Birth Name: Matthew William Lawrence
Place of Birth: Abington Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Date of Birth: February 11, 1980
*English, Northern Irish (mother)
Matthew Lawrence is an American actor and singer. His films include Pulse (1988), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Angels in the Endzone, Rusty: A Dog’s Tale, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Cheats, and The Hot Chick.
Matthew is the son of Donna and Joseph Mignogna. He is the brother of actors Joey Lawrence and Andrew Lawrence.
Matthew’s paternal grandfather was named Joseph Lawrence Mignogna (the son of Nicolas/Nickolas Mignogna). Joseph was born in Pennsylvania. Nicolas was born in Riccia, Molise.
Matthew’s paternal grandmother was Josephine R. Pinto (the daughter of Domenic/Domenico Pinto and Mary Inverso). Josephine was born in Pennsylvania, to Italian parents. Domenico was from Casal Velino, Campania.
Matthew’s maternal grandfather was Harry William Shaw (the son of Albert Henry Shaw and Violet Knox Thompson). Harry was born in Pennsylvania. Albert was born in Pennsylvania, to parents from Northern Ireland, John Becket Shaw and Lucinda Martha “Lucy” Doherty. Violet was the daughter of Harry Roger Thompson and Amelia C. Knox.
Matthew’s maternal grandmother was Edna Grace Hallam (the daughter of Thomas Henry Hallam and Edna G. Hartley). Matthew’s grandmother Edna was born in Pennsylvania. Thomas was born in Pennsylvania, to English parents, James Hallam and Louisa Taylor. Matthew’s great-grandmother Edna was born in England, the daughter of John Hartley and Emily Jane Taylor.
Sources: Obituary of Matthew’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Lawrence Mignogna – https://www.loganfuneralhomes.com
Obituary of Matthew’s paternal grandmother, Josephine R. (Pinto) Mignogna – http://www.legacy.com
Matthew’s maternal grandmother, Edna Grace Hallam, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
I’ve always been confused why Joey is the only one of his brothers with his father’s birth surname, and apparently, it’s because their father officially changed the family name after Joey was born.
I’ve heard of people using a ‘less ethnic’ sounding name in Hollywood. But it’s sort of rare – even back after Joey was born – for families to officially change surnames like that. I wonder if his father is ashamed of his Italian heritage? Maybe it’s more personal like he didn’t like his own father? Seems like there’s a whole story, there, waiting to be told.
Mignogna is kinda difficult to pronounce even for an Italian speaker, let alone for an Anglo.
We regularly Anglicize surnames/words, though. And Vic Mignogna’s family kept his surname. To just go to another name entirely that doesn’t even resemble the original surname is unusual. I get that Lawrence was the grandfather’s middle name, but it’s still odd.
In fact, many Americans are going in the other direction. Guy Fieri’s grandfather had Anglicized their name to ‘Ferry’ when he emigrated, but Guy has since chanced the name back to Fieri to honor his grandfather Giuseppe’s Italian heritage.
Matthew’s paternal grandmother was named Josephine R. Pinto (the daughter of Domenic/Domenico Pinto and Mary Inverso). Josephine was born in Pennsylvania, to Italian parents. Domenico was from Casal Velino, Campania.
Matthew’s maternal grandfather was named Harry William Shaw (the son of Albert Henry Shaw and Violet Knox Thompson). Harry was born in Pennsylvania. Albert was born in Pennsylvania, to parents from Northern Ireland, John Becket Shaw and Lucinda “Lucy” Martha Doherty. Violet was the daughter of Harry Roger Thompson and Amelia C. Knox.
*Edna Grace Hallam
He is a relative, of some degree, of Vic Mignogna: https://ethnicelebs.com/vic-mignogna
His maternal grandfather’s name, Shaw, is often Scottish.