Last name: Lovejoy
This curious surname, having long associations with Buckinghamshire, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an interesting example 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, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, or to habits of dress and behaviour. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lufu" (Middle English "lufe"), love, with the Middle English and Old French "joie, joye", joy; hence, "lovejoy", used to denote someone who craved pleasure, or who particularly enjoyed life. Other nicknames in this category include: Lovelady, denoting a philanderer, or man particularly attentive to the desires of women, and Loveless, probably used in the sense "fancy free". The birth of William, son of Samuel Lovejoy, was registered at Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 1530, and on July 1st 1556, Thomas Lovejoy and Johanna Thatcher were married at Dorney, Buckinghamshire. The name also appears in English Church Registers under the variant spellings: Lovejoye, Lovioye, Lovjoy, Lovejay and Lou(e)joy. A Coat of Arms granted to the Lovejoy family is a shield divided per gyronny of twelve red and gold, the Crest being an arm from the elbow in armour, holding a galtrap. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Lovejoy, which was dated July 6th 1487, marriage to Margaret Brinkhurst, at Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1501. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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My last name is lovejoy, this is fasinating!
Excellent resource. Told me things about my surname I would never have found out easily elsewhere.