Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Lovelace Name
The Anglo-Saxon surname Lovelace is a modern deviation of the medieval nickname “lufuleas”. Lufuleas is a compound word made up of the prefix “lufu” which translates to mean love in modern English and the suffix “leas” which translates to mean free or without. It is believed this nickname would have been applied to an individual who had not yet married or been in love.
Surnames in Europe prior to the mid-sixteenth century were largely unheard of outside of the noble class. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities new each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people’s names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent’s names. The introduction of surnames after the medieval era seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived. Surnames also served an additional role by allowing governments a more effective way of keeping records for census, taxation, and immigration records.
These official records often contained variations in spelling of many surnames. The variation in spelling during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname include but not limited to; Lovelace; Lowles; Lowless; and Loveless among others.
An early record of any variation of this surname is that of Edith Luvelece which appears in the
Somerset tax rolls dated 1243. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Henry III, with the oldest dating back 700 years to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom.
One of the first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was Francis Lovelace who arrived in 1651 and settled in Virginia. Edward Lovelace landed and settled in New England in 1764 and Thomas Lovelace arrived and settled in Mississippi in 1798.
There were also many immigrants to the British Commonwealth countries such as New Zealand. Maria Lovelace landed in 1851 and settled in Auckland, New Zealand.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Lovelace are found in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Switzerland. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Lovelace live in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia.
There are many persons of note who bear the surname Lovelace. Sir Richard Lovelace, Baron of Lovelace was a title created in the Peerage of England in 1627. Six members of the Lovelace family bore the title until it became extinct upon the death of the sixth Baron in 1736. The title was, however, revived Baron King, 8th Baron King was made Earl of Lovelace. King was married to Ada who was the daughter and only legitimate child of Lord Byron and descended of the Barons Lovelace.
Ada Lovelace made a name for herself outside of the fame brought to her by her ancestry. She has been commemorated in writing and has been the inspiration for many characters in both literary and works for the theater. The United States Department of Defense uses a computer language named Ada in her honor, The British Computer Society has an award named for her, and there is a non-profit organization to promote women’s involvement in science named for her among other honors.
Ada was most renowned as a mathematician and her work on the Analytical Engine, Charles Babbage’s mechanical general-purpose computer. Many historians refer to Lovelace as the first computer programmer, although this claim has often been disputed her contributions to the influence of women in science is not.
Lovelace Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Lovelace blazon are the chief indented, marlet, eagle and staff raguly. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, gules and argent .
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
The chief is a separate area across the top of the field . It is normally marked by a straight line of partition, but for artistic effect, and for clarity of difference between coats of arms, heralds have developed a series of decorative patterns to be used along the edge. An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire , and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.
The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. . Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” . Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!