This is a surname of Anglo-Saxon pre 9th century origins. Recorded in the spellings of Lovat, Lovett, Lovitt, Loveard, Lovart, and probably others, the surname is almost certainly a development of the ancient personal names 'Leof-geard', translating loosely as 'guardian of love', or as a derivative from 'Leof-hard', which may translate as 'brave love'. Unfortunately it is simply not possible to apply 20th century explanations to names from a past millennium. As we know from the medieval Chaucer, who is much later and at the beginning of hereditary surnames, people took a robust attitude towards their surnames. Although it does not seem to be the case here, there are many which we today would find unacceptable, and yet these appear to have passed without comment. What is certain is that there are many moderns surnames commencing with the prefix 'love', such as 'Loveless' and 'Lovejoy', coming from the opposite ends of the spectrum! There may in some cases be an overlap with the famous Scottish surname 'Lovat'. This is a locational surname from a village near Beauly, in Aberdeenshire. The name development would seem to be from Leofgeard/Leofhard to Lovart, Lovat and Loveard, and examples of the recording include Daniel Lovat, of Harefield, Middlesex, on June 5th 1676, and John Loveard, at St Brides, Fleet Street, London of July 21st 1788, and John Loveard, who may be the same man, at St Lukes, Finsbury, London, on March 1st 1796. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sarah Lovart, which was dated February 2nd 1638, at St Botolphs without Aldgate, London, during the reign of King Charles 1st, known as 'The martyr', 1625 - 1649. 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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