Lalours , Lalors and Lawlors sept before 1,607

 in Ireland 

By Patrick LALLOUR


1 chemin de Bellan

F 64300 La Mondrans - FRANCE


  • Possibly of Pictish origin, the sept originated from Leathlobhair, one of the kings of Ireland who died in 871.(Ireland was then divided in four parts, each mastered by one " king " ).


    They inhabited where is now Ulster and were driven out in the XII th century following first settlement of englishmen.

    Then they took allegiance to the O'Mores, settled in Leinster, and were known as members of the seven septs of Leix (together with O'Kellys, O'Devoys, Mac Evoys,O' Dorans and O'Dowlings).

    They remained in their territory (Feranolauler - i.e. O'lalor's territory) until 1,607.


    My personnal estimates of Lalour's sept population early1,600 amount to 450 people, considering the surface of Feranolalor and Irish population density at this time. This sems to indicate that the 87 O'Lalours who "sign" the 1,607 treaty were family heads ( 450/87 = 5.2 which is a normal figure for a standard family with two parents and 3.2 living childrens).



    The second half of XVI th century was a very troubled period of fights against new english advance illustrated by the battle of the Pass of Plumes.


    These fights ended in 1,607 with a treaty signed by the seven septs and english representative " Crosbie "at Mollin O'Lalour, following which the Lalours were moved to "Tarbert ", county Kerry.

    At that time they were helped by an englisman Robert Pigott who had married one Lalor and inhabited old castle Lalor, now called castle Pigott.


    What interest me the most in this document is the spelling of the name Lalour on the treaty since my branch ( the french one who sailed to french Brittany supposedly after 1,607 treaty) seems the only one who kept the spelling " our ".


    One must keep in mind there were no civilian records in Ireland by that time. Following english settlement in what became Queens county early XVII th, civil servants noted phonetically the name of these " irish salvage " (pronounced LAL-OW-IR) as Lalor or Lawlor or Lowler, and such they remained.


    In french Brittany, first XVII th spelling were Lalour or L'Alour until 1783 when the priest spelled Lallour the birth name of my grand father's grand father Jean Marie whenever his own father Jean signs L'Alour on the documents.

    Such remained since our name spelling with the double " l ".


    We kept along some twelve or thirteen generations a family ring illustrating a " lion rampant sur fond de gueule, portant une tour au quartier de dextre ". This is very similar to Lalors coat of arms with a red (gueule) lion rampant over gold illustrated in Irish Familys; except for the tower.


    I recently sailed to Ireland where I met Pat Lalor and his sister who live in a cottage facing Lalors'mill where the 1607 treaty has been signed. ( the mill is now in very poor condition). Photografied Pigott's castle which was Lalor's stonghold very close to rock of Dunamase

    ( impressive celtic stonghold which became O'mores fort, now in semi restoration), and Disart church closeby where lies many Lalors graves of those who returned to their homeland after Kerry's exile.



    Sources :

  • Irish Familys ( 1972 edition)

    History of the Queens county (first edition 1,914, reprinted 1,981)

     contact official Lawlors Homepage :


  • Photos
  • Patrick Lallour, wife and daughter sailing to Ireland 1997
  • Map of Ireland, and location of O'Lalours territory



    Please contact me mailto:patlal@wanadoo.fr for observations, sincerely yours