This most interesting surname is a variant of the Irish surname Lawlor, which is of Old Gaelic origin, as the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Leathlobhair", composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and a personal name composed of the elements "leath", half (meaning "somewhat, fairly"), and "-labor", leprous, sick. Hence the name seems to have been originally a byname for a man of unhealthy constitution. The name is also found as Lalour and Lalor, and the prefix has been almost entirely dropped in the present day.The surname itself is widespread in the province of Leinster, especially in County Leix (Laois). The O'Lalors were one of the Seven Septs of Leix, and were located near the famous Rock of Dunamase in County Leix, from where they were driven by English invaders during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1. Peter Lalor (1823 - 1889) led the insurgent miners at Eureka, Australia, in 1854, and subsequently became a minister and speaker of the Legislative Council of Victoria. Catherine, daughter of William Lawler, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on August 18th 1633. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a red lion rampant guardant on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Harry Lalor, Hero of the massacre of Mullaghmast, which was dated 1577, in "Records of County Leix", 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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