The Lovelock Name and Related Variants


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE NAME LOVELOCK
Courtesy of the late Janet Hearle (nee Loveluck)

Long ago, when the population was small, people were only known by one name and in Christian countries this name was given to the new born child at his or her baptism: the "christian" name.  Later, when the population had increased, a single name was not enough to identify people, so other names were added.  If this was not possible, for example, as in towns, men added their occupation as a second name, and, in some cases, particular men were known by a striking personal characteristic, which was added to their original name.

The name Lovelock is an old one, probably given to members of the family because many of them had hair which fell into a curly lock on the foreheads, and this remains as a characteristic of many of this family today.

The spelling of the family name was varied in olden days because few people could read or write, so they were dependent on their local keeping of records for this.  Another factor was the influence of accents on spelling as the scribes had to guess at relevant sounds with no help from the applicant. The earliest known record of any recognisable variant of the family name is in the "Hundred Rolls" of 1279 where a William Lovelake is mentioned.  In 1464 in Sir John Seymour's "Administration of the Forest" of Savernake, one of his foresters was named as "William Loveleke of Hyppingscombe". By the 17th Century the spelling of the name had generally settled down to Lovelock.

Today there seem to be two distinct but related family names. The main body spells the name Lovelock.  However, one man migrated from Wiltshire to Margam in South Wales. In the 18th Century when people in that locality mainly spoke Welsh, they pronounced the "o" as "u", so this name was pronounced Loveluck and spelt the same. Hence one branch of the original family living in South Wales adhered to the name Loveluck and as time went on, many emigrated. So there is a small number of people of this name to be found in various countries around the world, in addition to the many people of the original Lovelock family. Added to this there have been numerous mistakes in spelling made in historical family documents through the years, so that this sometimes causes difficulties for researchers in family history.


Variants on the Lovelock Surname