Lawlor Family Crest

O'Lawlor also known as Lawlor, Lawler, and Lalor is an Irish surname belonging to one of the Seven Septs of Laios.

The Gaelic Family name now most frequently found in English as Lawlor was O'leathlobhair. The earliest historical record now extant tells us that Leathlobhar was a King of Ulidia who died in 871 A.D., and from him descended the ancient Kings of Dalraida and Ulidia and the Ulster family of Lawlors.

After the 10th century the annals do not continue the story of this particular sept. But another family of the name came into prominence in the midlands. They were one of the "Seven septs of Laios" and were kinsmen of the O'Mores. Their clan lands surrounded the famous Rock of Dunamase in County Laois and their family seat was Dysart Enos, where they held sway until the time of Elizabeth. In punishment for their courageous battles for their faith and national independence, the Lawlor chieftains who survived the infamous massacre of Mullaghmast in 1577 were, with the O'More, dispossessed and settled in County Kerry where many of their descendants live today. However, many of the Lawlor clansmen managed to survive the Elizabethan, the Cromwellian and the Williamite Wars and remained in the district of their ancestors. It is still in County Laios and eastward that the greatest number of LAWLORS are to be found today. Lalor and Lawler are also common variant forms of the name at the present time.

The motto "Faithful and Loyal" to Ireland and the cause of liberty may be said to characterize their story on the pages of Irish history as well as in the English speaking world. James Fintan Lalor (1817-1849), son of patriot father, was a noted revolutionary thinker and leader of his time. In Australia his brother Peter Lalor (1823-1889), leader of the insurgent miners at Eureka in 1854, later became Minister and Speaker in the Legislative Council of Victoria. In the United States Brigadier General Michael Kelly Lawlor (1814-1882) was a noted officer under Grant in the Civil War. John Lalor (1820-1901) was a sculptor of international renown.