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Nixey Lovell

Eric Trudgill    -    5 October 2011

Nixey, always Molyneux in the records, was baptised in Preston on the Weald, Shrops in 1813 son of William Lovell, an itinerant brazier,and Fiance, and he died in Liverpool in 1888. William, who seems to have been a son of Major and Susanna Lovell, had several children by a co-wife to Fiance called Sophia (in 1812 he and Sophia had christened a Hercules Lovell who was himself in 1836 to christen a Molyneux, an extremely rare name), and Nixey shared his father’s taste for bigamy.

Nixey’s first wife was Pheasant Boswell, christened in 1808 daughter of Israel and Sibirani, whom he married in Halifax, Yorks in 1830. By Pheasant he seems to have had a short-lived Molyneux Lovell junior, buried two months old in Birmingham in 1831; a William Lovell christened in Much Wenlock, Shrops in January 1835; a Deleraney Lovell, who was daughter of Molyneux at her wedding in Manchester Cathedral in 1861 to her cousin, Cornelius Boswell, son of Phoenix, Pheasant’s brother; and the Leviathan/Mary who travelled to New York with Deleraney and Cornelius in 1869. Deleraney and Leviathan both claimed to have been born about 1838, and it’s possible one, more likely the latter, was a daughter of Nixey’s second wife.

Of these children William seems to have married a Catharine Manton, christening a Fiancie Lovell, a significant family name, in 1872 in Dudley, Worcs, a significant family place, and to have had by Catharine an Absolom, Cecelia and Thomas a bit later. Like his father and grandfather he may also have practised a little bigamy: a William and Margaret Lovell christened a Jane Matilda, significant family name, in 1879 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, significant family place. Cornelius and Deleraney christened an Alfred Boswell in Salford, Lancs in1861, a Rhoda Ann Boswell on the Isle of Man in 1867, and a Molyneux Boswell in Liverpool in 1868 (son of Cornelius and Jane Matilda), who was buried on the Isle of Man in1868 aged three months; and there seem to have been an Elvira, Susanna, Elizabeth and possibly Phoebe born between 1862 and 1869. Leviathan by her husband, James Seed, had an Alice, Emily, Nathaniel and James born between about 1862 and 1869, and a Wallace who married a great-granddaughter of Durant Lovell, nephew of Major and Susanna.

Nixey’s second wife was the well-known Rachel Smith, daughter of Ambrose Smith (Jasper Petulengro) and Mirelli Draper, who was baptised in Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1811,and died in Tranmere, Cheshire in 1861, wife of Molyneux Lovell. Nixey and Rachel had a Molyneux Lovell junior, who was christened in both Norley, Liverpool and Frodham, Cheshire on the same day in 1840, and died in Birkenhead in 1883; an Honour Lovell, who was christened in Daresbury, Cheshire in 1842; a David Lovell, born about 1846, who was aged 25 son of Molyneux when he married Esther Leckham in Edge Hill, Lancs in 1871, and who was a widower aged 29 son of Molyneux, when he married Margaret Boswell, aged 23 daughter of Centibia, in Liverpool in 1878; and a Madona Lovell, who was born in Lower Bebington, Cheshire in 1848 daughter of Molyneux Lovell and Rachel, formerly Smith, and who died in West Derby, Lancs in 1900. To these we can add three children attributed to LovelMolyneux(!) in the 1861 census: Mary, Nathaniel and Ada, born in Liverpool respectively about 1844, 1851 and 1854.

David had by his first wife an Elizabeth Ann christened in Liverpool in 1872. And Madona by the William Beedon she married in Liverpool in 1868 had a William junior, Nathan, Ada, Elizabeth, Rachel, Agnes, Edward, Emily, Alice and Henry, born between 1868 and about 1889.

Nixey’s third wife was the Elizabeth who was named on his death certificate, born allegedly in Liverpool about 1830. They had the Jane Matilda Lovell, born about 1851, who (aged 23 daughter of Molyneux) married John Jones son of John in Liverpool in 1875; the Caroline Lovell who was baptised in Manchester Cathedral in 1852; and the Molyneux Lovell who was born allegedly near Delamere, Cheshire about 1854, who was a felon in Walton on the Hill, Lancs in the 1881 census, and who went to America shortly after. It was this Molyneux who enabled me to identify the first one, the subject of this article, with the Nixey Lovell, previously untraced, given by the gypsiologists as the husband of Rachel Smith. He also illustrated, in doing so, the value of sharing information with trusted fellow-researchers.

Sharon Floate, a descendant of Rachel Smith’s family, and I have for many years been sharing with each other everything we find, and a few months ago she sent me data she’d found about a 30 year old Nixey Lovell being described in America in 1883 as a brother of the fortune-teller, Leviathan/Mary Seed. It occurred to me Nixey here was short not for Nicodemus (as it was elsewhere in the Lovells) but for Molyneux, pronounced Molynix; and my suggestion prompted Sharon to find evidence in support, and to pass this on to another researcher she shares data with, Roger T, a descendant of three nephews of Major and Susanna Lovell, which prompted Roger to find yet more evidence in support. I’m grateful to both, and have passed their information on to Josie Tombs, with whom I’m preparing a massive, almost complete, Lovell Family Tree, in the hope she can develop it yet further. Some of you reading this may be understandably wary of sharing your work, fearing, if you give it to the wrong people, they may pass it off as their own. But believe me, there are plenty of the right people about, who will treat you fairly and, with any luck, reward your trust with really fruitful collaboration.

Copyright © 2011 Eric Trudgill