Was there one Francis Lovelock or two?

The Kingsclere Line has a Francis Lovelock as its progenitor. Francis married Anne Payne in the church of St Mary in Kingsclere on 8 May 1743. The couple had six children, all of whom were baptised at St Mary's. Francis, although apparently dying in Hannington a couple of miles away, was laid to rest in the churchyard of St Mary's on 18 January 1792.

Clearly Francis had a significant affinity with the village, and yet no researcher has uncovered a record of his baptism in the Parish Registers. The earliest mention of a Lovelock in Kingsclere, the marriage of a John Lovlock and a lady with the surname Wyllys, is dated 20 July 1544, and so there is potentially a considerable Lovelock ancestry preceding the birth of Francis, which event presumably took place some time between 1700 and 1725.

There is a gap in the records of Lovelock baptisms between 1698 and 1713 in Kingsclere, but the Register survives so there are no missing entries. Surprisingly there were apparently no Lovelock marriages in the village between 1638 and 1719, and yet there were 17 baptisms from at least 4 families in the same period. However, since tradition dictated that brides were married in their home villages or towns it would seem that Lovelock men from Kingsclere went along with the tradition, but took their wives back to Kingsclere to raise their families.

Casting about for the baptism of Francis reveals that there is no potential entry anywhere in the 'Lovelocks in Hampshire' collection. Looking further afield the 'Lovelocks in Wiltshire' data offers no candidate, but there is the baptism of Francis the son of Giles Lovelock at Thatcham in Berkshire on 8 July 1711.

With no other candidate identifiable this Francis has been proposed as the progenitor of the Kingsclere Line. The existing records show no direct evidence to link the Thatcham baptism with the Kingsclere marriage, so at present the ancestry of Francis from Thatcham is presented on the Web Site as a 'Thatcham, Berkshire Fragment'.