This has been a blessed opportunity for me to update the Lawless family history.  I am thankful to those who have contributed personal histories, pictures, and funds to create this new edition.  Special thanks to Angela Johnson who has continued to “flame the fire” in getting updates and contacting many of the Lawless relatives.  I am especially grateful to Keith Wilkey who compiled the second edition.  Without the tremendous work that he had done, this would have been a monumental task.  I think it is most appropriate to include his acknowledgements and comments, for they are pertinent today as they were in 1968.

                                Dr. Paul A. Hibbert


The history of a nation is made up of the activities of in­dividuals and their families. Perhaps our history might have been richer had we known more of the background of some of our national and local leaders, as well as the common folks who do humanity’s work.

The guide to the future is the past, but memory is fleeting and an unreliable record. Happenings that are remembered only by those who lived through them and were passed by word of mouth to others fade and are gone in a few years. But when events are written and put into print, they live throughout the years.

Keith L. Wilkey 

The 1968 Compilation Committee

 We are deeply indebted to those who collected, compiled, and had published in 1927 the first History of the Descendants of John Lawless II and his wife, Margaret Skirvin Lawless.

The farsighted vision of these descendants prompted them to record the family history for posterity while facts were still obtainable through conversation with sons and daughters of John Lawless II and his wife, Margaret Skirvin Lawless.

Many of us have desired to have recorded the family history during the forty intervening years since the publication of the first book. However, after we undertook the task, we decided the book would be a great deal more valuable if much of the content of the History published in 1927 were included in a revised edition. This we have done. We are aware that this book will go to many who have never seen the first History.

The recording of this history has been made possible by the cooperation of people both far and near who have contributed freely. To them we wish to express appreciation for their valuable assistance in obtaining family histories, photographs, and also in typing copy.

Photographs of Margaret Skirvin Lawless, wife of John Lawless II, and their sons and daughters which appear in this edition were acquired from the first Lawless History book.

In this edition we have included photographs of the second­ generation descendants with the exception of those who died in early childhood.

Acknowledgment is due also to those who contributed funds to help defray expense in the preparation of copy. To this group we are most grateful for sustained interest and support.

In all of us there is a hunger,

marrow deep, to know our

heritage — to know who we are

and where we came from.

Without this enriching knowledge,

there is a hollow yearning. No

matter what our attainments in

life, there is still a vacuum, an

emptiness, and the most

disquieting loneliness.


I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father and his father and all our fathers, and in front to see my son and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes. As I felt so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning and no end. And the hand of his father grasped my father’s hand and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand and all, up and down the line that stretched from Time That Was to Time That Is and Is Not Yet, raised their hands to show the link. And we found that we were one….

— Richard Llewellyn “How Green Was My Valley”

Contact for information or changes