Ancestors of John (Jack) Edward Lovelock 1910-1949, NZ Athlete
Originally posted by James Loveluck 14-Oct-07, with additions in 2015

A number of people have attempted to trace the ancestors of John (Jack) Edward Lovelock, the New Zealand athlete who won a gold medal in the 1500 metres at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The results of this research are included in the above fragment.

This fragment is based on the research done long ago by Gwen Eastment (née Lovelock) and also includes additional material provided by Bob Chapman and Mary Lovelock. There have also been a number of suggestions concerning possible links to other trees, but none of these has been substantiated.

Following correspondence with Vicki Houlbrooke, Robert Sterry, Graham Lovelock and Jack Lovelock (not the runner!) I have taken another look at this tree, and in particular the origins of John Edward Jones Lovelock, father of Jack Lovelock. The fragment on the Web site suggests that JEJ Lovelock was born abt 1866 at Gloucester, that his parents were John Edward Lovelock, mining engineer, and Sarah Leach, and that he emigrated to New Zealand about 1893, aged 34 years. (The latter would suggest that he was born 1868/9 rather than 1866.) Vicki Houlbrooke provided a precise emigration record, which indicates that Jno E J Lovelock left London for Wellington NZ on 16 Oct 1895 on the ship Kaikoura, and that he was aged 27 at the time, which indicates that he was born 1867/8.

Vicki had suggested that Sarah Leach, spouse of John Edward Lovelock at the top of the fragment, could be the daughter (bap 9 Mar 1822 at Wallingford) of Mary Lovelock and George Leach, in the Wallingford Berks line. So far we haven't been able to confirm that the parents of John Edward Jones were John Edward Lovelock (mining engineer) and Sarah Leach, but we did come up with some interesting material.

I searched FreeBMD for both the birth record of John Edward Jones Lovelock, and for the marriage of his parents, and wasn't able to find either, even though I searched over quite a wide period around the supposed date of birth (1866-1869) of JEJ Lovelock.

Graham Lovelock did find a record for JEJ Lovelock in the 1891 census,recorded as John E J Lovelock, aged 27, born at St Marks Gloucester, valet in Hamilton Place, St George Hanover Square, London. (In fact, Robert Sterry had already come across this record, and mentioned it in a message to the Lovelock mailing list 28-Mar-05.) This would make his date of birth 1863/64, in contradiction with the shipping record and with his death and marriage records in NZ, all of which point to a birth date of 1866-69.

It occurred to me that the middle name of Jones was a bit strange, and could mean that he was registered at birth as Jones, and added the Lovelock name later, possibly because he was the illegitimate son of a Lovelock. Indeed, Graham found a FreeBMD record for the birth of a John Edward Jones 2Q 1864, ref 6a 247, in Gloucester RD, which fits in with the age recorded in the 1891 census record. However, Graham also found the following GRO records:

Maria Louisa Ockford married John Edward Jones in the Gloucester RD in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1852, ref 6a 460
John Edward Jones died in the Gloucester RD in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1865, ref 6a 206
John Edward Jones died in the Gloucester RD in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1887, ref 6a 161, aged 23

The last of those three entries is presumably the man born in 1864, and if so he obviously can't be the man we seek.

Turning to the question of whether the parents of JEJ Lovelock were John Edward Lovelock and Sarah Leach, the only place we have been able to find any evidence for this is on the LDS (familysearch) Web site. However, the data concerned is not included in the (fairly reliable) IGI database, but is part of submitted material in a Pedigree Resource file. Robert determined that it was submitted by two individuals:

J & T Mahoney - P O Box 90713, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland

Thomas VINCENT - 3178 Pawnee Way Pleasanton, CA 94588 (twice)

Jack Lovelock noted that a John Mahoney appears in an extended version of the 'Kent Lovelocks' tree in his possession, and he stated his intention to attempt to contact him to ask about the sources of this information. Nothing further came to light.

Robert has copies of much of Gwen Eastment's archives, and he did find the details on the NZ death certificate for JEJ Lovelock and for his two marriages. Here is the text of Gwen's notes, including her annotations:

"Died 20.6.1923 Fairlie (East Coast of South Island of NZ) Birth date 1868 Gloucester. Aged 55 yrs. Mining engineer - Mt Cook Motor Company. Father: John Edward Lovelock, Mining Engineer. Mother Sarah Lovelock nee Leach. Length of time in New Zealand 30 yrs. C 1893. Wife Ivy Evelyn (nee Harper) Lovelock 39 years.

Also his first marriage in NZ:
12.9.1904 Christ Church - Trafalgar St, Nelson John Edward Jones Lovelock aged 34 Battery Supintendant Bachelor Born Gloucester Eng. Usual Residence Reefton - South Island. Father: John Edward Jones Lovelock - miner Mother: Sarah Lovelock nee Leach. Married Olive Griffiths aged 19

And 2nd Marriage:
21 December 1907 Trinity Church Greymouth NZ. 39 yrs. Widower. Mill Superintendant. Born Gloucester England. Residence Reefton. Bride Ivy Evelyn Harper 24 yrs Spinster born Christchurch NZ"

Robert also states: "It's a little unclear, however, as to what is from the certificate and what is Gwen's own notation."

It seems that Gwen also searched the Gloucestershire county archives for the birth/baptism record of JEJ Lovelock, without success.
According to Robert (same message of 28-Mar-05) the PRs of the parish of St Mary, Gloucester, appear to have commenced about 1847 but have not been filmed by the Mormons.

Finally, we also have on the Web site a collection of New Zealand BMD records  provided by Mary Pipe, which includes the following:

1904         LOVELOCK, John Edward Jones  ref 4437  Marriage  
1907         LOVELOCK, John Edward Jones  ref 7255  Marriage      
(no details of spouse, parents or place where the marriages took place)
June 1923  LOVELOCK, John Edward Jones  ref 1617  Death  Mount Cook
(Note that Mount Cook is a district in the South Island of NZ,which includes Mt Cook, NZ's highest mountain. Fairlie is the nearest small town to Mt Cook - information provided by Jack Lovelock)

These records do provide independent confirmation of the given names of John Edward Jones Lovelock.


There matters rested until early 2015, when Ancestry added to their UK website some data from a number of Gloucestershire parishes which included the following baptism:

Churchdown - 1868 Sep 6 Edward John Jones son of Elizabeth Lovelock of Cheltenham, Servant

Whoever Elizabeth was, and no further information on her has been forthcoming, she apparently failed to register the birth of her son under any variation of his names. However, the remarkable coincidences of the baptismal record of an Edward John Jones Lovelock and the 1891 Census entry for John E J Lovelock being the only direct UK-based evidence for the existence of the respective individuals may be thought to suggest that they are one and the same person.