English: from the Middle English and Old French personal name Lorens Laurence from Latin Laurentius ‘man from Laurentum’ a place in Italy probably named from its laurels or bay trees. The name was borne by a Christian saint who was martyred at Rome in the 3rd century AD; he enjoyed a considerable cult throughout Europe with consequent popularity of the personal name (French Laurent Italian Spanish Lorenzo Catalan Llorenç Portuguese Lourenço German Laurenz Polish Wawrzyniec etc.). In Britain this is a common name from the 12th century with pet forms such as Law Low Lawrie Laurie Larry Larkin all of which are represented in surnames. There was also a feminine form Laurencia which may have given rise to the English surname. The surname is also borne by Jews among whom it is presumably an Americanized form of one or more similar (like-sounding) Ashkenazic surnames. In North America the English form of the surname has absorbed many cognates from other languages e.g. German Lorenz and also their patronymics and other derivatives e.g. Slovenian Lavrenčič and Lovrenčič (patronymics from Lavrencij and Lovrenc equivalents of Lawrence) Polish Wawrzyniak . Compare Larrance Laurence Lawerence Lieurance and Lowrance .
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022