This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places called Lawford which have as their component elements the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Lealla", cognate with the Old High German "Lallo", and the Olde English "ford", a ford. These places include: Lawford in Essex, recorded as "Lalleford", circa 1042 in the Anglo-Saxon Wills Records, and as "Laleforda" in the omesday Book of 1086; Church and Long Lawford in Warwickshire, appearing 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 district of Somerset. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On December 2nd 1589, Thomas Lawford and Isabella Holbech were married at Fillongley, Warwickshire. Dr. Richard Lawford, an early settler in the New World, appears on a List of the Inhabitants of St. Michaell's Town, Barbados, in 1680. A Coat of Arms granted to the Lawford family is an azure shield with seven silver crescents, three, three and one. Symbolically, the crescent is associated with Faith and Hope. An arrow point downwards and palm branch in saltire all proper is on the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lawforde, which was dated November 9th 1569, marriage to Elizabeth Carlett, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, 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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