and ‘a secret taken to the grave’!
Although we have been investigating this family for many years, all we can be certain of this ancestor, is that Joseph Lovell had four children, with Elizabeth Raine at Gravel Pits, Kensington.
With help from Dwight, also researching this family from America, we have been piecing together the evidence of Joseph Lovell’s life. One of our cousins in America, had an intriguing secret, ‘she would take to the grave.’ And indeed she did. We will never know what that secret was, but read on, perhaps we have at last uncovered it.
Interactive Map of old London https://www.theundergroundmap.com/
This useful historical map, may help to plot the lives of some of the people mentioned.
When we research our ancestors, we should remember that what we find, is an overview of their lives. Perhaps we ask why did they do that, what were they thinking. As with many people today, they probably weren’t thinking, they just reacted to the events of their lives. They lived day by day, to get by, and made decisions for the short term. It is not until the whole picture of a life is reviewed, that the events may be questioned.
We look at their lives, from a modern perspective, and cannot imagine what life was actually like to live in former times. Perhaps ancestors lived by petty crime to get by or for a bit of excitement in a mundane life. These days we have more compassion for those living in poverty.
In former times, escape from an unhappy, unsuitable, or violent marriage was virtually impossible. The very rich may afford a divorce, but the only chance of release from a marriage for the poor, would have been the death of one of the couple, otherwise, it was to make the best of an unsatisfactory situation. On the other hand, perhaps some took advantage of poverty, and the confusion of the slums, by setting up home with several partners. Bigamy has never been considered acceptable. The evidence here is suggesting such, but, have we read too much into what we have discovered. We would welcome feedback for our assumptions.
And so, to the four children of Joseph Lovell: Joseph (Lovell Raine) baptised 1825 and George Lovell (Raine) baptised 1831 at St. Mary Abbotts: and two daughters, Elizabeth Lovell Raine and Charlotte Lovell Raine also with this unusual name combination, no baptisms found. Elizabeth named Joseph as her father at marriage in 1851 but Charlotte left her father’s name blank in 1852. Both girls can identify connections to Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Raine.
So where do we start in trying to identify Joseph?
A general search on ancestry.co.uk for ‘Joseph Lovell born between 1790 and 1810 in Middlesex’ bought up three results. (These dates were chosen as a filter, as the most likely birth dates to produce children from 1825).
One of these was at St. Mary Abbotts baptised to Robert and Elizabeth on 30th March 1806. Another, to John and Anna Maria at Hillingdon 1st September 1799. The third, of a Joseph Edward born at Tower Hamlets 1800, who I think we can discount. (Tower Hamlets does not hold family connections and ‘Joseph Edward’ does not register in family details).
A similar search in Buckinghamshire (where Elizabeth Raine was born), bought up one suggestion, which seemed most unlikely. A general search of the whole of ‘England’ bought up just 64 suggestions, many of which were doubles, and others, repeats of my 2 previous searches.
Dwight has created a Google map, to log the places these ancestors lived and churches they used, in an attempt for us as family historians to understand the locations they lived.
So it appears we have two possibilities, but how to prove which is ‘our’ Joseph Lovell?
It seems the most likely, would be, Joseph Lovell baptised 30th March 1806 to Robert and Elizabeth Lovell at St Mary Abbotts. This parish seems to feature in known facts of ‘our’ Joseph, throughout his life.
Several years ago, doing a ‘trawl’ of St Mary Abbotts registers, this couple came to prominence, and on numerous searches since, they have shown up. They appear to be the most likely, and, I am pleased to say, a relief to get away from researching the name ‘Joseph’ which seems to crop up, in every newly discovered generation!
Another couple named ‘Robert and Elizabeth Lovell’ also have children at the same time, in Shoreditch, childrens birth dates clash and they just don’t fit (more later).
Searching for other children to Robert and Elizabeth at St Mary Abbotts, brings up:
Amelia baptised 15 January 1804 at St Mary Abbotts. Robert a labourer living at Porto Bello Farm. (Today, known for the eclectic street market of Porto Bello Road).
Amelia married Thomas Warner in 1824, at St Marylebone. Witnesses Robert and Elizabeth Lovell, presumably Amelia’s parents, and still alive at that time. It appears that Robert lived to great old age, as he has shown up in both 1841 and 1851 censuses, and seems to have died at Kensington Workhouse in 1858, aged 88. See below
By 1839, Thomas Warner must have died, as Amelia remarried, William Brooks, at St James Paddington on 24th December 1839. Her father given as Robert Lovell, ostler (horsekeeper).
William baptised 6 June 1813, to Robert, a labourer from Gravel Pits (this entry is interesting as Elizabeth Raine acted as witness to a marriage of William Lovell and Ruth Woodfield on 22nd July 1833 at St James Paddington, which also makes another connection to this family).
Charles baptised 11th October 1818, to Robert Lovell, a labourer, and Elizabeth of Gravel Pits. He appears to have married Harriett Camp, at St James Paddington, 25 Nov 1839. (Text only entry on ancestry). Fathers name Robert, and they are listed in 1851 census at Clapham and 1861 census at Lambeth.
A child Robert Lovell was baptised in Hillingdon to Robert and Elizabeth on 30th May 1802. He seems like he would fit into this family well, and may provide a link between the family and Hillingdon at a later date. A Robert Lovell was buried at St Mary Abbotts on 14th September 1836, aged 34 years. Living at Peel Street. This must have been the same Robert. (Had he married?)
A search for a marriage of Robert Lovell (senior), brings up a marriage in 1802 at Hayes, Hillingdon to Elizabeth Veven. The details online, are brief.
Veven is an unusual surname. I wondered if it was a misheard or misspelt French name, but it may, and, more likely be, a West Country surname.
So how to determine which of the two families our Joseph Lovell belongs to.
In passing, Dwight sent me a reference to the theft of some silver items belonging to a Joseph and Elizabeth Lovell of Uxbridge in 1829. This Joseph was a Coachmaker.
Carrying out various searches, I discovered the baptism of an Anna Maria Lovell on 21st June 1826 Hillingdon to Joseph and Elizabeth. This was rather an unusual name, and rang a bell with the birth of Joseph Lovell in 1799 to John and Anna Maria. (Rather belatedly, Anna Maria Lovell married Thomas Patrick Murray 6th March 1864 at St Judes Islington, and her father was stated as Joseph Lovell coachbuilder).
Various searches revealed the following family;
John and Anna Maria Lovell of Hillingdon Middlesex.
Charles baptised 6 July 1794, John 30th March 1796, Joseph 1st September 1799, Anne 3rd July 1801 (father coachman). On 17th May 1803, Anna Maria was buried, and later John remarried Frances. The following children were baptised at Hillingdon, Frances 21st May 1806 (father, coachmaker), Charlotte 16th October 1807 and Avis 23rd April 1809 (father, coachmaker).
One possibility, is that this Joseph Lovell was the father of Elizabeth Raine’s children, whilst married to ‘Elizabeth’ his wife, and they are baptised at St Mary Abbotts, in the name of decency.
The baptisms at St Mary Abbotts state that ‘our’ Joseph was a labourer, as did the marriage of Joseph Lovell Raine to Betsy Rogers. The marriage of Elizabeth Lovell Raine to Edward Joseph Paul, gives occupation as Brickmaker.
It seems unlikely that over such a long time frame (from the baptism of Joseph in 1825 to Elizabeth’s marriage in 1851), that if these occupations were given falsely to mislead the vicar, that anyone would remember exactly what was stated at the time. Brickmakers were often described as labourers. A coachmaker, might hide his identity as a labourer, but unlikely a brickmaker. And pretty certainly, a labourer or brickmaker, wouldn’t claim to be a coachmaker.
So it seems most likely that ‘our’ Joseph Lovell is the one born 1806 to Robert and Elizabeth at St Mary Abbotts, Kensington, and further speculation follows later!
There is also the connection of Robert Lovell, with Hayes Hillingdon, which could mean that the two Josephs were in fact related in some way.
As said before, I have been unable to locate many, if any, branches of this part of the family in the 1841 census. Is this because they didn’t want to be identified, or have we been looking in the wrong areas. Perhaps the records have been damaged or destroyed.
Now I come to the parts of Joseph Lovell’s story, that taken separately add up, but when put together seem unbelievable, and perhaps we have got it wrong. I include what we know, and perhaps someone else can see through them.
On 30th March 1825, my ancestor, Joseph ‘Lovell Raine’, was baptised at St Mary Abbots to Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Rane.
(Around about 1829 and 1830 two more daughters were born to them, but not baptised, and on 9th September 1831, George was baptised, again at St Mary Abbotts.)
However 22 days before Joseph Lovell-Raine’s baptism, on 8th March 1825 at Islington, a Joseph Lovell married Sarah Higgins. Perhaps this was a different Joseph, but, witnesses were Thomas and Amelia Warner. (Amelia was Joseph Lovell’s sister, and had married Thomas Warner, 14 June 1824, at St. Marylebone).
An entry in the 1851 census, leads us to believe that, both Joseph and Sarah are alive and well. Joseph Lovell, aged 45, born in Kensington. Sarah aged, 44 born at Acton. The 1851 census was taken on 30th March, which would mean that Joseph and Sarah, were correct with their ages.
He is living in St George, Hanover Square, as a carter with wife Sarah, a laundress. Whilst it may be a different Joseph, again, the facts fit. Carter may not be right, but it is an unskilled, labourering occupation. No children as yet have been found to this marriage.
A search for Sarah’s birth, gives a date of birth, 8th April, baptism on 27th April 1806 at St Mary’s, Acton, to Christopher Payne and Elizabeth Higgins, presumed at first to be unmarried. Checking again, it seems that father Christopher, was in fact ‘Christopher Paine’ Higgins, and married Elizabeth Green at St Marys Acton c1801. They had a large family and are well documented on ancestry.co.uk But, this would make Sarah Higgins a minor at the date of marriage.
Now things get very interesting, as another marriage emerges, taking place in 1846, and five years before the 1851 census entry. This marriage, has been on the radar for years, but has been ignored, as I have always considered it ‘not‘ my ancestor Joseph Lovell Raine, but have never considered that it could be his father, Joseph Lovell, looking again, it all seems to fit. No children as yet identified to this marriage either, (update, several children identified)
On 8th June 1846, at St John’s Notting Hill to Hannah Dearing. Both of full age, and living at 7 New Street. Joseph was a brickmaker and his father was Robert, a bricklayer. Hannah’s father was William a farm man. Witnesses Ann Page and Harriet (Brosters?), (this may be ‘Brookes’, perhaps a connection with Amelia (Lovell-Warner-Brookes).
A record has been discovered, for the baptism of Ann Mary Dearing on 21st June 1846, to Hannah, at St John’s Notting Hill. This seems something of a coincidence, and if these are the same people, why wasn’t she baptised as ‘Lovell’, this was two weeks after the marriage of Joseph Lovell and Hannah Dearing. In the baptism register, Hannah is described as a spinster, and living at 7 New Street. The same address, as that on her wedding certificate.
NB: The names, Ann and Mary have a bracket next to them. Could these actually be two children? as none of the other double Christian names on the page have brackets.
However, in 1851, the story evolves, as an Ann Lovell aged 5 and born in Kensington, is visiting William Dearing and family at Abbots Langley Hertfordshire. This is where Hannah Dearing was baptised 4th April 1819 to William and Mary.
All this needs thorough investigation, especially if Joseph Lovell is being accused of being married to two women at the same time, with a third family elsewhere.
Is this the reason that Charlotte Lovell Raine left the father’s name blank at her marriage, inspite of the fact that she must have been close to her sister Elizabeth, who had named Joseph Lovell as her father a year earlier. Charlotte’s husband, John Renshaw was witness at the sister Elizabeth’s marriage. Charlotte references her step father when in America, rather than her own father.
I have never been able to find a reference to Joseph Lovell in the 1841 census, so decided to see if I could glean further information from ‘familysearch‘. Amazingly a reference to a Joseph Lovell born 1804 with wife Sarah appeared. Unfortunately I was unable to view the actual image for more information, but it gave the census reference. I tried to locate it in ancestry, and came to the conclusion that it was not included. However, I asked the question on a Facebook help page, and somebody kindly found the exact image for me which I could view.
Living at Cottage Place, St John the Evangelist, Westminster, were Joseph Lovell aged 37, with wife Sarah aged 35. Joseph was listed as a Brickmaker. Although extremely difficult to read, and transcribed as ‘Lovise,’ this appears to tie Joseph to other information we have for him.
- To wife Sarah (Higgins) married 1825
- And Sarah with him in 1851 census
- To wife Hannah Dearing married 1846, occupation, Brickmaker
- To father Robert, appearing on his marriage certificate to Hannah/ and the father of Amelia Lovell (Warner), who was witness and sister at Joseph and Sarah’s marriage 1825
A further, general search on ancestry.co.uk for ‘Joseph Lovell, born in Middlesex to Robert‘, bought up 9 responses, some we are already aware of, but this I have not seen before….. very interesting information.
It is a marriage entry dated 22nd September 1872, at St Mark’s Church Notting Hill, to Sarah Dean. Both Joseph and Sarah are stated to be widower and widow, with his occupation given as labourer, father Robert, bricklayer. Sarah’s father is given as William (Tippen)? It must be our Joseph, still alive in 1872, so where has he been since 1851?
He had confused us by marrying along with his children’s generation, and now with his grandchildren’s generation.
Below, could this be Joseph Lovell in the 1861 Census? Although in the census entry there are several discrepancies, further information should prove, this is indeed ‘our’ Joseph.
According to this entry, Joseph Lovell aged 49 (born 1812 at Watford Hertfordshire) and wife Ann age 40 (born 1821 at Notting Hill). On ancestry.co.uk her name has been transcribed at Odrm. They are living at Birds Cottages, St Mary Abbotts. With them are three children, James aged 10, (born c1851), and twins George and Eliza aged two ( born c1849). The children all born in Middlesex.
I would guess that the enumerator muddled the birth places of Joseph and Ann, because, we believe Joseph was born in Kensington – (Notting Hill), and Ann/ Hannah, at Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, which is close to Watford. The names Hannah and Ann are often interchangeable. Joseph birth age is rather out, but this isn’t unusual for the censuses. I believe these children, hold the connection.
Dwight found the baptism record for Eliza Lovell, 1st July 1859 at St James Norland, but strangely, not for George, this was a month after birth. Maybe George had been baptised at birth, as not expected to live. (There is no record of his baptism in the church registers). Parents were Joseph and Ann of 16 Birds Cottages, and Joseph was a labourer. This address ties in with the 1861 census.
Having applied for the birth certificates of Eliza and George, they show that father was Joseph Lovell, and mother Ann Dearing, at Potteries, Kensington. Eliza was born on 31st May 1859 at 11.30pm and George on 1st June at 11am, this seems rather a long gap for twins, but, we can take this, that Eliza was the oldest, and they were born across two days.
Birth certificates of Eliza and George Lovell.
I have been unable to find a birth reference for James Lovell born c1851. I have also applied for the birth certificate for a Mary Ann Amelia Lovell born 1843, to see if this is the Ann/ Mary baptised to Hannah Dearing 1845, and visiting William Dearing in 1851 ( it is not). So, still searching for birth references for James Lovell c1851, and Mary/Ann Lovell/ Dearing c1845).
According to the baptism registers for St James Norland, Kensington, a daughter, Emma, was baptised in 1857 to Joseph and Ann Lovell of Birds Cottages St Mary Abbotts. Joseph was a labourer.
At last, after hours of searching, I feel I have made progress regarding the course of Joseph Lovell’s life, but there are still many gaps, and questions about his life.
Having found him in 1861, with his children, I was then able to search for these children later on. Having found the marriage in 1872 to Sarah Dean, information here also helps to make connections.
Son James, aged 22, marries Susan Trowbridge at St Paul’s Church Hammersmith on October 11th 1874. He was a brickmaker, as was his father Joseph.
I was most surprised to find that Joseph was still alive at the time of the 1881 and 1891 census. In 1881, many facts did not tally, but I do think it is ‘our’ Joseph.
He was living at 57 Tobin Street (St. John and St. James, Chelsea), aged 58, a Carpenter, born at Bayswater. Wife, Sarah aged 60, was born at Mortlake, Surrey. Living with them was 13 year old Charlotte Dean, Sarah’s daughter, born in Kensington
In the 1891 census, his age is given as 71, which wouldn’t be correct, but place of birth as Kensington. Living at ( Martin?) Street with William and Charlotte Thomas . William a horsekeeper, (Charlotte was Sarah Dean’s daughter, by her previous husband), also his wife Sarah, and neice of William Thomas, Sarah Head.
Considering his age, I carried out a general search for a death between 1891 and 1901, finding a suitable reference in 1892. Age given as 92, so year of birth approx 1800. I have applied for this certificate, and await its arrival.
|Age at Death (in years):|
|GRO Reference: 1892 J Quarter in KENSINGTON Volume 01A Page 63|
26 April 2021, and Joseph Lovell’s death certificate received. It states he died 31st March 1892 aged 72 (year of birth 1820)? at 9 Manchester Street, Kensington, of senile decay (dementia). Present at the death was John Gregory. His occupation – general labourer.
Our Joseph would have been 86 years by this time. As few people, if any were alive to advise his true age, perhaps we can take his age at death with a pinch of salt. It is almost certainly the same Joseph Lovell who married Sarah Dean in 1872, (the son of Robert Lovell, Bricklayer). And so, fairly safe to say, this is ‘our’ Joseph.
Having identified the presumed birth and death dates for Joseph Lovell, and apparently the events of his life, do we feel any closer to understanding the man? It seems not, I have done my best at proving each piece of information, but still do not feel completely confident in the findings.
It is now important to cross reference all the ‘Joseph Lovell’s’ alive in the area during this time, in the hope that mistakes have not been made in identifying him. As he was born in Kensington, Middlesex, Joseph Lovell’s ‘born in Middlesex’, and ‘living in Middlesex‘ will need to be checked. Due to discrepancies in census entries (ages, place of birth and transcription), others may also require checks.
I will carry out the same check later for ‘Robert Lovell’, as the fact that Robert Lovell was Joseph’s father, has been an important means of cross checking.
Cross Checking Joseph Lovell’s of Middlesex
- Joseph Lovell was baptised 30th March, so likely born early 1806, possibly during 1805, but no earlier, as next oldest sibling Amelia born 1804.
- Death presumed as 1892
- A search ( on ancestry.co.uk), for children born to ‘Joseph Lovell in Middlesex between 1820 and 1892‘ brings up the following
- To Joseph and Elizabeth Raine; as researched
- To Joseph and Ann; A farrier (also described as ‘Trade’ and ‘Mechanic’, from Kentish Town, baptising children at Marylebone between 1820 and 1840. In 1861 a Farrier, living at Newington, Surrey, born Buckinghamshire. No obvious links to our line.
- To Joseph and Elizabeth Coachmaker at Uxbridge, Hillingdon. As previously described, not our Joseph, but may have family links further back. Believed born 1799 to John.
- To Joseph and Mary Ann Recently discovered at 11 Hayward Place, Clerkenwell St James, baptised son Peter, 21 July 1839. Bricklayer.
- To Joseph and Sarah Shoemaker; St Pancras, Camden., baptised 3 sons, Henry 1830, Charles1833 and George William1843. Occupation makes an unlikely match, but we do have reference to Joseph Lovell marrying Sarah Higgins at Islington 1825.
- To Joseph Edward and Louisa baptised son, also Joseph Edward 1827, at Tower Hamlets. Other children marriage records state him to be a butcher. Name, Occupation and Residence rules him out.
- To Joseph and Elizabeth, Hammersmith. This is Joseph Lovell Raine, my ancestor, and son of Joseph Lovell.
- To Joseph and Ann Shepherds Bush; Labourer. This is the correct occupation and locality for Joseph’s life, and ‘Ann’ could be ‘Hannah Dearing’. Twins Eliza and George baptised 1859 (as mentioned previously).1861 census references another son James born c1851.Baptism records an Emma c1857.
- Joseph and Emily (Whip Maker) of Islington, children baptised 1869 – 1877. Occupation rules him out.
- Possibly others I have missed. At the end of the century a number of people name Joseph Lovell as father on wedding entries, but nothing especially relevant.
Cross Checking Robert Lovells
So to Robert Lovell. We believe from research that Robert and Elizabeth Lovell, were Joseph’s parents, and were still alive at their daughter, Amelia’s marriage in 1824. Robert was still alive in 1851, but possibly could have remarried between 1824 and 1851. To further identify him, we must check, all Robert Lovells having children between 1802 and 1851, particularly with wife Elizabeth, in Middlesex.
Diary of a life
1806 Joseph Lovell born at Gravel Pits Kensington
1813 Brother William born Gravel Pits Kensington
1818 Brother Charles born Gravel Pits Kensington
1825 Joseph Lovell Raine born to Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Raine, unmarried. Gravel Pits Kensington.
1825 Joseph Lovell marries Sarah Higgins at Islington. Sarah from Acton. Witnesses Thomas and Amelia Warnes.
1828? Elizabeth Lovell Raine born to Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Raine, unmarried.
1829 Charlotte Lovell Raine born to Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Raine, unmarried.
1831 George Lovell Raine born to Joseph Lovell and Elizabeth Raine, unmarried. Gravel Pits Kensington.
1836 Elizabeth Raine marries Henry Till
1841 Joseph Lovell living at Cottage Place, with wife Sarah, as a Brickmaker.
1846 June: daughter(s) Ann/Mary born to Hannah Dearing, living at 7 New Street.
1846 June: Joseph Lovell marries Hannah Dearing. Both living at 7 New Street.
1850/1 James Lovell born to Joseph and Ann
1851 Elizabeth Lovell Raine marries Joseph Edward Paul
1851 Census: Ann Lovell aged 5, visitor in the house of William Dearing.
1851 Census: Joseph Lovell aged 45, Carter, born Kensington, living with Sarah (Higgins?) Lovell, 2 St George Row, Hanover Square.
1852 Charlotte Lovell Raine marries John Renshaw
1857, Emma Lovell born to Joseph Lovell and Ann (Dearing) Lovell.
1857 Death of son Joseph Lovell Raine.
1859 Twins, Eliza and George Lovell born to Joseph Lovell and Ann (Dearing) Lovell/ Eliza baptised 1st July, living at 16 Birds Cottages.
1861 Joseph and Ann Lovell living at Birds Cottages St Mary Abbotts Kensington. Labourer.
1869: Daughter, Charlotte Lovell Raine – Renshaw dies USA.
1872: Joseph Lovell (labourer) marries Sarah (Tipping) Dean. Father Robert Lovell, Bricklayer.
1881 Joseph Lovell (who married Sarah Tippen/ Dean) living at 57 Tobin Street aged 58 ? with wife Sarah and step daughter Charlotte. Carpenter ?born Bayswater ?
1891 aged 71?, place of birth Kensington. Living at ( Martin?) Street, with wife Sarah, William and Charlotte Thomas (Charlotte was wife Sarah’s daughter).
1892 Death 31st March aged 72 (year of birth 1820)? (actual age of ‘our’ Joseph 86 years), at 9 Manchester Street, Kensington. His occupation – general labourer.
Known children born to Joseph Lovell
|Date of Birth||Name||Mother||Notes|
|1825||Joseph Lovell Raine||Elizabeth Raine|
|1829||Elizabeth Lovell Raine||Elizabeth Raine|
|31.12.1830||Charlotte Lovell Raine||Elizabeth Raine|
|1831||George Lovell Raine||Elizabeth Raine|
|1845/6||Mary/Ann Dearing/Lovell||Hannah/Ann Dearing|
|1857||Emma Lovell||Hannah/Ann Dearing|
|1859||Eliza Lovell||Hannah/Ann Dearing|
|1859||George Lovell||Hannah/Ann Dearing|