The Lightwood family is an old and influential Shadowhunter family made up of generations of individuals who have been held with high regard or were at least well-known and were able to leave legacies during their time.
Throughout history, the Lightwoods were known for their snobbish attitudes and disdain towards Downworlders and mundanes. Over time, however, they have become more tolerant and accepting of Downworlders.
In the 1800s, Benedict Lightwood from London brought shame to the family name when it was publicized that he had contracted demon pox, an illness only contracted from inappropriate relations with demons. It took years of good behavior from his sons, Gideon and Gabriel, before the family regained their honor.
Robert Lightwood, and his eventual wife, Maryse, were one of the first members of the Circle, a group of Shadowhunters brought together by their friend Valentine Morgenstern sworn to wipe out Downworlders and reform the Clave. While they were initially loyal to Valentine and the cause, they were turned after the failed Uprising and once again allied themselves with the Clave. The family, however, was exiled to New York.
While the typical unsympathetic behavior towards Downworlders continued briefly in Robert and Maryse' children, this changed by 2007, during which their children became friends with several Downworlders; the remaining siblings also settled into relationships with members of Downworld: Alec with the warlock Magnus Bane, and Isabelle with former vampire Simon Lewis.
The symbol of the Lightwood family, as seen on the surfaces of their rings and the blazon on their coat of arms, are flames or a torch.