This interesting surname, of medieval English origin with variant spellings Lawie, Lawee, and Lawey, derives from the Middle English pet form of the personal name Lawrence, itself coming from the Middle English, Old French given name Lorens, Laurence, from the Latin "Laurentius" man from Laurentum, a town in Italy probably named from its laurels or bay trees. The personal name was borne by a saint who was martyred at Rome in the 3rd Century A.D.. The surname dates back to the late 16th Century (see below). Church recordings include one Mary, daughter of John and Mary, Lawee who was christened on April 18th 1674, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, Charles, son of Charles and Susanna Lawie, was christened on December 13th 1809, at St. Matthew's, Bethal Green, London, and Richard, son of John and Margaret Lawie, was christened on June 22nd 1871, at West Calder, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Lawey, (witnessed the christening of his daughter Hester), which was dated 1583, St. Botolph's, at Bishopsgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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