SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II ( 1307-1327 ) it became general practice amongst all people. LAWSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Lawrence' an ancient and still popular font name. Early records mention Richard Lawson who was the canon of St. Giles in Edinburgh and laird of Grothill in 1370. Wilelmus Lauson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Lauson held land in Aberdeen in 1436. Richard Lawson was the Town Clerk of Edinburgh in 1482. William Lauson of County Lancashire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1576. Baptised. Jone, daughter of Randall Lawson at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1664. The name is a firmly established northern name, local to Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Boghall and Cairnmuir, County Peebles.
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