Archiver > LOVELOCK > 2017-08 > 1501694529

From: Graham Lovelock <>
Subject: [LOVELOCK] William John LOVELOCK born Dogmersfield 1850/51
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2017 17:22:09 +0000

Hello all,

I have been contacted through Webtrees regarding the man above.

I'm not sure there ever really was a William John, but that a part of the name is assumed. We have no Notes on the website, so if my answer to my correspondent disregards other facts that we have not presently included in the gedcom please let me know.

I have suggested that the fly in the ointment seems to be William (I136) the son of Abraham Lovelock (I93). William was baptised on 27 Mar 1836. He appears in 1841 aged 5 and again in 1851 aged 15, but then seems to disappear from the records. The GRO Online facility confirms that he did not die between 1851 and 1861, at least not in England or Wales, but there is no entry in 1861 that could be him. He may, for instance, have joined the Army, but he does not appear in our list of Lovelock Chelsea Pensioners so if he did enlist he may have died overseas.

The marriage of 'William John Lovelock' and Sarah Fifield, is included in the Ashford section of our 'Lovelocks in Middlesex' collection; the groom claimed to be 25 at his marriage, indicating a birth in 1853 or 1854, and of course you will not be surprised to hear that there isn't one. But the GRO Online facility now enables us to confirm that the maiden name of the mother of the 6 children baptised at Ashford was indeed Fifield as we have assumed, and so Sarah's husband recorded as William J in 1881, William in 1891 and John in 1901 must surely be one and the same (I139). However, the 1881 entry suggests a birth in 1850 or 1851, the 1891 a birth in 1850 or 1851, and, bizarrely, the 1901 entry suggests that he did not age at all in the 10 years since the previous Census!

Despite that appearance as John in 1901 his death, in 1910, was registered in the name of William and his age as 60, indicating a birth in 1849 or 1850.

My conclusion is that William born around 1836 died at some point after 1851 and his younger brother John, for reasons we shall probably never know, appended his brother's name to his own at some point between 1861 and 1879. Furthermore, and again for reasons unknown, he lied about his age when he married Sarah Fifield, taking no less than 7 years off his true age. But then, scarcely 2 years later, he claimed to have aged by 5 years, a pretence that he more or less maintained for the rest of his life. He always, note, recorded his birthplace as Dogmersfield so if there was a 'real' William John he would surely have surfaced somewhere else in the documentation.

In summary, then, I do not believe 'William John' to have been baptised or registered under that name, but that John adopted the epithet, possibly following the death of his older brother William.

Does anyone have anything to contribute to the discussion, or should I add a version of the above facts as a Note in the gedcom?



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