From the Roman cognomen Laurentius, which meant "from Laurentum". Laurentum was a city in ancient Italy, its name probably deriving from Latin laurus "laurel". Saint Laurence was a 3rd-century deacon and martyr from Rome. According to tradition he was roasted alive on a gridiron because, when ordered to hand over the church's treasures, he presented the sick and poor. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in the Christian world (in various spellings).
In the Middle Ages this name was common in England, partly because of a second saint by this name, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury. Likewise it has been common in Ireland due to the 12th-century Saint Laurence O'Toole (whose real name was Lorcán). Since the 19th century the spelling Lawrence has been more common, especially in America. A famous bearer was the British actor Laurence Olivier (1907-1989). - quoted from Behind The Name
Laurence has never been terribly popular although it is was more common in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Lawrence spelling has become more popular in the USA and Laurence has become popular French speaking countries for ladies.
I have a special attachment to this name because my dad's father is named Laurence and as a boy was always called "Laurie" as one of his mother's favorite books was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. As an artist he often signed his paintings "Laurie Michael" and so I was named after him. I really hope to use Laurence as a middle name, and maybe even as a first name. My favorite combos are Edmund Laurence, Emmett Laurence and Colin Laurence. As a first name I like the combos Laurence Henry, Laurence David and Laurence Michael, all with the nickname Laurie or Loren.
What do you think of the name Laurence?
Do you know anyone with this name?
What other names would you pair it with?