Loveland Early Settlers: Summary of Findings


Introduction

Sooner or later, most researchers of the Loveland name in North America trace their ancestry back to a family of Early Settlers of that name in the Wethersfield/Glastonbury area of Connecticut, most probably with the help of a book called the Loveland Genealogy (hereinafter the LG). Published more than 100 years ago this substantial Victorian effort provides a wealth of valuable information. However, while the sections dealing with the possible UK origins of the family contain a number of vital clues, the information concerning these early generations must in general must be approached with considerable caution. Drawing on several sources not readily accessible to the authors of the LG it has now been possible to piece together what actually happened. This site has been established specifically to disseminate these findings.

The following summary is offered as a quick overview of the story which is set out in greater detail on other pages.

Family Traditions

Family traditions recounted in the Loveland Genealogy speak of a Widow Loveland arriving in the new world somewhere between 1635 and 1645, her husband - a supercargo - having died on the voyage. Three brothers are also mentioned as coming to America although it is not known whether or not these were the Widow's sons. In addition to the Widow, the names Thomas, John and Robert Loveland are mentioned as contempories of the Widow but their exact relationships are not correctly established. Tradition also had it that one of the brothers died at a relatively young age crossing the Connecticut River. These traditions have now all been found to have a basis in fact. Unfortunately, the hypotheses built thereon by the LG's authors were eronious in some key respects and have led to much confusion ever since.

It is evident too that the authors searched diligently through the available Victorian reference books for all incidences of the name in 17C England. It so happened that some they found related to a family in Norwich, Co.Norfolk. Other references related to a merchant based in London. They were unable to establish a connection at the time but research now shows that they were actually very close to the truth.

The Facts

We can now say with some certainty that Widow Loveland's husband was John Loveland, baptised 11-Sep-1599 at St.Lawrence, Norwich, the son of John Loveland a prominent citizen of that city. Like his father, John first became a worsted weaver before moving to London to become involved with shipping. His elder brother William (bap 1584) and younger brothers Jeremy (bap 1605) and Robert (bap 1607) were also merchants. John and Jeremy owned part shares in ships from time to time. Their only other brother, Joseph, became a priest and his memorial can be seen in Norwich Catherdral.

The fateful voyage to the New World occurred sometime before 3 February 1639 when John's brother Robert was granted Letters of Administration in London, John having died 'in parts beyond the sea' probably six month or so earlier. We cannot yet say for sure whether the Widow was Elizabeth Busfield who married John Loveland, a Spanish Merchant, in 1631 but this is certainly a possibility.

John left two sons John and Thomas who grew up with their mother in Connecticut. Work continues to locate the birth details of John and Thomas, but the evidence of their grandfather's 1649 will (John of Norwich) suggests that John was the elder. It is possible that the Widow also had a daughter Mary, born about 1644 but this child was certainly not by her husband John. The Widow remarried Thomas Edwards around 1651 and had a daughter Ruth.

Available evidence suggests that the Widow's son John married but had no issue while his brother Thomas married Charity Hart by whom he had nine children.

It is Thomas Loveland from whom the majority of North American Lovelands are descended.

The Robert Loveland who appears frequently in the New England archives until at least 1668 was the Widow's brother-in-law, her late husband's brother.

Brother Jeremy also died relatively young - at the age of 45. Letters of Administration were granted to his brother Joseph in December 1650. If it is assumed that the 'three brothers' of Family Tradition were John, Robert and Jeremy, then Jeremy is a candidate for the one who died in the Connecticut River.

As other pages at this site show, a great deal is now known about this family.