James Francis Loftus
June 16, 1996
My name is James (Jim) Francis Loftus. I currently live in Texas, although I am originally from Rhinecliff, NY. The first immigrant in my line, my grandfather, Patrick J. Loftus, came to the US from Ennis, Co. Clare around the turn of the century. He married Mary Cecilia Ferguson and had several children.
My father, James (Jim) F. Loftus, (b. June 24, 1909 d. December 6, 1976) was born in New York City and lived most of his early life there. He served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and was stationed in England. He spent most of his life as a plumber and ended up as a zoning enforcement officer in Rhinebeck, NY. He was also active in town-level politics, having been an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for office on several occasions.
He had several siblings:
Sisters: Mary Rita (Rita); Ellen (Hellen) Loftus (O'Leary) - deceased; Johanna Theresa (Tess); Margaret (Peggy)
Brothers: Michael Robert (Mike) - deceased; Patrick J. (Pat) - deceased. All three Loftus brothers, their parents and my mother are buried in St. Joseph's cemetery in Rhinecliff.
While the women had children, they are not named Loftus and now have children and grandchildren of their own (some by different husbands) so it gets difficult to keep track without a score card!
James F. Loftus had two children, my sister Grace and myself. I have one son, Seamus Eugene Loftus who lives in Vermont.
Michael R. Loftus had two children, Michael and Patrick, both of whom have children. I can only remember a couple of the names, so I won't list any here. Both sons live in Florida near their mother.
Patrick J. Loftus has two surviving sons, Christopher, and Patrick (Jamie). Last I heard, they still live in the Rhinebeck, NY area.
Rhinecliff, NY is where most of my branch of the Loftus family lived at one time or another. This hamlet situated on the east bank of the Hudson River about 90 miles north of New York City is included in the Town of Rhinebeck. My paternal grandparents owned several acres of land on a hill overlooking the hamlet and the river with an excellent view of the river and the Catskills in the distance. They lived in what we now refer to as “The Big House”. The building dates from the 1860's and seems to have been used as a convent. When I lived in Rhinecliff, this house still had a coal furnace for heat and coal-burning, cast-iron stoves for cooking. My Uncle Mike modernized it when he moved in and the house has been modernized even more by later owners. The property abuts the St. Joseph's church property and the cemetery where many of the family are buried. I grew up in a house across the street from The Big House. My Aunt Tess lived in a house called “The Cottage” situated at the bottom of the hill where Loftus Rd. intersects Orchard St. During my time there, my aunt expanded the cottage so the name no longer applies.
My cousin Mike recently went over to Ireland and met a lot of relatives there who seem to know more what's going on with the US family than we do here in the states! I think I'll take this opportunity to relate a funny story that happened to him in Texas. One day he was in San Antonio and went to rent a car. The desk clerk was surprised because he had just rented a car to another Michael Loftus, this one from Chicago. The clerk asked if they were related. My cousin replied that he did not think so. Found out when he went to Ireland that they were, through our grandfather. (This story is from memory as told to me by Mike's mother so I make no claim to the accuracy of detail.)
I put a lot of detail in this response because I would be interested in anyone who might be related through my grandfather, Patrick J. Loftus, from Ennis, Co. Clare either in Ireland or elsewhere. I think I remember seeing that he was born in 1888, but I might be wrong. Yours truly,