Who was the wife of John Loveless (1786-1861) – Ann Mary Way or Ann Moore?

last updated may 6 , 2021

John Loveless (1786-1861) was the oldest brother of the TM’s George and James. For many years, genealogists have been confounded by the question of who he was married to. Various people have chosen one over the other. The dilemma has really been exacerbated by the large number of John’s and Ann’s that are from the same region and time period. Gayle Young and I have been trying to sort through the records to come up with an answer.

Our basic conclusion is that he seems to have been married to both.

In 1812 he married Ann Mary Way, and in 1816 he married Ann Moore. The second Ann is the mother to all of his children. The obvious conjecture is that Ann Mary Way died soon after their marriage. (but no confirming records have yet been found). The corroborating evidence is both marriage records, plus a death record for Thomas Loveless indicting that his mother was Ann Moore.

Regarding the second wife, Ann Moore, she was listed as “infirm” in the 1851 census. She does not appear in the 1860 Ohio census with John86, who came to live with his son Thomas. She perhaps died in Dorset during the 1850’s, and we have a possible match with an Ann Loveless who died in the Parish of Winterborne St Martin  28 May, 1856. However, we have not yet been able to tie her to John86. I have a note from many years ago that she died at sea, which is quite possible.

John86, a pauper, can be found in the Poor Law Settlement Records for Dorset, where he was ordered resettled from the Parish of Bridport to the Parish of Burton Bradstock in February 1859. John86 appears in the 1860 US federal census as living with his son Thomas in Ohio. Ann is not listed. John86 must have come to the USA in 1859/60, and so perhaps indeed Ann died on the voyage over. We have a death announcement for John86 from the London Free Press indicating that he died at his son’s residence in Ohio on Feb 18, 1861, with no mention of Ann.

What follows are some of the relevant documents pertaining to John86 and his spouses.

  1. John Loveless Baptism C of E  April 20, 1786 in the Tolpuddle Parish, son of Thomas and Dinah)

2. John Loveless marriage to Ann Mary Way in Tolpuddle, 23 April 1812. Witness, his sister, Dinniah Loveless.

3. Death of Ann Mary Way Loveless

We suspect she died between 1812 and 1816 – no records yet found.

4. Marriage of John to Ann Moore, Parish of Charmouth 2 june 1816.


(I believe the witness’s name is William Tucker)

1841 Census Bradpole Dorset for John86 and family.

and the 1851 census for John86, which seems to say that Ann is “infirm”.

5. Burial  of Ann Lovelass in the Parish of Winterborne St Martin  28 May, 1856.  (Note spelling of Loveless is with an “A”) We once thought that this might be the elusive Ann Moore Loveless, but some recent research by Gayle Young seems to lessen this likelihood, as the 1851 census lists someone that could be her in Winterborne St Martin with a James Loveless. In addition, Maureen Loveless Witt has found a marriage register entry for a James Loveless and Anne Woodsford in the parish of Winterborne in 1813 which seems to lessen the likelihood that Anne Moore Loveless is the Winterborne Anne Loveless who passed away in 1856. So we are still looking. As noted earlier, there still is the possibility that Anne Moore Loveless died at sea.

6. Thomas Loveless (1827-1906) is the son of John Loveless and Ann Moore.

Thomas is significant because his death certificate identifies his mother as Annie Moore. The informant is likely his daughter Mary A. Loveless (1866-1926). (She married John Fraser in 1909, after her father’s death)

George came to America in 1851 with his brother John (1818-1880) and John’s family. It is believed they were on their way to London, Ontario. George ended up living in Ohio, but John stayed in the London, Ontario area.

From England and Wales, Non Conformist and Non Parochial registers 1567-1936 for George Loveless

From 1851 England census for George Loveless  Dorset Bradpole Bridport

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