Recorded as Lavery and Lowry, although the latter can be a Scottish surname, this is an Irish clan surname. It derives from the ancient pre 10th century Gaelic O' Labhradha, meaning the male descendant of the spokesman or herald. The Lavery clan have always been associated with Ulster, and particularly the counties of Antrim and Down where they were divided into three septs or branches. These were known as Baun-Lavery, from "ban" meaning white, Roe-Lavery from "rua" meaning red, and Trin-Lavery from "trean" meaning strong. In the 18th century Trin-Lavery was mistranslated to Armstrong, so many Armstrong name holders today in Ireland were originally Trin-Lavery. Both as Lavery and Lowry nameholders have made their mark as artists with firstly Sir John Lavery (1856 - 1940), whose wife was a major supporter of Irish independance, whilst later L.S. Lowry achieved world wide fame for his scenes of Lancashire life. Surviving church registers for Ireland, most were destroyed by the IRA in 1922, include the christening of Eliner, daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth Lavery on January 26th 1799 at Dromore parish, County Down, whilst Patt Lavery was a famine emigrant, who sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Sea-King" bound for New York on April 29th 1846. A coat of arms granted to the family has the blazon of a blue shield charged with a fleur-de-lis, and in the first quarter a leopard's head, all gold. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.