Lofthouse


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The surname Lofthouse derives from one of a number of place names in Yorkshire, in present-day Cleveland, in Nedderdale in the Yorshire Dales, or near Wakefield in West Yorkshire.  One suggested root for this word is lotht, meaning "upper floor" and hus or "house."  Another is the opposite, laughthus or "low house." 

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England.  Victorian censuses showed that 60 percent of the Lofthouses lived in Yorkshire and 30 percent in Lancashire.  Yorkshire still predominates.  But Lofthouse is more thought of as a Lancashire name, perhaps because of the fame of the Bolton and England footballer Nat Lofthouse

Yorkshire.  In 1273 it was recorded that Robert Lofthouse, having established himself at Swineshead in north Yorkshire, was lord of the manor of Lofthouse.   Edward Lofthouse was bailiff to the Abbot of Coverham.  The family later shortened their name to Loftus.  The village also became Loftus, although not officially until the 1890's.  The surname Lofthouse was then still to be found locally in the villages of Carlton Highdale and Skelton-in-Cleveland.

John Lofthouse of Bedale appeared in court records in 1450.  A cluster of Lofthouses have been recorded at Grewelthorpe near Ripon from the 1720's.  In the late 1800's Henry Lofthouse of Grewelthorpe made cream cheese from the product of nearby farms.  It was said that he would set off in his light spring cart at four o'clock in the morning to Ripon to catch the first train for Leeds and London.  Other Lofthouses were to be found at Dallowgill and Kirkby Malzeard, Catterton near Tadcastle, and Sinderby near Thirsk.

There was a Lofthouse colliery from the 1870's at Lofthouse near Wakefield.  One hundred years later, it was the site of a fatal mining disaster.

Lancashire.  A Lofthouse family dates from the 1780's at Goosnargh near Preston.  Lofthouses in the 19th century included:
  • James Lofthouse who was a pharmacist in Fleetwood who devised his Fisherman's Friend lozenge in 1865 for the fishermen of the town.
  • another James Lofthouse, born in Clitheroe but from Yorkshire roots, who became a Mormon and set off for Salt Lake City in 1853. 
  • and Joe Lofthouse who was a Blackburn footballer who played for England in 1885. 
A later Blackburn resident was the local writer Jessica Lofthouse.  Nat Lofthouse, the Lion of Vienna, was born in Bolton in 1925, the son of the head horsekeeper of Bolton Corporation, someone who deliveried coal with a horse and cart.  His uncle Joshua Lofthouse emigrated to Australia.

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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:


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The Rev. Adam Loftus from Lofthouse in north Yorkshire became Archbishop of Dublin in 1567.
Seth Lofthouse from Leeds became a noted silversmith in London in the early 1700's.
Nat Lofthouse was center forward for Bolton Wanderers and England in the 1950's.
Doreen Lofthouse was instrumental in the 1970's in turning the Fisherman's Friend lozenge from Fleetwood into a global brand.
Geoff Lofthouse, once a miner and later MP for Pontefract, was created Baron Lofthouse of Pontefract in 1997.

Select Lofthouses Today
  • 5,000 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)



PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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