The website, 1066: A Medieval Mosaic describes the following for the Lascelles family as thus:
"Of this ancient family, seated in the county of York, were divers persons," says Dugdale, "of great note many ages since." They had apparently come over with the Breton contingent of the Conqueror's army. Their ancestor, "Picot," an important vassal of Earl Alan of Richmond's in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (Domesday), is identified by means of an early Survey of the fiefs of the latter county, made about the year 1108. He is there entered as "Picotus de Laceles," holding some land of Roger Marmion, "whose sister or daughter he may have married, as Roger de Laceles was his successor and son. We probably have a brother of Picot in William de Loceles, who occurs in the Survey as holding Strailley, in Bedfordshire, of Hugo de Belcamp."—A. S. Ellis. They were Barons of Messie in Normandy, and "derived their name from Lacella, near Falaise, which, with its church, belonged in 1154 to the Abbey of St. Sauveur, Evreux (Gall. Christ. IX.). William de Lacelles, who in 1165 held two fees in Yorkshire, was plaintiff in a suit against his uncle Ralph for Lacelle and the barony of Messie, which Ralph yielded to him as his inheritance. (Memoires de la Societe des Antiquaires de la Normandie, XV., 92.)"—The Norman People.
Picot probably died soon after 1108. His son Roger de Lacelles is mentioned in 1131 as one of the "men" of Earl Stephen of Richmond, and held Scruton and Kirkby in the North Riding. After him we hear of Picot, Roger and Robert Fitz Picot, and, lastly, of another Roger, who was summoned to parliament as a baron in 1294 and the two following years. He died shortly after his last writ of summons, leaving by his wife Isabel, the heiress of Thomas Fitz Thomas, four daughters his co-heirs: 1. Matilda, married first Robert de Hilton, of Swine in Holderness, and secondly, Sir Peter Tilliol; 2. Theophania, the wife of Ralph Fitz Randolph; 3. Johanna, the first wife of Thomas de Culwen; 4. Avicia, married to Sir Robert le Constable of Hailsham. His brother Richard was seated at Escrick, where his posterity continued for one hundred and twenty-seven years longer; but to none of his lineage was the writ of summons ever again repeated.
The collateral branches were numerous. Duncan de Lascells, (Scotland) in the reign of Coeur de Lion, acquired Bolton in Cumberland through Christian de Bastingthwaite; and their descendants held it for three generations.—Hutchinson's Cumberland. John de Lascells, mentioned in the Pipe Roll of 1131, "was probably ancestor of the Lascelles of Otterington in Holderness, and settled there by the Earl of Albemarle."—A. S. Ellis. Jordan and his brother Turgis are found in the same record. Jordan's grants to Nostel Priory were confirmed by Henry II. in 1154; and about the year 1146, his sons Gerard and Alan were benefactors to Byland Abbey (Mon. Angl. i. 1032). Alan's son Simon in 1165 held three fees of De Lacy, and "may have been the same Simon who had a duel with Adam Fitz Peter about land at Birkin, which he recovered by overcoming him (Pipe Roll, 5 Ric. I.). Branches of the family remained at Escrick, until 1424, and in Notts, until after 1700: and another branch is now represented by Robert Morley Lascelles, Esquire, of Slingsby. This time-honoured name is also now associated with the Yorkshire Earldom of Harewood."—Ibid.
In this latter case, however, there is considerable doubt and difficulty in determining the descent. Lord Harewood's pedigree begins with John Lascelles, seated at Hinderskelfe (now called Castle Howard) in the time of Ed. II.), and "thought (by Collins) to be a younger son of the house of Sowerby and Brackenbury, who bore the arms without the bordure." This coat, Sable a cross flory within a bordure Or, is not that of Roger Lord Lascelles, which was Argent three chaplets of roses vermaux, within a border engrailed Sable. The author of 'The Norman People' declares their ancestor to have been the Simon de Lacelles mentioned in the Liber Niger, "from whose son John descend lineally the Earls of Harewood." Here we are at once met by a formidable hiatus in the line of descent; for a blank of no less than one hundred and twenty-five years intervenes between these two Johns—John the son of Simon and John of Hinderskelfe.
The latter, at all events, is the recognized and undoubted progenitor of the present house. His son was called filius Johannis, or Jackson, and for the next seven generations his descendants successively bore this name. About the end of the fifteenth century, they removed to Gawthorpe, also in the North Riding, where Harewood House was afterwards built, and thence to Stank and Northallerton. Daniel, the sixteenth child born to Francis Lascelles of Stank and Northallerton, served as High Sheriff in 1719, and was the father of two sons who settled in Barbadoes, where the younger, Henry, became Collector of the Customs. This Henry, who had married a West Indian, eventually inherited the estates, including Harewood, bought a few years before: and his son Edwin was created Baron Harewood of Harewood Castle in 1790. But he died childless in 1795 J and his cousin Edward, who became the head of the family, received first the barony, in the following year, and a Viscountcy and Earldom in 1812. Both these peers had been born at St. Michael's in Barbadoes.
Another interesting Lascelles chronicle:
This interesting name is of Norman origin, introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after 1066. The surname is locational, from the place called 'Lacelle' in Orne, in northern France, and derives from the Olde French 'la', the , and 'celle', meaning "a hermit's cell", from the Latin 'cella', a small room. Although the first true recording of the surname does not appear until the mid 12th Century in England, it is known that one Roger de Lascelles held land in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire around 1130. London church recordings include one Margaret Lessells who was christened in 1584 at St. Peter's, Westcheap, Elizabeth, daughter of Phillip and Ann Lascelles, was christened at St. Antholin's, Budge Row, on August 31st 1692, and Edmond Lascelles married Mary Applebury on August 13th 1695. Edward Lascelles (1740 - 1820) was created the first Earl of Harewood in 1812. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Laceles, which was dated circa 1150, Charles of the Abbey of Rievaulx, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Stephen, Count of Blois, 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Another family surname name website describes that the surname of LASCELLES was a locational name 'of de Lascelles' a place in the Arrondissement of Alencon in Normandy, France. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child. A number of bearers of this name found in the 12th and 13th centuries in northern England have a common ancestor in Picot de Lascelles, a vassal of the count of Brittany, living circa. 1080. Roger de Lascelles held land in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in 1130. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. Other records of the name mention William de Lassell, County Lincolnshire, during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Francis Lassels of Richmond, registered at Oxford University in 1574. Cuthbert Wytham married Lucy Lassel in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1665. A later member of the family was Edward Lascelles (1740-1820) created the Earl of Harewood in 1812.