The following quotation from the James Edwin Love archive tells us a little bit more about his grandparents, Alexander Love and Mary Moore:
Alexander became a mechanic, engaged in building and contracting in the vicinity of Londonderry. He married Mary Moore, and they had two sons, Robert Alexander** and William James, the latter of whom was James E. Love’s father, born in 1804. Alexander and his sons would operate James Love & Company, a building and contracting firm headquartered in Ballymena.
There's an old burying ground called Grange in the townland of Grange Foyle in the parish of Donaghedy and a few miles north of Strabane, Co Tyrone. This headstone inscription probably relates to James' Love grandparents:
Erected, by Alexander Love formerly, of ALTREST now BALLYMENA, in memory of his wife, Mary Love, who died 9th Nov. 1838, aged 63 years.
There's a mention of James Love and Company in the Ballymena section of the 1843 Belfast/Ulster Street Directory:
Love, James & Co., Grocers, Tea Dealers, Ironmongers, Lead, Lead Pipe, Slate, and Timber Merchants, High Street.
There are two Love grocers in Bridge Street in the Ballymena section of the 1852 directory:
Love, Robert, grocer, Bridge Street
The junction of Main Street and Bridge Street, Bushmills, is known as Steel's/Steele's Corner. Could this have a connection to James Love's Steel grandparents?
According to the Museum archives the Love brothers left America in 1854 for Australia and James returned to St Louis in 1858:
In January 1858, James left Australia after accumulating about $6,000 in gold. Upon his return to St. Louis, James bought property at the corner of 9th and Spring (or St. Louis) Avenue.
The Coleraine Chronicle records the fate of his younger brother Samuel Alexander the following year:
Marriage of James Love's parents in Bushmills Presbyterian Church on 27 October 1829:
"On the 27th of October 1829, William, son of James and Jane Love of Donaghedy [a parish in Co Tyrone] to Hessy (Esther), daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Steel of Bushmills. Witnesses: Samuel Steel and Duncan McAllum, Bushmills" - modified in the modern style.
** Selected: LOVE, ROBERT ALEXANDER
Architect. Robert Love, who was born in 1814, had set up in practice as an architect in the High Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, by 1 May 1841, the date of an advertisement which he placed in Martin's Belfast Directory for 1841-42. In this he 'informs the public generally, that he has just finished his course of studies in Architecture, under the most eminent professors in Edinburgh. This combined with his own practical experience, enables him to offer himself with confidence before a discerning public, to take orders for executing ORIGINAL DESIGNS , in the various styles, as he spared neither pains nor expense in visiting, at different times, the most celebrated towns in the three kingdoms, in order to see and study the works of the great masters.' He is listed in the Ballymena section of the directory (p. 273), followed by James Love & Co, 'grocers, tea dealers, iron mongers, lead, lead pipe, slate and timber merchants', also of the High Street, to whom he was presumably related. By 1844 he had emigrated to Philadelphia. He was in Cincinnati from 1846 to 1855, in California from 1855 to 1858 and in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1876.
All information in this entry is from a letter to the IAA from Mike Butcher, 6 Denmark Street, Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia 3556, 10 May 1997, who is researching Love's architecture.