Francis Lovelace was born around 1621 in Kent, England. He was eighth in descent from John Lovelace, who founded Lovelace Place at Bethersden, Kent, in 1367. His father was Sir William (1584 - 1627) of Bethersden and Woolwich, son of Sir William, the elder, and Elizabeth Aucher. The family was only remotely related to the Lords Lovelace of Hurley. Francis' father was knighted by James I, on September 20, 1609, and about 1610 married Anne, daughter of Sir William Barne, of Woolwich, and Anne Sandys, daughter of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York in Elizabeth's reign, and sister of Sir Edwin Sandys of the Virginia Company and George Sandys the poet.
The Barne and Sandys families were actively concerned in Virginia's colonization. In 1627 Francis' father was killed at the siege of the Burse, or the Groll, in Holland, and his mother died about 1633. They had five sons and three daughters, of whom Richard (1618 - 1658), poet and Cavalier, was the eldest, and Francis, the third son. Both were bachelors. Two brothers, Thomas and Dudley, were in New York with their governor-brother. The eldest daughter, Anne, wife of the Reverend John Gorsuch, emigrated to Virginia with seven younger children about 1650. Lovelace's immediate forebears were Royalists supporting the Stuarts.