The Lomas Family
A Study of an Old British Family
1. Ekwall, Eilert. "The Place-Names of Lancashire, 11-62". Manchester,
England: University Press, 1922 (Manchester Public Library).
2. Ekwall, Eilert. "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names", 4th Edition, 212-307. Oxford, England, 1960.
3. England, Ordinance Map Office of South Hampton "Ordinance Survey, Bury & Heywood, A 14 CRE, Sheet #88", Survey in 1844-1847, published 21 April 1854. (Bury Public Library).
4. Farrer, William, and J. Brownbill, eds. "The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, 136-255" London: published for the University of London Institute of Historical Research,1966.
5. Hewitson, William. "Early Mention of Hep. A 13th Century Charter." Heywood Notes and Queries, 3:38. Manchester, England, 1907. (Bury Public Library).
6. Hoppin, Charles A. Jr. "The Loomis Family in the Old World, An Original and Exhaustive Inquiry into the Origin of the Name and Ancestry in England of Joseph Loomis, the Emigrant to New England in 1638". The Loomis Family of America, 53-114. 1908.
7. Kilfeather, T.P. "Ireland: Graveyard of the Spanish Armada" (Anvil Books, 1967)
8. Lomax, Joseph. "Genealogical And Historical Sketches Of The Lomax Family", 5-31. Grand Rapids, MI: The Rookus Printing House, 1894.
9. McKinley, Richard. "English Surname Series, IV, The Surnames of Lancashire", 415-417. London: Leopards Head Press, 1981.
10. Reaney, P. H. "The Origin of English Surnames", 47. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1967.
11. Reaney, P. H. "A Dictionary of English Surnames", revised 3rd edition Oxford University Press, 1997. The University of Sheffield, with corrections & additions by R.M.Wilson
12. Wyld, Henry Cecil. "Place Names of Lancashire, Their Origin and History", 340-341. London, 1911.
13. Marcham, Frederick George "A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present". London: Harper & Brothers, 1960. Print.
14. Whyte, Donald. "A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada Before Confederation". Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-920036-09-0).
15. Cook, Ramsay, Real Belanger and Scott Hamelin "Dictionary of Canadian Biography 1921 to 1930". Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006. Print. (ISBN 0802090877).
16. Filby, P. William and Mar K. Meyer "Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes". Detroit. Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
17. Innes, Thomas & Learney "The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland, Ist Edition". Edinburgh: W. and A. K. Johnston Ltd, 1938. Print.
18. Baxter, Angus "In Search of Your Canadian Roots Tracing Your Family Tree in Canada". Toronto: MacMillan, 1989. Print. (ISBN 0-7715-9201-9).
19. Thirsk, Joan "The Agrarian History of England and Wales" Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
20. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room "The Oxford Names Companion" Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
21. Seary, E.R. "Family Names of The Island Of Newfoundland Corrected Edition". Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0-7735-1782-0).
22. Dunkling, Leslie "Dictionary of Surnames". Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN-0004720598).
23. Loomis, Elias "Genealogy of the Loomis Family, Descendants of Joseph Loomis". (1875)
24. Loomis, E. "The Descendants, by the Female Branches of Joseph Loomis Who Came from Braintree, England in 1638, and Settled in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1639". (1989).
25. Stiles, Henry R. "The History of Ancient Windsor, Vol. II, p.434"
26. Savage, James "Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England", Vol. 3, p.112
27. Loomis, Lance Loomis Families of America, 4616 Woodlawn Ave. No. Seattle, Wash. 98103, 206-633-4667
28. The Loomis Chaffee School, Officers of the Loomis Family Association And Custodians of the Loomis Homestead, Windsor, Connecticut 06095, 203-688-4934
A large number of books that are available online are listed at the On-Line Books Page (University of Pennsylvania).
Other online publishing projects covering the medieval period are:
* Project Gutenberg
* Richard III Society Online Library
* Online Medieval and Classical Library, Berkeley University
* The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies, Georgetown University
* Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia
* Oxford Text Archive (contains additional relevant texts which are available 'offline')
* Early Manuscripts at Oxford University (images of manuscripts, including early Welsh and Irish texts with genealogical content)
* Gallica (Bibliotheque nationale de France)
The Loomis Research
In 1870, after years of collecting and compiling data, Professor Elias Loomis authored a book entitled "Descendants of Joseph Loomis in America And His Antecedents In The Old World". As more information became available to him after the first publishing, he discovered that his book would always be a "work in progress". Consequently, over the years there were several publishings and a supplement. Today his exhaustive and accummulative research is recognized as the most authoritative work in existence.
Exerpts from the Preface of the Second (1875) Edition:
"In the spring of 1870 I published the first edition of the Loomis Genealogy. That volume contained the names of 4,340 persons whose descent was traced from Joseph Loomis of Windsor, Connecticut In the preparation of that volume I expended a large amount of time and money, and yet it fell very much short of my idea of a complete genealogy, such as I was desirous of making it. Notwithstanding its imperfect condition, there were many reasons which inclined me to publish it. The most urgent reason was, that my manuscript had become so large as to be unwieldy, and in order to prosecute my researches further, it was important to have a fair copy of all the names which I had collected, that they should be arranged in systematic order, and provided with copious indices for convenient reference. Another consideration which influenced me was that I hoped the publication of the book would excite greater interest in the history of the family, and that a large number of contributors would volunteer to furnish me information for correcting errors and supplying omissions in the first edition."
"Since the publication of the first edition of the Genealogy, I have spent nearly all of my college vacations in collecting additional names and information. I soon discovered that the objects which I desired could not be secured by correspondence except to a very limited extent. I therefore undertook to canvass the whole country in a systematic manner by personal visits. My first object was to obtain the places of residence of all persons of the Loomis name, that is, to take a census of all persons of that name. In prosecuting this object I encountered very great difficulties. I examined every Directory of City, County or State I could find, and of these there is a very large collection in the State Library at Albany. I also examined Business Directories, Catalogues of the Clerg ymen of the various religious denominations, Catalogues of Lawyers and Physicians, and Catalogues of names of every description for any part of the United States. I also spent considerable time in examining County Maps. For most of the older States, large County Maps have been published, giving the names of the occupants of every farm in the county. I studied many of these maps with great care and copied all the Loomis names which they contained. By these different means I obtained very extensive lists of names of persons to be visited."
With the exception of New England, Professor Loomis even undertook to examine the tax lists of all the county seats of the United States at that time. "The result of all my labors is a Catalogue of 8,686 persons bearing the Loomis name, and believed to be descended from Joseph Loomis of Windsor, besides the names of 4,682 persons who have intermarried with them. This is double the number of names contained in the first edition, and respecting many of the names in the first edition I have obtained much fuller information. I have made, therefore, considerable advance towards a complete list of the descendants of Joseph Loomis."
"This Genealogy shows how from a single man, established in Connecticut in 1639, has descended an army of sturdy men who contributed no mean share towards making good our Declaration of Independence in 1776, and in saving our country from disruption in 1861; who have been respectably represented in the ranks of educated men and in each of the three learned professions; who have been creditably represented in Congress as well as in numerous State Legislatures and on the bench of Justice. These men have contributed an important share in levelling the forests of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and in subduing the prairies of the more Western States. Wherever they have gone they have organized churches and schools, and with few exceptions their characters have been blameless. Although most of the names recorded in this book are obscure, very few have done discredit to their ancestry by an immoral life."
"Among the new facts stated in this edition will be noticed the burning of John Lomas for heresy in 1556. Similar cases in England were not very numerous, but at the time of the planting of the New England colonies, dissenters from the Established Church of England were made very uncomfortable, and we can easily understand why Joseph Loomis, (although a man of respectable pecuniary means,) should be willing to abandon the comforts of his native country, and seek a new home among the savages of America."
Dr. Elias Loomis died before the Supplement was published. But this third (1908) edition contains all new materials that he had collected, along with all new data collected and obtainable since his death.
Edition of 1908
Believing that many of the Loomis Family desired the preservation of the preceding preface, we have retained it as also we have retained the historical account of Joseph Loomis and his name found hereinafter. In the foregoing preface Dr. Elias Loomis has said so well so many things which every genealogist has to contend with that we are relieved of enumerating them.
On page 17 he says: "I wish it to be distinctly understood that I do not regard this book as containing a complete Genealogy of the Loomis family." Neither do we regard this edition a complete Genealogy of the family. While his edition of 1875 contained a catalogue of 8,686 persons bearing the name of Loomis, this edition catalogues over 13,000 names, and yet it is no more complete than his, and probably its percentage of errors and omissions is just as great as found in his edition. And because of this we crave the indulgences of the Loomis family for such errors and omissions, and request that all such, even if trivial, may be sent to us for correction hereafter.
While we have retained unbroken Dr. Elias Loomis's historical account of Joseph Loomis, his origin and his name, as set forth under the heading, Historical Data, p. 21, yet we deem it best to add such supplementary facts as have come to light since 1875, especially as touching the name Loomis.
Indeed it is very doubtful if our ancestral name originated in the way Dr. Loomis surmised, as the investigations of Prof. C. A. Hoppin, Jr., hereinafter given, seem to show. That Joseph's great-grandfather died at Thaxted, Eng., in the year 1551, is now proved as evidenced by Thaxted church records. But whence came his ancestors, what was the origin of the name, and what is our right to a coat-of-arms? These queries are raised and discussed in Prof. Hoppin's scholarly report to which the reader is referred. Evidently our antecedents are not Royal, but something far better, viz., clean, God-fearing, industrious men of respect and influence--men of character and back-bone.
This edition contains data sufficient to show that the descendants of pioneer Joseph Loomis fill many important and prominent positions in the various vocations of life. They are found not only among the tillers of the soil and the mechanics at the bench, but also among the teachers of our public schools and the ministers of the gospel; among those who are enrolled in the medical and legal professions; among editors and publishers of religious and secular papers and magazines; among authors and professors of our advanced institutions of learning; among college, bank and railroad presidents; among our statesmen and diplomats; and among our original thinkers and inventors.
And the reader will also discover, by consulting the indices of names and addresses, that these descendants are now found in every state and territory of the United States, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines.
By consulting our military annals, in which are recorded nearly 1,000 names of Loomis soldiers, the reader will note that from King Philip's War down to the Spanish-American War soldiers bearing the name of Loomis were ever ready to fight and die for home and country.
As I have sent out nearly 6,000 memoranda soliciting information for this book, the reader can judge somewhat as to the amount of time and labor this has entailed. Also our able corps of assistant annalists have helped in the search for Loomis descendants and their deeds; and among us we have searched hundreds of volumes of genealogical and vital records; census reports; local histories and catalogues; military records; and probate court records, all of which cost time and money.
Remarks of Dr. Elisha S. Loomis
Dr. Elisha S. Loomis published his remarks pertaining to the genealogy of the descendants of Joseph Loomis historical data.
Reprinted from the Edition of 1875
ORTHOGRAPHY of the name Loomis.--Nearly all of those persons in the United States who are known by the name of Loomis are descended from Joseph Loomis, who settled in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1639. This name, in the lapse of time has undergone various changes of orthography. For somewhat more than a century it has, with few exceptions, been spelled Loomis. Previous to that time, the more common spelling was Lomis. On the oldest gravestones at Colchester the name is spelled Lomis. On the early town records at Windsor the name is generally Lomys, but on the oldest gravestone of any member of this family now known to exist anywhere in America, the name is spelled Lomas. This is the gravestone of Deac. John Lomas, who died at Windsor, Sept. 1, 1688.
In England, for more than a century past, the name has uniformly been spelled Lomas, but two or three centuries ago the name was sometimes spelled Lummas, Lommas, or Lomes. All these names are considered to be variations in the spelling of one original name, and the spelling now well established in England is Lomas, while the spelling adopted in the United States is Loomis.
The name Lomas in Great Britain -- In some parts of Great Britain the names Lomas and Lomax are of very common occurrence, while in other portions these names are entirely unknown. Slater's Directory of Manchester for 1865 gives 102 persons of the name Lomas, 47 of the name Lomax, 2 of the name Lummis, and 2 of the name Lomnitz.
In order to determine in what part of Great Britain the Lomas family first appeared, or has been longest established, I have consulted with great care the Directories of Great Britain and Ireland.
I have searched through Slater's Directory of Ireland for 1856 without finding Lomas or Lomax in a single instance. I have also searched through Slater's Directory of Scotland for 1860 without finding either Lomas or Lomax in a single instance.
In Slater's Directory of Wales for 1850 the names Lomas and Lomax occur only once each, viz., Thomas Lomas, tinman, in Crickhowell, and John Lomax, bootmaker, in Bangor.
In order to discover, if possible, the home of this family in England at a remote antiquity, I have selected as the basis of comparison that class of persons which is presumed to be the least migratory. Merchants and bankers, from the very nature of their business, form a migratory class, and we find an occasional merchant of the name Lomas in nearly every one of the large cities of England. Mechanics are less migratory; but with the exception of the nobility, the persons who are thought to be most closely attached to the soil are the farmers.
With only one exception these places are all near Manchester, and are included within a circle of 30 miles radius, whose centre is 25 miles S. S. E. of Manchester. This point is near the boundary of the three counties of Chester, Derby, and Stafford, and this circle has without doubt been the home of the Lomas family for several centuries.
The resemblance between the Christian names occurring in England and those found at Windsor, Connecticuit, is quite remarkable. Thus in the small town of Stockport, Cheshire, the Post Office Directory gives eight persons (only) of the name Lomas, and their Christian names are John, Joseph, James, Isaac, Matthew, Jacob, Charles, and William. Each of these names is found in the first three generations of the Lomas family at Windsor, and the first four names occur in the aggregate 26 times.
From the preceding examination it is inferred that for a long period the principal home of the Lomas family in Great Britain has been in the vicinity of Derbyshire.
The Hoppin Research
Professor Charles E. Hoppin Jr. was an eminent English historian and genealogist. Around the turn of the century, he was hired by Burdett Loomis, President of the Loomis Family Association at Windsor Connecticut. Burdett asked him to trace the antecedents of Joseph Loomis, the immigrant to America in 1638, back as far as he could. He was also charged with the task of resolving the origin of the surname. He spent at least 6 months searching all the pertinent records existing at that time. These included church records, probate records, wills, histories of towns and counties, the history of England, various directories, published and unpublished literature of all types, etc. His is believed to be the most comprehensive investigation into the origin of the surname "Loomis" ever made. Much of his research is included in the 1908 edition of "The Loomis Family in America."
The Association forwarded a large portion of the research to another Association- The Loomis Families of America (founded in 1984 and presently located at Seattle, Washington). Following the Hoppin research, The Loomis Families of America concluded:
*All the Lomases, Lomaxes, and Loomises of the English speaking world sprang from the original "Lumhalghs or del Lumhalghes of Bolton
*some, or all of these later men were of Pendleton or through Bury or Wigan
*all persons now bearing the surname are descended from one or another of them.
As the family expanded, there were soon those of the name in counties to the south and west of Lancashire, in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. However, today the greatest concentration remains within an 80 mile radius of Bolton. As the family moved into these areas, the family name was almost invariably modified by those who had recorded it. This circumstance is easily understood if we first understand during this period of time:
*that few individuals could read or write
*that most records were written not by the individual but by either a priest or a scribe
*that each of the priests or scribes recorded the name to his interpretation of its phonetic sound
*that each area of the country had its own special peculiarities in the pronunciation of the language-little wonder the name is spelt over 50 different ways!
The Ekwall Research (Courtesy of John B. Lomax)
Eilert Ekwall was a Professor of English at the University of Lund. Throughout his life he was devoted to the study of the origin of place names in Lancashire. He concluded that the name of the hamlet of LOMAX, a ' now lost name of the district south of the Roch, where Charlestown and Heady Hill are ', was descended from the old English word Lumhalghs. The 1210 charter found in the Landsdowne Manuscripts confirms the research of Professor Eilert Ekwall. Other authors have also independently concluded that the surnames LOMAS and LOMAX were 'territorial' derived from living in the district or hamlet of 'Lumhalghs', and that Lumhalghs was in the Parish of Bury. The place concerned 'lay east of Bury itself, to the east of the River Roche'.
(Actually, the hamlet of Lomax is not really "lost". A map dated 1785 in the Bury Public Library titled "A Plan of Lomax in Heap, the Parish of Bury" shows 25 parcels of land, their names and a list of their areas, with a total area of 75 acres.) Lower Lomax has retained its name to the present time and was, when visited by J. B. Lomax in 1988, a dairy farm bordering the south side of the river Roch. The Lower Lomax Farm is 8.5 miles due north of Manchester City Centre. The farm's meadows are 50 feet lower than Heady Hill that rises quite gradually from Lower Lomax and Heap Bridge.
The River Roch has cut a channel 75 feet deep through that pasture land. The area known as Lomax Woods on both an 1847 map and a current street atlas of greater Manchester is now largely scrub growth in the bottom and on the side of that gorge. It is unknown whether there was a deep pool in this part of the river but one wide area, bordering the part of Old Lomax in the bend of that river, was named Botany Bay. With the bottom of the gorge covered with shrubs and trees, a portion of Old Lomax laying within a sharp bend of the river, and the extensive meadows besdie the river, the descriptive Saxon term Lumhalghs is certainly satisfied. The township of Heap was recorded as early as 1278.
The authoritative "The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster" also states concerning Heap that "The principal road is that eastward from Bury across the Roch at Heap Bridge, through Charlestown and Heady Hill (here was the district or hamlet Lumhalghs or Lomax) and the town of Heywood, where it divides to Rochdale on the Northwest and Middleton on the south. John B. Lomax is the most notable modern genealogist of the Lomax(s) Family. You may email him at: JBLomax@aol.com.
Today, the current road maps in England display the Bury-Heywood area, with Rochdale to the north and Middleton to the south.
It is said that the early Saxons who populated the Lancashire region gave birth to a new era of manners, language and religion. They re-peopled this part of England, named the settlements and developed it in every way. Consequently, about all the place-names are pure Saxon, often chosen to convey some distinctive and natural circumstance in the situation of a village. They founded Haulgh and Bolton and Salfordshire and named them. The Saxon dominion was complete; everything about Lancashire was substantially Saxon, though the Saxon remains are not as numerous as in other parts. With the development of population, peace and prosperity continued without great hindrance, until the Norman conquest of England.
The organization of society up to that time, or rather the home life, is interesting to note, especially as among the Saxons were the men who, known among each other only by Christian names, such as Egfrith, Cuthbert, Egbert, Siward, Osbert, Wiun, Utred, Ulf, Ranulph, Swaine, Hasebert, Penda, Ralph, Edwin, Hugh, were the ancestors of the man who first assumed the surname that we now know as Lomas and Loomis; it is well here to note that Mason, the historian of Norfolk, explains how these Saxons first found the greater part of England overgrown with woods, or marshy through the frequent floods of unembanked rivers. "Boars, deer and game in general abounded, and hunting, which was conducted uniformly on foot, was not only a pastime, but an important occupation of the settler.
The unit of society was the head of the family. Every family lived by itself and safeguarded its own members. The quarrel of one of the family was as a rule the quarrel of all. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren dwelt together, and these family guilds formed the first villages.
When the English settled here their clearings or winnings of agricultural land were each of a family character. The population was sparse, and natural boundaries divided the ham of one family from the tun of another--woodland in many cases; in others, the moor; sometimes a fen constituted the frontier of the mark. Any one crossing this frontier had to blow a born as announcing his approach, otherwise he was to be regarded as an invader, and attacked accordingly. Within the mark each member of the family guild had his own home and byre, but the woods and wastes were in common, and there each man could pasture his cattle or feed his pigs. Horses were not used in agriculture, neither were they ridden to battle, except in later years but little before the Norman conquest.
Each household had its slaves, whose lot, however, was not entirely hopeless, as in more than one way might the position of a freeman be obtained. These slaves were recruited from the conquered Britons, from members of rival families defeated in war, and from the children of freemen by slave mothers.
As time went on the villages became manors. Natural superiority in some particular member of the family group asserted itself in war with neighboring families or with foreigners, and the ascendancy thus obtained tended to become hereditary. The lesser freemen found in war time that their chief safety lay in following some powerful local leader, and gradually an aristocracy was formed from men whose land was tilled for them, whose occupation was rule and the administration of rough justice in peace, and leadership and personal prowess in the field of war.
The Damsh wars tended to foster aristocracy, and something not very dissimilar to the Norman feudal system prevailed in many places sometime before the landing of William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066.
Each manor had, not only its own agriculture, but its own trade. The clothes, the shoes, the weapons of the village were all made at home by artisan members of the family guild or local group. The houses were all of wood, and were built by carpenters of the village. Each manor was in all essentials self-supporting.
The monasteries were generally also self-supporting manors. They, too, had their farmers and their artisans, and both their husbandry and their handicraft set an example to the neighboring civil manors, and tended to raise the agricultural and industrial character of the whole district.
Lancashire was less turbulent than some states, but quite as aggressive as any of its neighbors. The early English were great eaters, and Lancashire men were not behind the rest of their countrymen.
Many contrasts between the Saxons and their Norman oppressors are not usually drawn in favor of the former, who are claimed to have been great drinkers as well as eaters; but while they lacked the culture and refinement of the more polished Normans, they had, nevertheless, erected in England several substantial kingdoms, established some of the foundations of the great fundamental laws of modern England, produced Alfred the Great, "the purest, grandest, most heroic soul that ever sprang from our race," and done the broad, rough work of making the isle of Britain ready for the advancement and elevation to which the Norman influence subsequently lifted its people. An ancient chronicler complained that the Normans "combed their hair once a day, bathed themselves once a week, changed their clothes frequently, and by all these arts of effeminacy, as well as by their military character, rendered themselves so agreeable to the women that the wives and daughters of the English were by no means safe in the company of such desperadoes."
Of the Saxons it is claimed that they were of the German race, and before that, came from the Aryan peoples, who were largely agricultural, in the eastern part of Europe.
A modern writer, Jean Finot of France, claims that this Aryan race does not exist; that there is no "Caucasian" race, nor any such thing as race, any way; that the contrasts in the various groups of the human species are caused by differing environments, conditions of climate and life and of nutrition.
"There is no French race, no German race, no Anglo-Saxon race. Every one of these supposed stocks is an intricate blend, a crossbreed, to the making of which have gone much the same elements in every case. We are all alike, and there is not a `pure blood' on the earth."
We need not be concerned as to this, even if there is no racially pure blood, for the distinctions that nationality have made are quite sufficient to mark out our so-called Saxons as forming a great clan, (if not absolutely a pure and separate race), the mental and physical features of which are still plain to see and which still continue to stamp their characteristics and domination upon the world.
In perspective to the rest of England, Greater Manchester County (Lancashire) is located in the northwest of England near Liverpool. In 1974, the counties of England were renamed and reorganized. Large portions of the old Lancashire County were subdivided into Merseyside and Greater Manchester.