Lawrason Genealogical Research

Robin E. Lawrason Ph.D.

Updated: December 21, 2004

 

The following Lawrason research was conducted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1974 onwards using documents and records found at the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and the earlier work of my father, Thomas Stuart Lawrason of Hamilton, Ontario.

 

Long Island Laurensons: The following information lists early records of the two brothers John and James who were reputed to have come to Long Island from Denmark via Great Britain sometime in the 1680s.  I have been able to follow the Lawrasons through three generations: John the original indicated below by the superscript 1.  John his apparent son (superscript 2) and the third generation William (superscript 3).  

 

New Jersey Larisons/Larasons/Lawrasons: William made the move along with many other Newtown Long Island residents to New Jersey in the early part of the eighteenth century.   There are many records of William’s sons spelled in several ways as “Larason” or “Larison  Most of these still have descendents in Hunterton and Mercer Counties today, but none spell their name with a “w” today in New Jersey.  I have found no solid records of the “missing Lawrason generation” that would link these early Long Island/New Jersey records with my own Ontario Lawrason descendents. 

 

I have theorized, however, that the Thomas mentioned in some records as a son of William might be the father of the Ontario Lawrasons.  While no evidence has been discovered to show the birth and death dates of this Thomas (or his offspring), he would be about the right age to be the father, not only of the Ontario Lawrasons, but of James who moved to Alexandria Virginia about the same time period.  Both branches indicate a father Thomas from Sussex County New Jersey.

 

Ontario Lawrasons: Records in Ontario indicate that the three Lawrasons arrived in 1789 were the offspring of a “Thomas Lawrason of Sussex County New Jersey” (in the north west corner of the state).  Miller Lawrason (my direct ancestor) and Lawrence Lawrason came to the Niagara area of Upper Canada (Ontario) with their sister Rebecca (married to Daniel Corson) in 1789.   Lawrence then settled in London and Miller near Hamilton Ontario.

 

Virginia Lawrasons: The only other branch of the family that I have found that spells the family name as we do today was a James Lawrason (son of a Thomas) who moved to Alexandria at about the same time.  James named his own son Thomas who then became a successful ship owner, dealing with England and living there for a time when the War of 1812 made life more difficult.   After Thomas= death, his widow Elizabeth played hostess to General LaFayette in 1824 at the new Lawrason home on St. Aspeth’s Street .  She then moved to Louisiana to be with her son on a plantation near St. Francesville.  I have no records of this branch of the family from this point onwards.

 

                                                      JOHANNES1 LAWRENSON

                                                          Original American Founder

 

Source: History of Morris County New Jersey. Volume 2, 1914, page 255.

 

Located:           PA Historical Society.

 

Quote:              In description of John L Larrison, son of Robert C and Harriet Green: "A descendent of J Larrison[1], a Danish nobleman, who was compelled to flee and lose his estate by confiscation on account of a conspiracy in 1660 because of taxes. He fled to Scotland and hearing that a price was set on his head came to America and purchased a large tract of land (about 1700 acres) near Brooklyn, LI. 

 

Source: A Chronicle of Everyday People: Being as Far as can be Obtained the American Ancestry of George Schuyler Gardiner and his Wife Catherine Larison Marshall with their Children, Grandchildren, and Great Grandchildren Born Before 1929.  edited by H.D. Sleight, Sag Harbor, NY, 1929.

 

Located:           New Jersey Archives, Newbury Library.

 

Quote:              Larison chapter, pages 126-131

"A romantic story is told of Johannes[1] Laurenson, the emigrant; it is interesting and doubtless had some foundation in truth, but there is nothing to prove whether he came to this country as a soldier of fortune, as a victim of circumstances or merely chose to come.  He may have been a Danish nobleman escaped in disguise with a price on his head, but certainly not, as told, following the lost cause of Nobles against the King and the Clergy in 1665, for the records show that he and his brother James[1] were at Newtown, L. I., as early as 1656 and apparently landowners then.

 

"That Johannes and James were brothers is stated in a court record of 1663 when James brought suit against Francis Doughty for payment of some pumpkins.

 

"Johannes[1] had a son Johannes[2] who usually signed his name John.  Johannes[1] in his will probated in 1671 mentions his wife, son John[2], and daughter Abigail.  In December, 1671, Mary, widow of Johannes[1] sells all of the land with improvements to Elias Doughty and Thomas Stevenson, John[2] giving his consent but there is no signature by Abigail nor is there any provision for her guardianship.  John[2] was married at this time, having a child Amy, who was about two years old and this together with the fact that Abigail took no part in the settlement, and that John and Abigail had passes to sail on the "Blessing," the "Charles" or the "Phoenix" for Port Royal, Carolina in November 1671 leads to a surmise that Abigail was the wife of John[2].  There is nothing to show that they went or returned except that in December 1672 John confirms the deed given by his mother, so it is probable that if they went to Carolina, they returned.  McGrady's History of South Carolina tells of the arrival of the "Blessing" .. with Dutch discontents from New York...   From 1672 to 1683 there is occasional mention of John on the records but no more is known of Mary who, most likely remarried.  Johnannes[1] and John[2] were well educated for the day and signed their names to documents.  C.W. Larison in his book on the Larison family pretends to no proof back of William[3] who must have been the son of John[2] as there is no other place for him, and he must have been the child of the first wife as his son James was born in 1695.  William[3] is known to have been with an emigration from Newtown and the Inventory of the estate of Theophilus Philips of Maidenhead, N.J., has the item of L131-11s-2d due from William Larison March 19th 1708/9.

 

"James[1?] had a son Johannes[2B] who was indentured to his uncle [Johannes1] after whose death the widow released him.  He appears to have married twice; the first wife may have been a daughter of Thomas Wandell whom she predeceased, as Wandell left a small bequest to his grandson, the son of Johannes Louirison; or, the child may have been a godson, though from the bitterness between the two men [James[1] & Wandell? ] a blood tie with disinheritance may be conjectured.  James[1] married 2nd, Leah Peterson before Jan. 18th, 1673 as on that date they signed a deed.  Johannes[2AorB?] emigrated to Maidenhead, now Lawrenceville, N.J., about 1694 and in 1697 he bought of the West Jersey Society 1050 acres of land on the south side of Stony Brook which he sold to Richbell Mott in 1700.  In 1680 Johannes{2B?] as a witness testifies that he was 29 years old, placing his birth in 1651.  He had a daughter Hannah who married Jonathan Hazard of Newtown.

 

JOHANNES1 LAURENSON was at Newtown, L.I., [currently between Queens and Brooklyn on the East River]  in 1656 or before.  Born    ; will dated Dec. 5th, 1670; inventory dated Sept. 7th, 1671, married Mary     ; born     ; died    .  Children of Johannes and Mary (     ) Larison: John2 born prob. as early as 1649; died Nov 30th, 1693; married 1st, perh. Abigail; 2nd, 1683 Jemima (Woodhull) Halsey; 3rd, 1686 Mary, widow of David Howell.  Abigail mentioned in will of Johannes Laurenson.

 

JOHN2 LARISON born prob about 1649; died Nov 30th, 1693; at Southhampton, L.I., married 1st, 1669 or before     , Abigail? born     ; died     ; married 2nd, May 22nd, 1683, at Southampton, Jemima (Woodhull) Halsey, widow of Daneil, born     ; died     ; married 3rd, Dec. 20th, 1686; Mary, widow of David Howell of Southampton, born    ; died    .  Children of John and Abigail ? (    ) Larison: AMY [3] born 1669; died Fe. 28th, 1734 at 64 years and 6 months; married Daniel Halsey her step-brother.  WILLIAM[3] born    ; died 1749.  Two sons are said to have been killed by Indians.  Children of John and Jemima (Woodfull) Larison: none are recorded.  Child of John and Mary    (    ) Larison: MARY[3] born     ; died    .

 

"Note: It is sometimes thought that William[3] was the son of the second marriage but as this occurred in 1683 and William's son James[4] was born in 1695, this may be dismissed as unlikely.  In 1681 Richard Woodhull presented to the court in behalf of his daughter Jemima, widow and relict of Daniel Halsey, a inventory of Daniel's estate and on the appointment of Jemima as administratrix he signed her bond.

 

Source: "First Book of Sessions, Suffolk Co., page 117.

 

Quotes:            "William Larison[3] came from Newtown, L.I., about 1708/10 and settled near

what now is Hopewell, N.J.  He was on the tax list of Hunterdon Co., in 1722.

 

"WILLIAM3 LARISON born probably about 1672/73; died 1749; will signed April 7th, 1749; proved July 4th 1979; married, name not know.  Children of William and    (    ) Larison: JAMES4 born 1695; died 1792 ae 97; married Keziah Parke.  WILLIAM[4] born    ; died, will probated 1777; married Patience; lived in Morris Co., N.J.  THOMAS[4] [our Lawrason ancestor?] born     ; died     ; married.  ELIZABETH[4] born     ; died     ; married David Stout of Hopewell; settled in Chester Tp., Morris Co.   JOHN[4] born     ; died     .  GEORGE[4], probably the one who settled in Pennsylvania.

 

... [Account continues with lineage of JAMES4.]

 

"Authorities consulted: History of Southhampton, Howell, pp 199, 430; Early Germans of New Jersey, Chambers, pp 437, 439, 203, 438;  Halsey Family, p 43; First Book of Sessions, Suffolk Co., N.Y., 1681, p 117;  Southampton Records, Vol V p 282, 294; N.Y. Abstracts of Wills, vol. I. 1665 to 1707, pp 14, 156; Annals of Newtown, Riker, pp 43, 50, 52, 58, 78, 332;  Newtown Court Records, 1663, 1671, 1672; Newtown Records, Vol I, pp 60, 203, 400, 502; Liber VI, Folio 70, Office of Secretary of State, Trenton, N.J.; Pioneers of Old Hopewell, Ege, P 223, 226, 233, 379, 350, 352, 375; History of Hunterdon Co., pp 185, 186; History of the Stout Family, Capt. Nathan Stout, p 21."

 


Source: Scandinavian Immigrants in New York.  1630-1674.  John G. Evjen. 

 

Quote:              John Larason[1] (Larsen) was a "Danish nobleman, compelled to flee and lose his estates by confiscation on account of conspiracy, in 1660, because of taxes. He fled to Scotland, and hearing that a price was set on his head, came to America, and purchased a large tract, about 1700 acres near Brooklyn, LI."  quotes from Chambers, Thomas Freylinghuysen, Early Germans of New Jersey, 1895.  Revolution in Denmark in 1660 when king became absolute monarch over nobles.  [Note: Danish Archives told me no such revolution at that time.]

 

John[1] and James[1] Lauronson 1656 Middlesburg (Newton) on "the Indian rate" -nearly perfect list of male residents.  Note: List includes many capitalized names to indicate those that left for NJ; neither did.

 

Source: First Book of Records: Town of Southampton, 1874.

 

Quote:              "John Larison[2?]'s son-in-law, Daniel Halsey, born Aug 31, 1669."  page 294

 

"John Larrison[2?] at a town meeting in Southampton, September 24, 1683.  Voted that John Larrison must close up the vacant land lying before his close as you go towards Cobs Pond."  page ?

 

Owned land near land of Joseph and Christopher Foster... road right of way... page 100

 

Marries Halsey 1683; Howell 1686.

 

 

Source: Thomas Halsey and his Descendants.

 

Quote:              Jemima Halsey married May 22, 1683 to John Larison[2].

she died before Dec 20, 1686 when Larison married second wife, Mary, widow of David Howell.

Near Jemima's grave at Mecox Bay, near the ocean, are graves of Anna, b. 1675; died July 3, 1714; and Ruth.

 

Notes:              Are Anna and Ruth sisters?  cousins?  daughters of Isaac or David?

 

Source: History of Southampton, by George Roger Howell, 1866.

 

Quote:              "John Larrison[2] married Jemima Halsie, May 22, 1683; also married Elizabeth Howell, Dec 20, 1686".  page 202.  In second edition, 1887: "Had one daughter, Mary." In 1683 is taxed for 254 pounds, and is not living in 1694. page 430.

 

Source: New York Marriages 1683.  E (Vol endorsed 33-49) 

 

Quote:              April 11, 1683.  Laurison[2], John and Jamima Halsie.

 

Source: Early Long Island Wills of Suffolk County, New York 1691-1703.

 

Quote:              John Lawrison[2] of Southhampton lived near residence of Thomas Warren, in Suffolk County in Province of New York Mason.  He left one third of his possessions to his second wife Mary and two thirds to daughter Mary.  Also left his horse to Samuel Cooper, who was guardian to his daughter.  Will witnessed by Sarah Cooper and Saml Whitehead.  Will dated October 20, 1693; he died November 30.  page 103-5.

 

 


                     JAMES1 (BROTHER OF ORIGINAL JOHN?)

                                                             Newtown, Long Island

 

 

Source: A Genealogical Dictionary of First Settlers of New England.  James Savage.  Baltimore: Genealogy Publishing Company, 1969.

 

Quote:              "Laurenson[1], James and John of Newtown, Long Island, 1686, were probably of Dutch descent."  page 59.

 

 

Source: First Settlers of ye Plantations of Piscatawy and Woodbridge. Olde East New Jersey. 

 

Quotes:            James and John Lauronson[1], freeholders in Newtown LI, NY December 4, 1666.  PT 1-3, page 109

 

...James Lawrenson[1]..."for two lots" taxes to be paid in 1666 at Middelburgh (Newton).  page 289

 

 

Source: New York Genealogy and Birth(?) Records.  Volume 64 from Town Records of Newtown, LI.

 

Quote:              James Lorison[1] agrees to fix up townhouse, September 18, 1662.  Jams Lorison sells land, December 21, 1667.  Vol 64, page 133.

 


                     JOHANNES2 (SON OF ORIGINAL JOHN)

                                              to Maidenhead NJ (Lawrenceville) 1694/6

 

 

See Also:          A Chronicle of Everyday People under section on Johannes, the Original Founder.

 

 

Source: Scandinavian Immigrants in New York.  1630-1674.  John G. Evjen. 

 

Quote:              John Larason[2] is on the rate list of Newton L.I., 1683.  He probably married, (1) Jemina Halsey, May 22, 1683; and (2) the widow Mary Howell, December 22, 1686.  He died at Chester (?) NJ at an advanced age.  He probably had a son.  "Larason" may be a corruption of Lauridsen or an assumed name.  "Larasen" often occurs in older Norwegian records.

 

 

Source: New York Genealogy and Birth(?) Records.  Volume 64 from Town Records of Newtown, LI.

 

Quotes:            Mary Ponten, wife of Captain Richard Ponten of Westchester at 72 years or thereabouts, being deposed, saith: That her son John Lawrencson[2], was born at Newtown, LI in June of the year 1652.  Sworn April 8, 1689.  Vol 54, page 392.  [Note: wife of Original John? or brother James?]

 

Mary Lawrison, third wife and widow of John[1?] sells to Elias Doughty land now leased to John Marshall and Thomas Etherington, December 18, 1671.  John Lawrison[2?], a son, consents to the sale.  Vol 64 page 60.

 

Johannis Lorosson[2B?] buys land from father-in-law, Lorence Peterson, January 31, 1677.  Vol 64, page 30.  [Note: no mention of Lorence Peterson up to Volume 60.  Is this James1 son?]

 

Land sold to Johnannis Loroson, December 19, 1679.  Vol 64, page 147.

 

Laurensen, Johannes witnessed a deed in Newtown, May 11, 1695.  from gen gleanings from Book #2 of Conveyances, Brooklyn, Kings County, April 1923.  Vol 54, page 108.

 


Source: Moore Geneology.

 

Quotes:            Johannes[2AorB?] Lawrenson from Newtown LI, in Maidenhead by 1698, gave land for school and church.  page 10

 

Testified in a suit, February 23, 1680, in Newtown LI.  page 37.

 

Thomas Revell sold him land in Maidenhead, July 1697.  page 165.

 

 

 

Source: First Settlers of Piscataway and Woodbridge. 

 

Quote:  Maidenhead, 1689, An Important Item.  March 18, 1698-9 Deed.  "The West Jersey Society by their agents... Johannes Lawrenson (Updyck)... all of Maidenhead, Burlington County for 100 acres there of the Society's 15000 acre tract above the Falls of the Delaware to be used as a meetinghouse, burying ground and schoolhouse."  Subscribed 155 Jan 1st 1712.  Parts 1 & 2, page 113-14.

 

Johannes Laurenson of Dyck, 1697.  Parts 4 & 5, page 556.

 

Pioneers of Old Hopewill.  Maidenhead (Vide, ante, Part One, page 113, Archives, Vol XXI).

 

 

Source: Mercer County New Jersey. by Lee.

 

Quote:              John (Johannes) Lawrenson (Updike) purchase 100 acres in 1697 from Thomas Greene at Maidenhead (Lawrenceville NJ).  page 70.

 

J.L. mentioned as one of many new settlers.  page 71.

 

Maidenhead Road to "a white oak in land of J.L." page 73.

 

 

Source: New Jersey Archives. Volume 21.

 

Quote:              "1701-02, Feb 6:  Do. Ralph Hunt to Wm Albertus, both of Maidenhead, Burlington, Co. yeoman, for 50 acres in said tns, late in the tenure of Daneil MacDaniel on the north side of Stony Brook, adj Johannes Laurens". page 535.

 

 


Source: New Jersey Collection Documents.  Volume 23. 1670-1730.

 

Quote:              Vol 1 Abstract of Wills: Johannes Lawrenson, yeoman, witnessed will of Jacob van Tilburgh Feb 10, 1702/3, Burlington, County.

 

 

Source: Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society.  Volume VI.

 

Quote:  Johanus Laurenson taxed 15 shillings Jan 1, 1712 in Maidenhead.  page 153.

 

 

 

Source: Refugees of 1776 L.I. to CT. By F. G. Mather.

 

Quote:  Hannah Laurenson, married Johathan Hazard of Newtown LI: children: James, Thomas, Nathaniel.  Died 1711. 

 

 

Source: NY Marriages 1664-1773.

 

Quote:  Feb 1, 1672, a Hannah Lawrenson married Joseph Thorne. page 227.

 


                                   WILLIAM3

 

 

Source: A Chronicle of Everyday People: Being as Far as can be Obtained the American Ancestory of George Schuyler Gardiner and his Wife Catherine Larison Marshall with their Children, Grandchildrem, and Great Grandchildren Born Before 1929.  edited by H.D. Sleight, Sag Harbor, NY, 1929.

 

Located:           New Jersey Archives, Newbury Library.

 

Quote:              Larison chapter, pages 126-131

 

"First Book of Sessions, Suffolk Co., page 117.

 

"William Larison[3] came from Newtown, L.I., about 1708/10 and settled near what now is Hopewell, N.J.  He was on the tax list of Hunterdon Co., in 1722.

 

"WILLIAM3 LARISON born probably about 1672/73; died 1749; will signed April 7th, 1749; proved July 4th 1749; married, name not know.  Children of William and    (    ) Larison: JAMES4 born 1695; died 1792 ae 97; married Keziah Parke.  WILLIAM[4] born    ; died, will probated 1777; married Patience; lived in Morris Co., N.J.  THOMAS[4] [our Lawrason ancestor?] born     ; died     ; married.  ELIZABETH[4] born     ; died     ; married David Stout of Hopewell; settled in Chester Tp., Morris Co.   JOHN[4] born     ; died     .  GEORGE[4], probably the one who settled in Pennsylvania.

 

... [Account continues with lineage of JAMES4.]

 

 

 

Source: Early Germans of New Jersey.  T. F. Chambers.

 

 

Quote:              WILLIAM, whose name occurs on tax list of Hopewell twp., 1722, as assessed for 11 cattle and horses, 9 sheep and 160 acres.  His will, dated April 7 and prob. May 30, 1749, (Trenton, Lib 6, fol. 70), mentions five children: James, William, John, George and the wife of David Stout.

 

Note:                No mention of Thomas in this account.  Other irregularities here too though compared to Chronicle of Everyday People which mentions a Thomas.

 

 

My Guess on Ontario Lawrason lineage

 

 

1.         Johannes (16? - 1671)                          James (16? - 16?)

 

2.         John (1649 - 1693 Southhampton LI)   John (1651-? Maidenhead/Lawrenceville NJ)

 

3.         William (1672-1749 Newtown LI>Hopewell NJ)

 

4.         Thomas (Sussex County?) no birth records

 

5.         Thomas (to Alexandria VA)  Lawrence, Miller & Rebecca (to Ontario in 1789)

(No records on births but stated to be Sussex Country NJ)

 

                                                                 REFERENCES

 

Chronicle of Everyday People, A: Being as Far as can be Obtained the American Ancestory of George Schuyler Gardiner and his Wife Catherine Larison Marshall with their Children, Grandchildrem, and Great Grandchildren Born Before 1929.  edited by H.D. Sleight, Sag Harbor, NY, 1929. (A)

 

Authorities consulted: History of Southampton, Howell, pp 199, 430; Early Germans of New Jersey, Chambers, pp 437, 439, 203, 438;  Halsey Family, p 43; First Book of Sessions, Suffolk Co., N.Y., 1681, p 117;  Southampton Records, Vol V p 282, 294; N.Y. Abstracts of Wills, vol. I. 1665 to 1707, pp 14, 156; Annals of Newtown, Riker, pp 43, 50, 52, 58, 78, 332;  Newtown Court Records, 1663, 1671, 1672; Newtown Records, vol I, pp 60, 203, 400, 502; Liber VI, Folio 70, Office of Secretary of State, Trenton, N.J.; Pioneers of Old Hopewell, Ege, P 223, 226, 233, 379, 350, 352, 375; History of Hunterdon Co., pp 185, 186; History of the Stout Family, Capt. Nathan Stout, p 21."

 

Early Germans of New Jersey.  T. F. Chambers. (B)

 

Early Long Island Wills of Suffolk County, New York 1691-1703. (C)

 

First Book of Records: Town of Southampton, 1874. (D)

 

First Settlers of Piscataway and Woodbridge.  (E)

 

History of Morris County New Jersey. Volume 2, 1914, page 255. (F)

 

History of Southampton, by George Roger Howell, 1866. (G)

 

Mercer County New Jersey. by Lee. (H)

 

Moore Geneology. (I)

 

New Jersey Archives. Volume 21. (J)

 

New Jersey Collection Documents.  Volume 23. 1670-1730. (K)

 

New York Genealogy and Birth(?) Records.  Volume 64 from Town Records of Newtown, LI. (L)

 

New York Marriages 1683.  E (Vol endorsed 33-49)   (M)

 

NY Marriages 1664-1773. page 227. (N)

 

Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society.  Volume VI. (O)

 

Refugees of 1776 L.I. to CT. By F. G. Mather. (P)

 

Scandinavian Immigrants in New York.  1630-1674.  John G. Evjen.  (Q)

 

Thomas Halsey and his Descendants. (R)

 

 

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