lawson can be found in California, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Lawson: United States 127,002; Togo 60,786; Nigeria 56,090; England 24,124; Ghana 20,209; Australia 10,845; Canada 8,697; South Africa 5,260; Scotland 4,673; France 3,625

Notable People:

Andrew Cowper Lawson (1861-1952) who was a professor of geology from America who worked at the University of California, Berkeley

Alfred William Lawson (1869-1954) who was a professional baseball player from America who was also a pioneer in the aircraft industry and the founder of the Lawson Airplane Company he is also credited with the creation of Lawsonomy which is a health practice that included an emphasis on vegetarianism

Eddie Lawson who was born in the year 1958 is an American motorcycle racer who has to date won the Grand Prix World Championship four times

Ernest Lawson who was a painter from America and Canada who was also a member of The Eight

John Howard Lawson (1894-1977) who was a writer from America

Cecil Gordon Lawson (1851-1882) who was a painter of landscapes from England

Nigel Lawson who was born in the year 1932 and is a conservative politician from England

Abercrombie Anstruther Lawson (1870-1927) who was botanist who was from Australia but was born in Canada who was a foundation professor on the subject of botany at the University of Sydney

Lawson Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Lawson blazon are the martlet, chevron, crescent and garb. The three main tinctures (colors) are vert, sable and argent .

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 1. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 2. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 4. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 5. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 7. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8.

The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 9. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 10. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 11, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.12. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 13, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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 14xz`, 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 15. 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” 16.

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Robert commented on 21-Mar-2019
I found all my Lawson family history in a book called William Lawson the Scottish Rebel. You can buy it at the Wise county in Va.
Patton Lawson commented on 27-Nov-2018
I’m a lawson and I’m really shocked about my ancestors it’s quite exciting
Kari Lawson commented on 21-Oct-2018
How do I know which coat of arms represents my family?
Coat of Arms Database commented on 05-Aug-2017
I can refer you to a genealogist I know if you wish.
Devin Lawson commented on 04-Aug-2017
Im a Lawson looking to find family my father was born in west Virginia. Im Devin Lawson father was David Lyn Lawson. I am on Facebook if anyone reads this you can contact me on there. There is only Me my son and brother and his two sons that have the blood line going on our family side.


  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79
  • 11 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 12 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 13 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 14 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
  • 15 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon
  • 16 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106