Guy William Ferrars Loftus
May 10, 1996
I logged onto the 'net for the first time yesterday. Taking my initial tentative steps, I somewhat gratuitously typed in my name into the search box. Imagine my surprise when I discovered you!! I read your contributions with growing fascination and believe that perhaps I may have something to offer y'all:
1) My name is Guy William Ferrars Loftus and as far as I know, one of only 3 remaining households in England directly descended from Edward Loftus outlined by Beth Smarr and elucidated by Peter Loftus (March 1996). It is my fervent hope that we are not all that remains of that gene pool and that we can indeed trace you to the States…..
2) A few years ago, when I was working in the Arabian Gulf, my father gave me a bunch of papers concerning the family and said “ Here you are, you're in the desert, you've got a Mac', get on with it!”. So after a few days sorting through turgid Lofti, things started to take shape. I constructed the family tree (do you want a GIF file Peter? - does not include the Tottenham line who changed their name to Loftus in lieu of most of the family titles and estates), built a FileMaker Pro database relating all those on the tree (all 360 of them), and started putting some flesh on the bones of individuals whose names echo down the centuries. I have to admit that I have been pretty sexist about this and confined my research to patrilineal Lofti only, otherwise the database would have spiralled exponentially. I am not a genealogist but was co-opted by the disapproving gazes of family portraits. I perceive their demeanour softening now that I am unfolding lives, opinions and characters: real people are starting to fill those dusty frames.
Before I knew it, I began collecting Lofti in the same way that others (let's face it, NERDS) collect stamps. My current research interests are in pushing back Edward's ancestry (I am employing a real genealogist to do this) and tracing elusive American citizens.
3) I do have a fair amount of information and biographies gleaned from the family bible, letters, unpublished accounts and much published but only that pertaining to Edward's branch of the family. The Lofti originally came from Denmark or Norway as family Lofthus, marauding Vikings. They raided the shore of England and Ireland and mostly settled in Yorkshire ca. 800AD, although some may well have settled in Ireland at around the same time. The Loftus family became wealthy Saxon Landlords (Thanes of Yorkshire) and gave much of their wealth to the Church. The only people who could write at this time were the monks, who inscribed the name phonetically, corrupting the spelling to Lofthouse, Loftis, Loftos etc.. The earliest coherent Loftus record I have is 1130 in the North Riding of Yorkshire England. Swineside, the domicile of Edward Loftus was built in 1275 by his ancestors. Edward's two sons moved to Ireland in 1560, where a rich and varied involvement in Irelands history began: as many Lofti were imprisoned in 1640 for supporting the Irish rebellion as were killed in opposition to it!! The family picked up a string of honours and titles in Ireland before returning to England in 1798.
4) My “monolineal” ancestry runs as follows (it goes without saying that if any of you intercept it, let me know!!!):
1) Edward Loftus of Swineside (England), liv. 1480
2) Archbishop Adam Loftus of Rathfarnham Castle (et al) (Ireland) Lord Chancellor, founder of Trinity College Dublin etc.. b. 1533, d. 1605 married to Jane Purdon.
3) Sir Thomas Loftus of Killyan (Ireland) b. ca 1570 d. 1635 married to Ellen Hartpole
4) Sir Dudley Loftus of Killyan (Ireland) b. ca. 1600 d. 1648 married to Cecilia Ware
5) Thomas Loftus of Killyan (Ireland) b. ca. 1630 married to Anne Digby (2nd)
6) Colonel Simon Loftus of Killyan (Ireland) b. ca 1670 d. 1741 married to Hanna Johnson
7) Captain Henry Loftus of Killyan (Ireland) b. 1725 d. 1792 married Diana Bullock
8) General William Loftus of Kilbride (Ireland) b. 1752 d. 1831 married to Lady Elizabeth Townshend
9) Colonel Ferrers Loftus of Tipwood Hall (England) b. 1798 d. 1877 married to Louisa Bastard
10) Captain Douglas Loftus of Tyringham House (England) b. 1837 d. 1891 married to Laura Mildmay
11) Dudley Loftus of The Red House (England) b. 1864 d. ca 1910 married to Alice Bolton
12) Ferrars Loftus of Tingewick Hall (England) b. 1893 d. 1960 married to Elizabeth Winterbottom
13) Geoffrey Loftus of Tingewick Hall (England) b. 1926 married to Dione Gordon-Finlay, still living
14) Dr. Guy Loftus b. 1956, unmarried but thinking about it…..
5) The only record I have in my family of a Loftus moving to America was a Doctor (John?) Loftus who was a member of the Irish Parliament convened at “Westminster for the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland” which he held 27th Jan 1658. He married and had issue, but eventually suffered like his father for being a supporter of the Parliament (during a difference of opinion between Parliament and the Crown at the time) and was forced to leave Ireland and seek asylum in USA, where his descendants reside until at least 1783 (the date of that particular chronicler). I have his pedigree tied in to my family tree; the only other reference I have is to a John Loftus who arrived in Philadelphia in 1682. I would be particularly interested to pick up on any of you who may have had a Great Grandfather (or so) who was born in Ireland in 1822 or 1823 whose names were William James Loftus and Henry Loftus respectively. Their father was William Francis Loftus (b. 1784), not unlike Albert's father… but anyone with those names in their ancestry may prove to be the link that I am searching for; any candidates??
6) If any of you are interested, I have a reasonable volume of data on the database and hunger for more. Handling the information in this way has yielded some interesting statistical surprises. For example, the average age that a male Loftus lived to since 1480 (having expired through natural causes) is 70 years and 9 days. This indicates to me that modern medicine has done nothing whatever to increase individual longevity. Radical social reform over the centuries has increased the opportunity for a population as a whole to achieve an advanced age by improving diet and reducing poverty. I ignore infant mortality, which was rampant across the social spectrum, but the claims we hear from medical experts today clearly average across population and have nothing to do with longevity itself…….
I'll be watching this space…..