Mr John Hall Lovell was born in Hatherleigh, Devonshire, England in early 1892.
He was the son of John Lovell (b. 1866), a farmer, and Annie Hall Wivell (b. 1873), both Devonshire natives who were married in early 1891. He had five known siblings: William Henry (b. 1893), Ernest Edmond (b. 1897), Mabel Annie (b. 1898), Elsie Gladys May (b. 1900) and Leonard Stanley (b. 1904).
John first appears on the 1901 census living with his family at Lower Gorhuish in Northlew, Devonshire. His mother died in 1906 aged 33 and his father was remarried in 1909 to Jane Branch (b. 1867), a domestic cook and Devonshire native. The family were still at Lower Gorhuish by the time of the 1911 census but John was absent and working as a farm hand elsewhere in Bratton Clovelly, Devon.
One of John's brothers had emigrated around 1909, initially to Calumet, Michigan and then on to Lakefield, Ontario. It was partly his encouragement that led John to travel to the USA on Titanic. John Lovell was related through an uncle (William James Braund) to Lewis Richard Braund of Bridgerule, Devon who had also left England at the turn of the century to farm in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He had returned to his family home to encourage his brother, Owen Harris Braund to return with him to Canada along with other relatives: Samuel and William Dennis and John Henry Perkin.
They all boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers. John Lovell's ticket was number 21173 and cost £7, 5s.
Two postcards sent by John Lovell to Halwill in Devon survive, one posted from Southampton to his uncle, Mr William Wivell, the other from Queenstown to his aunt, Miss Beatrice Wivell. The first reads:
'Dear Uncle, Just writing a few lines to let you know that I have got to Southampton all right. We got at Southampton about 7.30 in the evening and we all lodge at the Alliance Hotel, I could not sleep that night I am not downhearted yet I am happy. J Lovell'
The second reads:
'I am sending you a postcard of the Titanic. We started from Southampton about 12 o'clock last Wed. Sleep well the first night. I been on ship one and half I am not sea sick yet. I am enjoying myself fine. Good bye. J H Lovell'
Lovell died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His father died a widower in 1943, his stepmother Jane having passed away in 1936.
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