is indeed a "Mayo" name. It is also found in England and
in Norway. Loft is an ancient word for salmon fish and the -us is
a conflation of the Latin natus (born). It is what is known as a totemic
name; many people are "descendents" of animals and we Loftuses
are descended from the salmon - the noblest of fish. The letter f
does not appear in Gaelic until after A.D.600, so a c séimhithe
was, and is still, used in the medieval Gaelic version of the name
- Lachtna - and the -na ending is, again, a bit of the Latin natus.
Modern Gaelic would spell the family name Lachtnáin pronouncing
the f as a ch as in Scottish Loch. The Latin sounding name Loftus
is European; it may have come of being at University at the Sorbonne,
Oxford or elsewhere where it was usual to have ones name in Latin;
or it may have come of being on Crusade. There is a lot of that -us
ending about all across Northern Europe - especially in Baltic countries
such as Lithuania and Germany. And it had its uses too; e.g. in France
of ancien regime only members of the nobility were licensed to be
bankers. So, a Loftus could be a banker in Paris because of his nobility
who could not be a banker in Ireland bacause of his Catholicism!
The English Loftuses are Anglican and the Norwegian Loftuses are Lutheran,
so, if your name is Loftus and you're a Catholic, then you're from
Mayo originally. But Mayo is a vast county and a various one. The
Loftus tribal territory is in the North East corner of the county;
between the River Moy and Lough Conn is the greater part of it - An
Dá Bac - the modern mensal parish of "Backs". Between
Nephin mountain and Lough Conn is the smaller part of it but this
part includes a promontory which goes out far in Lough Conn and is
called, in English, Errew. Conn was a god who manifested himself as
a salmon there. Is that enough to be going on with for now?
Congrats on getting website going!
Side of Family, Lofthus
looking for information on my Norwegian side of the family, named
My fathers name is Mitchell G. Dwyer, Jr, born in Los Angeles, California,
his mothers name was Margaret Evelyn Lofthus Dwyer (she died about
1953 in Oregon, near the Vancouver Canadian border, with the name
Olsen – evidently she married her cousin, Kearney Olsen and
had, I think, 2 boys). She had two siblings: Dorothy Lofthus and Bud
Lofthus. Their father’s name was Einer Lofthus and he had a
sister named Marguerite Lofthus who never married, but was some type
of a Christian in California. She also wrote the book “Rinda,
Daughter of Rin Tin Tin” in about 1970.
My name is Melissa Oprendek, I live in Maine and can be reached: email@example.com
Thank you for any information! I would love to make contact and
learn about my Norwegian family.
my name is Peyton Loftis, from Virginia, my family history as it was
told by my grandfather, we came over from Scotland, and were related
to the clan cian and also the black watch, our family joining these
clans in Scotland in the 1300’s when the nights templar were
persecuted and fled to Scotland and Ireland, my family was freemason/templar
back to the merovian dynasty in northern france, our crest from Scotland
is similar but in addition to the boars head is a bunch of grain or
wheat. I will try to scan it and send it later
my name is travis, and i am a loftis. I know my roots back to who
i believe is my great great grand father, his name was peyton bailey
loftis i believe. He was in the southern cavalry from tennessee. My
entire part of the family is from cookeville tennessee. it is very
ironic that a lead i read said loftis may be derived from norwegian...my
other family name on my mothers side and fathers side are both norwegian
decent (Petersen and Warren).
If any of this information is helpful, feel free to use it.
I recently discovered that my ggg grandfather was Loftus Walsh a husbandman
from Kilmaine Ireland. This family was there in the early 1800s. My
gg grandfather was Patrick Walsh, son of Loftus and Ester Walsh born
c 1813 in Kilmaine. I figure that there must be a connection somewhere
between the Loftus family and the Walsh family and he had been named
after them. I am not having any luck tracing the family from Kilmaine.
Perhaps you have come across something that might help.
a new one - Lifshitz
am a Loftus - but do I qualify? I can trace my origins directly back
to ... 1903 where my great grandfather changed his name from Lifshitz
to Loftus. In the Toronto telephone directory of 1902 there is a lifshitz
at X address - profession pedlar. In 1903, the name was changed to
Loftus, different address - profession - dealer in second hand goods.
When I asked my grandmother why he made the change, she responded
without any pause - he owed money!
When my Mom's Dad's Great Grandpa came here to the USA the name was
LOFTUS and he droped the U. Then my Grandpa's Dad droped the S. So
as of this time I am stuck big Bit time
My Grandpa's name was: William John Loft
Born: May 12, 1899, Place: Leon City, Iowa USA Died: November 2, 1973,
Place: Cheyenne, Wyoming USA
Father: John Lebanon Loft
Mother: Lizzie Melissa Sherman
I n addition Grandpa had a Sister by the name of Flora, a Brother
by the name of Ralph and another Brother at this time I am unable
to locate the the name.
Only thing is, we are LofTIS, not loftus. And my father said that
the this ending is just a misspell carried on and on, do you know
about this? My grandparents and their relatives hail from England
where there are a LOT of Loftis's,,,apparently. We are related somehow
to the Jagger clan over there, as in Mick Jagger! Loftis family history
says that we are indeed of Norman decent, and there are record dating
back as far as the 1600's in England. I would appreciate any feedback,
and would be happy to provide any info you like on Loftis here in
Canada, WE ARE NOT MANY!!
Ray & Catherine Loftis
My name is John Murray and I quickly and humbly apologise for not
being John Lofthus. (Ignore my version of the spelling. It just seems
right but I have no way of knowing if it is since I am far from my
friends and relations in a foreign country called England where the
natives are friendly but unfamiliar with my interests.) When I was
growing up in Roscommon in Ireland in the early 1960s, my aunt used
to warn me that I should never go out without lights on my bike or
Judge Paki (Patrick) Lofthus would get me and the shame to the family
would be immeasurable. My aunt's mother was Catherine Lofthus
from Killala in Mayo. What is fascinating about your site is that
the same localities keep coming up with your contacts across the world.
There was and probably still is a family of Lofthus in Kilala full
of doctors and judges and teachers.
Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname LOFTUS
most ancient surname of Loftus makes an impressive claim to being
one of the oldest Anglo/Saxon surnames on record. The history of the
name is closely woven into the intricate tapestry of the ancient chronicles
Professional researchers have carefully scrutinized such ancient manuscripts
as the Domesday book (1066), the Ragaan Rolls (1291-1296), the Curia
Regis Rolls, The Pipe Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, parish registers, baptismals,
tax records and other ancient documents and found the first record
of the name Loftus in Yorkshire where they were seated from very ancient
times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of
Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Many different spellings were encountered in the research of your
surname. Although your name, Loftus, occurred in many manuscripts
and documents, from time to time the surname was also officially spelled
Loftus, Lofthouse, Loftis Loftiss, Loftos, and these variations in
spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes
and church officials, often travelling great distances, even from
other countries, frequently spelt the names they were recording as
they heard it. As a result the same person could find different spellings
of the name recorded on birth, baptismal, marriage and death certificates
as well as the other numerous records such as tax and census records.
The Saxon race gave birth to many English surnames not the least of
which was the surname Loftus. The Saxons were invited into England
by the ancient Britons in the 5th century. They were a
race of fair skinned people living along the Rhine valley as far north
east as Denmark. They were led by General/Commanders Hengist and Horsa.
The Saxons settled in the county of Kent, on the south east coast
of England. Gradually, they probed north and westward, and during
the next four hundred years forced the Ancient Britons back into Wales
and Cornwall in the west, Cumberland to the north. The Angles, on
the other hand, occupied the eastern coast, the south folk in Suffolk,
north folk in Norfolk. Under Saxon rule England prospered under a
series of High Kings, the last of which was Harold. In 1066, the Norman
invasion from France occurred and their victory at the Battle of Hastings.
Subsequently, many of the vanquished Saxon land owners forfeited their
land to Duke William and his invading Norman nobles. Generally, the
Saxons who remained in the south were not treated well under Norman
rule, and many moved northward to the midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire
away from the Norman oppression.
This notable English family name, Loftus, emerged as an influential
name in the county of Yorkshire where they were recorded as a family
of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in that shire. This
being one of the oldest Yorkshire families is said to have been seated
in the village of Lofthouse during the reign of King Alfred in 900
A.D. Robert Lofthus was Lord of the manor and lands in 1273 and the
senior branch established themselves at Swineshead in Yorkshire in
the same year. They also branched into Hampshire and Dorset. In 1620
they were elevated to the peerage as the Earls of Ely. Notable amongst
the family at this time was Robert Lofthus of Lofthouse.
During the Middle Ages the surname Loftus flourished and played an
important role in local affairs and in the political development of
England. During the 15th, 16th, 17th
and 18th centuries England was ravaged by plagues and religious
conflict. Puritanism, the newly found political fervour of Cromwellianians,
and the remnants of the roman Church rejected all non-believers, each
promoting their own cause. The conflicts between Church groups, the
Crown and political groups all claimed their followers, and their
impositions, tithes, and demands on rich and poor alike broke the
spirit of men and many turned away from religion. Many families were
freely "encouraged" to migrate to Ireland, or to the "colonies".
Some were rewarded with grants of lands, other were banished.
Some families were forced to migrate to Ireland where they became
known as the Adventurers for land in Ireland. Protestant settlers
"undertook" to keep their faith, being granted lands previously
owned by the Catholic Irish. They were known as the "Undertakers".
In Ireland they settled in county Connacht where Sir Adam Loftus was
Lord Chancellor of Ireland. They became the Viscounts Loftus and Lisbourne.
The New World offered better opportunities and some migrated voluntarily,
some were banished mostly for religious reasons. Some left Ireland
disillusioned, but many left directly from England, their home territories.
Some also moved to the European continent.
Members of the family name Loftus sailed aboard the huge armada of
three nested sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which
plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships such as the Hector,
the Dove and the Rambler, were pestilence ridden, sometimes 30% to
40% of the passenger list never reaching their destination, their
numbers reduced by dysentery, cholera, small pox and typhoid.
In North America, included amongst the first migrants which could
be considered a kinsman of the surname Loftus, or a variable spelling
of that family name was John Loftis settled in the Barbados in 1634;
John Lofthouse arrived in Philadelphia in 1878; John Loftus arrived
in Philadelphia in 1682; Biddy and Elen Loftus arrived in Quebec in
1846, along with Michael and Mary and Thomas; John, Michael, Patrick
and Thomas Loftus, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining
the wagon trains to the prairies or to the west coast. During the
War of Independence, many loyalists made their way north to Canada
about 1790, and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
Contemporary notables of this surname, Loftus, include many distinguished
contributors; Viscount Loftus; Colonel Ernest Loftus; Reginald Lofthouse,
During the course of our research we also determined the many Coat
of Arms granted to different branches of the family name.
The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was:
Black with a chevron between three silver three leafed clovers.
The Crest was:
A boar’s head.
The ancient family Motto for this distinguished name was:
"Loyal Au Mort"
(NB: This"Certificate" discusses the English heritage of the Loftus
name. Courtesy of Mary Loftus.)
I was in a phonebooth at the airport in St. Louis when I overheard
the man in the booth behind me talking to someone. He said, "tell
them that this is Chuck Loftus calling....". Ok, so I
was nosey - but I couldn't help overhearing that! In my rush
to see another "Loftus" I akwardly interrupted his phone
conversation by handing him my business card. Then, in a really
annoying gesture, I reached over and pointed to my name and said,
"there are now 9 of us!" He must have thought some nut
had just attacked his booth! Fortunately, before he went into cardiac
arrest, he saw the "Loftus" and grinned. Later, after
I let him continue his phone conversation, we had a chance to talk
for a couple minutes before our flights departed.
Chuck told me that the Loftus name (which even the Irish
consider to be an "old" Irish name) pre-dated Ireland
and went back to the early Vikings from Norway.
The name "Loftus" appears in street names and there is
even a village by that name located on the Hardangerfjord near Bergen.
When I did a search on the net, I found out that a former U.S. Ambassador
to Norway was: (you guessed it) - The Honorable Ambassador
Thomas A. Loftus!
Islands - Loftesnes
am not a Loftus, but I am Norwegian and Genealogy is a hobby. I
am President of the Long Beach, California Lodge of Sons of Norway.
We have two members who use the name Loftesnes from the Loften Islands.
Perhaps they are part of the family you are researching. If I can
help by putting you in contact with them please let me know. Researching
is a very difficult task, and any information can really be helpful.
not a Loftus but I keep seeing this name. I'm a native to Fresno,
CA. Doig is a Gaelic surname from Scotland, but I'm also part Irish
(actually the Gaelic-speaking Celtic Scots came over and invaded
the Picts, who were Brythonic Celts) so essentially the Scots and
the Irish are both Celtic Gaels(you probably already knew this).
Well I am keenly aware of genealogy and Northern European languages,
I speak Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic and have a little
knowledge of Gaelic and Welsh.
To me Loftus sounds like Icelandic "lófthús"
meaning "loft-house" meaning air-house. In all the Nordic
languages "loft" or "lóft" or "lópt"
means air cf. German "Luft" and Dutch "lucht".
This was also the meaning in the various Old English languages.
The name doesn't sound Irish or Gaelic but as you know the Vikings
were all over the British Isles.
Scottish names are easibly recognizable as Old Norse, such as the
Highland name "Sutherland"(southern-land) but some are
Gaelic/Norse hybrids, which are much harder to identify, e.g. MacCorkle(&
its variants)"mac" + "Thorkill". Mac(Mc,Mag)=son/
Thorkill still a common Norse name in Iceland.
I'm sorry if I'm being pedantic, you probably already know this,
if not I hope this is helpful.
my maiden is Loftiss and I'm wondering if there is any connection.
My great-grandpa came from the St.John , Kansas area. His name was
William Roy Loftiss born Oct. 1888. I'm trying to find any conection.
Gaye Lei Loftiss Ferguson
am a Loftis. I was born in 1984. My Father is Keith Loftis, and his
father is Steven Andrew Loftis. I am not sure what his father's name
is, but I have done a geneology report and I traced my last name back
to the spelling of Lofthouse in Ireland. I have a booklet on it, and
it has lots of useful information on it. The name Loftis came after
Loftus, which was after Lofthouse, and it was originated in Ireland.
I have lots of info and if you would like to email me, my address
Thanks, a Loftis
I'm wondering.... is Lofthouse a derivative (or vice-versa) of Loftus?
My grandmother was a Lofthouse, and her family originated near Leeds,
Loftys - From Jim Mc Loughlin
Blessed serendipity! Discovered your great page strictly by accident.
My grandmother was Agnes Loftys, daughter of Thomas H. Loftys of New
Orleans. Thomas was born in County Sligo in 1829 and arrived in New
Orleans in 1847.
It is not known if he was accompanied by other family members though
there were a number of Irish newcomers named Loftus in town at about
that time. In fact there were many Irish in New Orleans, the city's
Catholic heritage and anti-English sentiments having attracted Hibernian
immigrants since the late 18th century. It was in New Orleans that
the probable first (and today the oldest) St. Patrick's Day Parade
was held in America in 1809.
Not long after in 1815, Augustine Macarty, a Creole of Irish descent
was elected mayor of the city. The Irish population soared in the
1830's when Irish laborers flooded into town to hand-dig the New Basin
canal from the heart of the city to Lake Ponchartrain. It is said
that tens of thousands fell victim to malaria, cholera and yellow
fever and lie buried along the banks of the old canal. By 1850 with
the addition of the famine immigrants the Irish comprised 20% of the
city's population and would make their own special contribution to
the Irish-Italian-French-German-African cultural gumbo out of which
would arise "America's Most Interesting City."
Thomas H. Loftys prospered in the city and eventually owned a mattress
factory in the French Quarter. He married Bridget Mc Nulty who was
born in County Mayo in 1831 and had six children: Agnes, Grace, Walter,
Thomas, Teresa and Mary Jane. He died in May 1894. That's all I know
about him. If anyone can provide additional information about his
Irish roots I would greatly appreciate it.
I could not help but noticing how often the name Loftus is connected
with art. My brother, now retired, made his living in commercial art
and taught at the Chicago Art Institute. It must be in the family
Jim Mc Loughlin,
The Woodlands, Tx., USA