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I have found two conflicting genealogies for the ancestry of the Lawrences of Ashton Hall. The first is the most commonly published ancestry by H. G. Somberby and others. A Visitation may have been the source for this pedigree. According to this genealogy, the Lawrences of Ashton Hall are descended from a Robert Lawrence born about 1150 A.D., or about 1155/60 A.D., depending on the writer, in the vicinity of Lancaster, England. One source indicates that his father also was named Robert and worked as a silversmith for the Lord of Lancaster Castle. Lancaster Castle was established about 1100 A.D. on the remains of three Roman forts and today is a prison.
The second is based on manuscripts written by Schuyler Lawrence in the mid-1930s concerning the Lawrences of Lancashire, England. He states that Ashton Hall did not come into the possession of the Lawrences until about 100 years after the Third Crusade when there was a lawsuit brought by Lawrence de Lancaster son of Thomas de Lancaster son of Roger de Lancaster. John the son of Lawrence de Lancaster was the first to use the Lawrence surname derived from his father's given name. Based on my research of sources I believe this latter genealogy is more likely to be the true pedigee. I also have found other sources that indicate the Lawrences are descended from the de Lancaster family, Barons of Kendal. One source leads me to believe that Roger de Lancaster was the illegitimate son of Gilbert FitzReinfrid the son of Roger FitzReinfrid. Gilbert FitzReinfrid married Helewise de Lancaster heir and daughter of William II de Lancaster obtaining her inheritance and becoming the baron of Kendal.
See Legend vs Fact for further discussion of the two pedigrees.
While there is some information on the de Lancaster family on this web site I recommend the following web sites for more in depth research of the various branches of the de Lancaster families.
See Charts for the descent from Roger FitzReinfrid to Robert Lawrence immigrant to Isle of Wright County, Virginia, and second son of Sir John Lawrence, Baronet, of London. Robert immigrated to Isle of Wight County, Virginia, about 1638.
The Armorial Bearings of the Lawrence Family
There are some variations in the Lawrence Coat of Arms as used by various branches of the family, however, they are basically the same.
Crest a demi-turbot in pale gu (erect fish tale in pale red - this is of religious significance)
Shield argent (silver), a cross raguly gules (a red cross of trunks of trees having pieces like couped boughs projecting at the sides in a slanting direction)
Motto "In Cruce Salus" (literally translated, "In the cross there is salvation")
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Robert Lawrence, immigrant to Isle of Wright Co., Virginia, circa 1638
Robert Lawrence was the son of Sir John Lawrence, Baronet, of London and his wife Grissel Gibbons. It appears that shortly after Sir John Lawrence died in 1638, Robert and his wife Elizabeth Adkinson immigrated to Isle of Wight Co., Virginia.
Robert and Elizabeth had four sons that have been identified, Robert Lawrence Jr., John Lawrence, George Lawrence, and Henry Lawrence. There is a vast amount of information on the descendants of Robert and John. Additionally, I have information on some of the descendants of Henry and some of the descendants of George.
I have attempted to gather as much information about the descendants of Robert Lawrence the immigrant as I can into this one work that can serve as a reference for researchers of these Lawrence lines.
Conventions Used in this Site
If the surname of an individual is unknown, I have indicated this by a ?.
If the given name of an individual is unknown it is indicated by "Unknown."