Recorded in the spellings of Lovejoy and Lovewell, these are medieval English nickname surnames, but of much earlier origins. They are interesting examples of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupation, or to a variety of personal characteristics, some rather "robust". The derivation, in this instance, is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lufu" meaning love, with the later Middle English suffix of either "joy" or "well".In both cases the name is probably used to denote someone who craved pleasure, or who particularly enjoyed their (love) life! Other nicknames in this category include: Lovelady, denoting a philanderer, and Loveless, probably used in the sense of "fancy free". Early examples of the surname recordings include: William, the son of Samuel Lovejoy, christened at Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 1530, and John Lovewell, who married Ann Nevett at All Hallows church, London Wall, on September 2nd 1593. The first recording of the name in any spelling is believed to be that of Johannes Lovejoy, which was dated July 6th 1487, perhaps when he changed his ways, and married Margaret Brinkhurst, at Marlow, Buckinghamshire. This was during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1501. Over the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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