Pre-1600 UK Loveland References

Loveland - Pre-1600 References, Early Geographical Distribution & Origins

The name Loveland has existed more or less in its present form at least since the mid 15C. The earliest references so far discovered occur in a small rural area centered on the village of Worplesdon at the western end of the County of Surrey, England. Worplesdon is three miles northeast of the town of Guildford. Click here for on-line information on British towns and counties.

In 1460 John Loveland witnessed a Deed recording the the transfer of property at Poyle Manor (Ash) from Henry Crystmasse and Henry Crystmasse his son to John Synar. (Guildford Muniments Room Index of Deeds)

Abstract of the will of Henry Loveland (proved 7 Jan 1484):

Henry Loveland of Worplesdon, bur Worplesdon, 2d to high alter, 4d to fabric of mother church, residue to wife Alice and Thomas my son. Exec. Sir John Williamson, Rector of Bisley.

1491 Extract from the Chertsey Abbey Cartulary (Vol 2, pp163-5/931)

Ash Rental renewed there in the time of the Lord Thomas Pigote Abbot of Chertsey, John Bury Cellarer, 7 Henry VII (1491) namely 13 March Richard Lovelonde holds one croft of land at Eldelanend and renders by year 3d.

Ash is four miles to the west of Worplesdon.

[Photo of Worplesdon Church] Worplesdon Church, seen here much as it would have looked in the 15th century. From 16th century wills it is known that the family owned property within sight of the church.

Certainly by the time that Parish Registers start, briefly in 1539 in the case of Worplesdon, and again around 1570 the Lovelands were well-established in the Ash, Godalming, Seale and Worplesdon area, particularly the last named parish. Although the IGI (International Genealogical Index) is not a reliable guide to distribution, there are few if any references to the name outside Surrey until the last twenty years of the 16C.

Early Distribution

From about 1570 the name begins to occur in Sussex to the south of Surrey, London to the north (particularly in the dockland area), Norwich, Co. Norfolk and neighbouring Suffolk. At this time Norwich was England's second most important city and the center of the booming woolen goods trade.. Contemporary wills (of which there are several) suggest that the Surrey Lovelands of this period were either farmers (yeoman or husbandmen) or carpenters and often of reasonable substance. The farmers were connected with the wool trade.

It is probably no coincidence that this period coincides with the invention of the knitting frame by William Lee, a clergyman and the subsequent growth of a flourishing hosiery industry in the East Midlands. The John Loveland who moved to Norwich around 1582 was a hosier. Other Lovelands are recorded as living in Stepney and Rotherhythe, dockland areas on either side of the River Thames between 1582 and 1588. See also A Social History of England (Briggs, Asa, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1994, Chapter 5) for further background on this period.

Soemtimes occurrences of the name outside West Surrey can be linked to movements of particular families resulting from marriage or the pursuit of work. In most cases the name dies out again with the death or relocation of the last male. For example, the name occurs in Norwich for less than seventy years (between 1572 and 1649). Members of the Norwich family came to New England in the 17th century and their story is dealt with more fully in another section. Lovelands found in London in the 18th century and 19th century (and probably beyond) have links with either Surrey or Norwich (or both). However there seems little doubt that the 'home' of the Loveland name is Surrey.

Origins of the name

To date we have found no strong evidence as to the origins of the Loveland name. It is unusual enough not to feature in any of the standard surname reference books in our local library. The Cartulary of Chertsey Abbey (already mentioned) refers to a place called variously 'Loulane' and 'Lovelane' in connection with the ordination, endowment and composition of parishes and churches in 1331, the fifth year of Edward III. Place names were a frequent origin of surnames (for example, Richard of Lovelane would become in time Richard Lovelane).

An alternative explanation apparently favoured by a Loveland researcher in the early 1930s, Miss M A Farrow, is that there is a connection with the name Leveland (or Leaveland). This family was apparently associated with the Manor of Leaveland (near Ashford, Co. Kent) as early as 1274/5. This is possibly the Manor eluded to in the Genealogy of the Loveland Family (Loveland, JB and Loveland, George, Freemont, Ohio, IM Keeler & Son, 1892). Unfortunately, Miss Farrow's papers (now in the archives of the DAR Library in Washington DC) give no reason for this assertion. One possible explanation is the similarity of the Coats of Arms of Leaveland and Loveland (as carried by Joseph Loveland of Norwich). The change of pronunciation is quite extreme but not implausible. For example, an English name which is spelt 'Leveson-Gower' is pronounced 'looson gore' (Mother Tongue, Bryson, B, Penguin Books, p191).

Should the connection ever be proved, there is a wealth of information available in this important (probably Norman) family. For a fee of about 100 dollars US, The College of Arms in London will undertake to research the history of a given Coat of Arms. We know of no recent search at the College but in a letter to her client Mr. Paddock (undated, but possibly written around 1932) Miss Farrow writes:

I visited (sic) the College of Arms to get at the root of the Armorial Bearings of the Lovelands. The Chester Herald looked it all out for me and found that the arms were so old that there was no record of them having been granted. That is to say the family had always borne them from the Conqueror's time in Cobb. In payment for the search by him on that account I did research work for him last year.

It is not clear what we should make of this. Clearly, for Miss Farrow to have assisted the College of Arms with research suggests that she was a respected and experienced researcher. However, in the first paragraph of the same letter she speaks of:

The Loveland Manor is the real and original manor in the County of Kent.

effectively using the names Loveland and Leaveland interchangeably. It is probable that the Arms of the Leavelands do indeed go back to the Conquest. What is less clear from the evidence available to date is the connection between Joseph Loveland of Norwich (the earliest currently known user of the Loveland Arms) and the Leaveland family. Apart from the London family, discussed elsewhere. no evidence has so far be found of the use of these Arms by Surrey or other Lovelands

Any light which other researchers may be able to shed on this mystery would be appreciated.

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Doug Murphy
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Last modified: Sunday, 18-Apr-1999 23:59:08 MDT