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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Loftus family come from? What is the English Loftus family crest and coat of arms? When did the Loftus family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Loftus family history?

The name Loftus is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the village of Lofthouse during the reign of King Alfred in 900 AD. This place-name was originally derived from the Old Norse words lopt meaning loft and hus meaning house. Therefore the original bearers of the Loftus surname were dwellers of the loft house. [1]


Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Loftus were recorded, including Loftus, Lofthouse, Loftis, Loftiss, Loftos and others.

First found in North Yorkshire at Lofthouse, a small village in Nidderdale in the Harrogate district or at Lofthouse, a village in West Yorkshire. "This place, in the Domesday Survey Lochtushum, was granted by the Conqueror to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, who soon afterwards transferred it to the Percy family, of whom William de Percy, the third Baron, in 1133 founded at Handall, in the parish, a priory for Benedictine nuns, which he dedicated to the Virgin Mary." [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Loftus research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1620, 1573, 1605, 1619, 1639, 1647 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Loftus History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Loftus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Loftus family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Loftus family emigrate to North America:

Loftus Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Fabia Loftus, who landed in Maryland in 1679
  • John Loftus arrived in Philadelphia in 1682
  • John Loftus, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683

Loftus Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Biddy Loftus, aged 40, landed in New York, NY in 1848
  • Peter Loftus, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853
  • James Loftus, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1854
  • John, Michael, Patrick and Thomas Loftus, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • J H Loftus, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1875

Loftus Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Biddy and Elen Loftus arrived in Quebec in 1848

Loftus Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Loftus, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "James Fernie"

Loftus Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Annie Loftus, aged 17, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867


  • Johnny Loftus (1895-1976), American horse racing jockey
  • John Loftus (b. 1950), American author, former US government prosecutor, former Army intelligence officer
  • Elizabeth Loftus (b. 1944), American psychologist and author
  • Seán D. Loftus (1927-2010), Irish environmentalist, barrister, and politician
  • William Loftus (1820-1858), British geologist, naturalist, explorer, and archaeological excavator
  • Lord Augustus William Frederick Spencer Loftus (1817-1909), Governor of New South Wales, Australia 1879 to 1885
  • Cecilia Loftus (1876-1943), Scottish actress, singer, mimic, vaudevillian and music hall performer


  • The Ancestors and Descendants of John Jospeh Loftis and Laura May Wolf(e) by Sandi Loftis Komosinski.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Loftus Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Loftus Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 August 2015 at 08:31.

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