This interesting and unusual name recorded in English church registers from the late 16th Century under the variant spellings Larway, Larroway and Lorraway, is of locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been in Dorset and the component elements of the name are the Old Scandinavian "leir", mud or clay, plus the Old English "weg", a way or road. On April 27th 1587, Edeth Larway and John Sing were married in Bishops Caundle, Dorset, and on June 18th 1665, Sara Lorraway, an infant, was christened in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. Susanna Laraway was christened in St. Pauls, Deptford, London, on June 24th 1744. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Larway, (witness at a christening), which was dated March 31st 1574, at Bishop's, Caundle, Dorset, 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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