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A Truelove Family
Truelove English History 800 - 1500

In the beginning there were Trueloves. The first noted reference is the Ayre Legend from 1066. Then we have a family myth of Trueloves as lords of the manor in Shropshire in the 1200s. Throughout the period 1100 to 1350 there are several mentions of Trueloves associated with the normans. From the 1500's the information increases and then lots more information from the 1700s on.

I have spent many hours trawling the internet, reading whats available from history and other peoples conjectures and this is my attempt.
I believe it started with the Norsemen. Throughout the centuries, after the romans withdrew from England about 400AD, the vikings invaded and pillaged the northern parts of England around York and the southern parts around Essex and Suffolk. These areas were the centres of Roman England. They were probably the richest and easiest pickings. They also left people behind. By 900 they controlled England and there was a Danish King of England. There have been several good series on the Discovery channels of their culture in England where regions and towns are basically nordic in origin. Much of the commercial "buy your ancestry" puts the start of the Trueloves (trewelove,trulov, etc) in the Shropshire region. Strangely, there are no Trueloves there now or in historical times, ie, back to the 1500s noted on the internet. What we do know is a Roger Truelove (TrewLove) was knighted in 1275 and a Roger Truelove was made guardian of an estate "Kingshaugh" Nottingham by Edward III in the early 1300s. We can assume the Truelove coat of arms came from this person. We can also assume the Trueloves were "friends" of the Norman aristocracy.
I have recently (July 2015) found a reference to Richard Truelove born 1252 son of Guillaume Trailour and father of William Trelowargh of Trelowarth Hamlet Cornwall. William was the father of Sir John De Trelworth.
This takes us to the Ayre Legend.
"In Thorpe's catalogue of the deeds of Battle Abbey we find the following: "Ayres or Eyre. The first of this family was named Truelove, who was one of the followers of William the Conqueror. At the Battle of Hastings, A.D. 1066, Duke William was thrown from his horse and his helmet beaten into his face; which Truelove observing, pulled it off and horsed him again. The Duke told him, 'Thou shalt be from Truelove caller Eyre (or air), because thou hast given me the air I breathe.' After the battle the Duke, on inquiry respecting him, found him severely wounded (the leg and thy having been struck off). He ordered him the utmost care, and on his recovery gave him lands in Derby in reward for his services, and the leg and thigh in armor cut off for his crest, an honorary badge yet worn by all the Eyres in England."
James Truelove of Illabo NSW Australia had the story that the Trueloves had changed sides and fought with the Normans at Hastings. This would presume they were originally supporters of the Anglo saxon Kings and not the Danish Kings. If they were in fact of norse or danish origin they would have been supporting their fellow countrymen, the Normans who were also of Norse or danish descent. In 1066 a danish invasion occurred just before the norman invasion. Historians suggest there may have been a conspiracy to get Harold Godwinson off balance. The danish invasion hit Lincolnshire, the norman invasion was from the south through Kent and Surrey. The map is of the Danelaw, so called to show the division of England about 900 into the Danish part and the anglo-saxon part. The dark blue dots are locations of Trueloves prior to 1500.

It can be seen from the above map that the Trueloves were concentrated in the Danish region of England and it is reasonable to assume they were of norse or danish descent. I have included the one dot below Kent to signify the Battle of Hastings in 1066. As the people of England started to use a surname, it is not a large jump from trulofa to truelove.

Trulofa is the Norse word for "betrothed"
In Icelandic the word for "to plight one's troth" is trulofa

The cutting up of the bride's outfit was soon to move out of custom and instead be replaced with the presentation of knots of ribbons to wear. These little bouquets of ribbon would have been assembled before the ceremony in the bride's chosen colors and given to guests as well as neighbors who did not attend the festivities. These knots were called "favours" and were very sought after as stylish and prestigious ornaments to wear by men and women on their lapels and in their hats! Therefore, in Elizabethan times, when "you were what you wore", to be slighted a "favour" from a grand society wedding would be very vexing indeed! Instead of "favours", the ribbons were sometimes called true-love knots which was a very ancient term. Ann Monsarrat in, And the Bride Wore, reports, "There is a nice theory that both the knots and the name were an early import from Denmark where Trulofa, fidem do meant 'I plight my troth', or 'faith'. The little bows were seen as pledges, and when they reached England, the transfer from 'trulofa' to 'true-love' was simple and suitable."

Another name variation I have discovered while searching the internet is a reference to a John Truelove :
"John Trouloffe" A composer of religious music 1448 - 1473 Exeter England.

The Trueloves and virtually everyone disappear from 1350 to the early 1500s.
By the 1500s, we start to have traces of the Trueloves re-emerging. They are gentry and property owners in the south of England in Essex and Sussex and common folk in the north in the old Norse areas.

Gordon Truelove. Melbourne Australia 25th July 2005

Gordon Truelove. Burnett Heads, Queensland. Australia 15th June 2015

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