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Lawley Coat of Arms / Lawley Family Crest

Lawley Coat of Arms / Lawley Family Crest

The surname of LAWLEY was derived from the Gaelic O'Leathlobhair, the name of two early kings in Ulidia, whose family is now extinct. It was originally a personal name composed of the elements 'leath' (half) and 'lobar' (meaning unwell). The name seems to have been originally a by-name for a man of unhealthy constitution. Their territory lay in what is now East Maryborough barony. Those of the name are found predominantly in Leinster, and a number still reside in and around the homeland of the sept in County Leix. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames: they came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. The name was brought to Ireland and England by early settlers from France and the families scattered to Hampshire and Shropshire. The name is also spelt LAWLER. A notable member of this name is Ray LAWLER (l9ll-) Australian playwright, born in Melbourne. He was a factory hand at the age of l3, but soon gravitated to the stage. His SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL, a play of the 'outback' with its down to earth realism and with Lawler himself in a leading role, brought him fame outside Australia. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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