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LAWS Family History

This apparently simple surname is in fact one of great complexity. It is of Olde English or Norse Viking pre 8th Century origins, and was originally considered to be habitational for one who lived or perhaps worked at a "hlaw", a burial ground, or in Scotland, a small hill. However, recent research suggest that from the late medieval period (15th Century), the development was more probably as a nickname form of the early Norse "lagu", meaning "the Law". The surname being a metonymic for either a lawyer or more probably a Court Official, a short form of Lawman.

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