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name origin
Name Origin
Loftus 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!
Norwegian Side of Family, Lofthus
I’m looking for information on my Norwegian side of the family, named Lofthus.

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:

Thank you for any information! I would love to make contact and learn about my Norwegian family.
Peyton Loftis
Hello 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
Well, 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 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.
Travis Loftis
Loftus Forename...
Hi Tom,

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.

Kind regards,
Here's a new one - Lifshitz
I 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!

Michael Loftus
Hi Tom

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.
Loftis - Canada

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.
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The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname LOFTUS
The 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 of England.

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, Agriculturist.

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.)
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Loftus, Norway

Recently, 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!


Loften Islands - Loftesnes

I 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.

Karen Schau-stein

The discussion continues!

I'm 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.

Many 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.


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Yes, 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.

Thank You
Gaye Lei Loftiss Ferguson
I 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 is

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, YKS, England.

Agnes Loftys - From Jim Mc Loughlin
August 8, 1996


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 genes.

Jim Mc Loughlin,

The Woodlands, Tx., USA
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