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Thomas Loving

Also Known As: "Thomas Loveing", "Thomas Lovering", "Thomas Loving"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Kensington, Middlesex, , England
Death: Died in Jamestown, Virginia, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathan Lovering and Ann Lovering
Husband of Elizabeth Kingston Loving and Ann Lovering
Father of Robert Lovering; Dorothy Lovering; John Lovering; Frances Loving; Anne Loving and 1 other
Brother of John Lovering

Managed by: Justin Swanström
Last Updated:

About Thomas Loving

Thomas Loving (Loveing) (c1610-1665), an importer and merchant, immigrated to Virginia in 1635 with George Mynife and settled at Martin's Hundred. He married the widow Elizabeth Kingston after the death of her first husband Thomas Kingston. He accumulated an estate of 3,500 acres. He was Surveyor General for Virginia, High Sheriff for James City County, and a member of the House of Burgesses for James City.

Many Loving families in the U.S. claim descent from him, but his only known child was a daughter Anne, wife of Edward Thruston, to whom he willed his entire estate. There have been many theories about how he might have have been the ancestor of other Loving families, but it is very unlikely that he had any surviving legitimate children other than his only known daughter. "James Family Genealogy" at The Heritage Lady, visited Sept. 19, 2012.

"Thomas Loveing appears on Green's List of Immigrants 9 May 1635, having come to Virginia with George Mynife as a patentee. He is thought to have been a son of Nathan Louvering and Ann Stanton, but he might have come from co. Warwick. He became a man of means. He received land grants totaling somewhere between 2,500 and 3,500 acres at Martins Hundred, an early Virginia settlement. He received 1,500 acres on 5 October 1638 for paying the transportation of 30 persons to Virginia. The following year he married Elizabeth Kingston, a wealthy widow. In 1642 he received another 700 acres of land. In 11 years he was credited with owning 2,500 acres and acquiring 1,000 acres more in the next 10 years. He served as High Sheriff for James City County, as Surveyor General from an unknown date until his death, and as a member of the House of Burgesses, the Colonial legislature, at the October Sessions 1644 and 1646 and the March Sessions 1657-58. Henings Statutes 1:139; British State Papers, Colonial, under date 12 May 1639; Bruce's Economic History of Virginia, 17th century; and Virginia Historical Magazine (April 1903), X:307." Justin Swanström (2012).

"Loving, Thomas, was a merchant who resided at Martin's Hundred, James City county. He was member of the house of burgesses for James City county in 1644, 1646 and in March, 1657-1658. He was also surveyor general of Virginia until his death in 1665. He married before 1639 the widow of Thomas Kingston. His daughter and heiress Anne married October 28, 1666, Dr. Edward Thruston, son of John Thruston, chamberlain of Bristol, England, who has descendants in Virginia." Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography (1915), 1:280.

Thomas Loving owned property in Martin's Hundred, totaling "at least 2,700 acres". Ivor Noël Hume, Martin's Hundred (1983), 84-85. "Thus, for example, the badly damaged 1638 patent for Thomas Loving's 1,500 acres (which may have included the Harwood and later the Carter's Grove plantations) reads . . . " Hume, 111-112.

James County, Book 1, "840. Thomas Loving. Octr. 10, 1642. 700 acres. In Martins hundred. Beg.g at the Green Swamp." "Patents Issued During the Regal Government" in William and Mary Quarterly (January, 1901) XI:8, 142.

House of Burgesses, members assembled 1 October 1644: From James City: Captain Robert Hutchinson, Stephen Webb, Edward Travis, Thomas Loveing, George Jordan, John Shepherd, Thomas Warren. Source: Hening I, 283. The Colonial Virginia Register, compiled by William Glover and Mary Newton Standard (1902).

House of Burgesses, members assembled 5 October 1646: From James City: Ambrose Harmer, Speaker, Walter Chiles, Captain Robert Shepheard, George Jordayne, Thomas Lovinge, William Barrett. Source: Hening I, 322-323. The Colonial Virginia Register, compiled by William Glover and Mary Newton Standard (1902).

House of Burgesses, members assembled 13 March 1657-8: From James City: Hen. Soane, Major Richard Webster, Thomas Loveinge, William Corker. Source: Hening I, 429-432. York Co. Records 1658. The Colonial Virginia Register, compiled by William Glover and Mary Newton Standard (1902).

Surveyors General: Thomas Loving -1665. The Colonial Virginia Register, compiled by William Glover and Mary Newton Standard (1902).

"Seventeenth-century land patents, however, provide some clue as to who may have lived in the vicinity of the Locust Grove Tract in the seventeenth century. Based on the patents of people in Martin’s Hundred it is likely that the Locust Grove Tract land was part of the holdings of Thomas Kingston in the 1630s. After Kingston’s death, his widow was married to Thomas Loving by 1639, and Loving proceeded to patent other tracts of land in Martin’s Hundred (Nugent (I) 1934: 30, 118, 137; VMHB (X) 1903: 379; VMHB (XII) 1905: 388)." Meredith C. Moodey, Phase II Archeological Excavation of the Locust Grove Tract, Carters Grove Plantation (Colonial Williamsburg Archaeological Reports) (May 1992; Re-issued June 2001), 16.

The Loving Family in America

The year was 1635 when Thomas Loving (Loveing) came from England to Virginia in a party of sixty emigrants sponsored by George Mynifee, Esquire. Mynifee was wealthy and gifted with keen business acumen. He [Mynifee] paid to bring these sixty souls to America, not out of a sense of benevolence, but in order to collect the headrights, 50 acres for each man or woman he brought to Virginia colony. This one boatload guaranteed him a patent for 3,000 acres of prime Virginia real estate.

Thomas Loving, an apt pupil, lost no time in emulating his benefactor. The scant records about him tend to prove that he was not a wealthy man, for he had someone else pay his passage to America. Within weeks of his arrival, however, he married the widow of a former Burgess, Thomas Kingston, and it is likely that he used her wealth to bring other British subjects to Virginia. [This marriage was not until several years after Thomas' arrival.] Record of his land patents and those of George Mynifee are seen in Nugent's fine series, Cavaliers and Pioneers. Thomas did not operate on the scale of George Mynifee, but he garnered several choice grants of good farm and timberland. It is clear that he commanded the respect and trust of the leading settlers in James City County, for he was soon elected to the House of Burgesses for his county and he was also appointed by the College of William and Mary to serve as Surveyor General for Virginia [Appointments by the College of William and Mary did not begin until much later. Thomas Loving would have been appointed by the Governor]. At a later date he was elected High Sheriff for his county. To hold these positions, he had to have been educated and intelligent. Some may have regarded him as an opportunist, but nothing has come to light to disgrace his character. Every man of means who came to America in those early years was open to opportunity.

Little else is known about Thomas Loving, except that he was an importer and a merchant. One child was named in his will as sole heir -- Anne Loving. Thomas died in 1655 [1665], just twenty years after his arrival, and his wife seems to have died before him. The hiatus of 50 years between the death of Thomas and the birth of John Loving in 1705 has been filled by all manner of conjecture and legend. Genealogists dislike these ruptures in the family line and they have tried to fill this gap with "probable" descendants of Thomas who could connect him and John. No proof stands up, however, for these fanciful histories. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Thomas had sons who followed him to America, but no one has found evidence of this. Our disclaimer is not likely to put a stop to these legends, however, for legends have a charm that truth can seldom touch.

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Thomas Loving's Timeline

1610
1610
Kensington, Middlesex, , England
1620
September 6, 1620
Age 10
Boston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
1626
1626
Age 16
Bradninch, Devon, , England
1637
1637
Age 27
Berwick, Gorges Patent (Present York County), (Present Maine), (Present USA)
1639
December 12, 1639
Age 29
Virginia
1642
1642
Age 32
Jamestown, James City, Virginia, United States
1644
1644
Age 34
Jamestown, James City, Virginia, United States
1665
1665
Age 55
Jamestown, Virginia, USA
????
Ardleigh, Essex, , England
????