Valentine’s Day and Surnames

There are surnames such as Valentine, Love, Heart and Cupid. The family name of Valentine is English and comes from the Latin term ‘valens’ which means something very strong and healthy. Additional spellings for Valentine include Vallentine and Vallantine. Some notable individuals with the surname include Robert John Valentine who was a professional baseball player and later manager in the United States. There was Lewis J. Valentine, the police commissioner for New York City during the gangster years of the 1930s and 1940s.

The surname of Love is English and comes from the Old English term of ‘lufu’ which referred to affection. Other spelling forms for the family name of Love included Luf and Lufe.  A few of the distinguished individuals with the Love surname include David M. Love III, a champion professional golfer; Bessie Love who was a silent movie film actress; Michael E. ‘Mike’ Love who was one of the singers and a songwriter with the singing group ‘The Beach Boys’; and Stanley G. Love who was an astronaut with NASA.

Look at the Heart surname; it is an English and Irish surname. Another spelling form is Hart. This surname is found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia.  Heart families started in America in the 1700s and settled primarily in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, the Carolinas and later in Ohio, Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. There were over 300 soldiers named Heart who fought on the Confederate and Union sides during the American Civil War of the 1860s.

The Cupid surname, is English and originated from the Latin term ‘cupido’ which meant desire and from the Old English term ‘cubit’ which meant elbow; as when the Roman mythology figure of Cupid bends his elbow to shoot an arrow. Variations in spelling Cupid include Cowbitt, Cubbert, Cubit and Cubitt. Over the decades there have been about 3,000 individuals in England alone with the Cupid surname. In the United States many with the Cupid name have lived in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and California.  There was a Joseph Cupid who fought with the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and two Union soldiers, named Lem and St. Clair Cupid.

There are individuals named Valentine as the given name and their family name was Day, making them named ‘Valentine Day.’ One such gentleman was born 1780 in Virginia. His father’s name was Edward Day.  Valentine Day married a woman named Elizabeth, but they made sure all the children had ordinary given names. Valentine Day died in 1850, always remaining the tribute to the romantic holiday. Another fellow in Australia with the family name of Day was named at his birth in 1886, John Valentine Day. Again, John and his wife, Jessie, made sure their children had commonplace given names.

So check where there are any ancestors with a related Valentine name on your family tree.

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