George Newbold Lawrence

George Newbold Lawrence (October 20, 1806 – January 17, 1895) was an American businessman and amateur ornithologist.[1][2]

George Newbold Lawrence
George Newbold Lawrence.jpg
Born(1806-10-20)October 20, 1806
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 17, 1895(1895-01-17) (aged 88)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationBusinessman, ornithologist

Early lifeEdit

Lawrence was born in the city of New York on October 20, 1806.[1]

From his youth, Lawrence was a lover of birds and spent much of his spare time studying their habits. At sixteen years of age, he became a clerk in his father's business, becoming a partner in his father's house by age twenty.[1]


Lawrence conducted Pacific bird surveys for Spencer Fullerton Baird and John Cassin, and the three men co-authored Birds of North America in 1860.[1]

He sold his collection of 8,000 bird skins to the American Museum of Natural History in 1887.[3]

Fellow ornithologists honored him by naming one bird genus and 20 species after him,[1] including both the scientific and common name of the Lawrence's goldfinch, first described by Cassin in 1852.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Lawrence died on January 17, 1895 in New York City. His funeral was held at his residence, 45 East 21st Street in Manhattan.[5] His wife died five days later on January 22, 1895. Their combined estates totaled $528,900 which were left to their two sons, Elmen N. Lawrence and John B. Lawrence.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Elliot, D. G. (January 1896). "In Memoriam: George Newbold Lawrence" (PDF). The Auk. 13 (1): 1–10. doi:10.2307/4068733.
  2. ^ Colby, Frank Moore; Williams, Talcott (1918). "LAWRENCE, George Newbold". The New International Encyclopaedia. vol. 13 (2nd ed.). p. 653.
  3. ^ Mears, Barbara; Mears, Richard (1992). Audubon to Xántus: The Lives of Those Commemorated in North American Bird Names. London, UK: Academic Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-12-487423-7.
  4. ^ Coues, Elliott (1882). The Coues Check List of North American Birds. Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat. p. 50.
  5. ^ "LAWRENCE George Newbold". The New York Times. 19 January 1895. p. 5. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Wills Filed the Same Day". The New York Times. 12 February 1895. p. 14. Retrieved 21 January 2020.

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