Lofthouse Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Lofthouse Meaning
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.”

Lofthouse Resources on

Lofthouse Ancestry

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
the villages of Carlton Highdale and Skelton-in-Cleveland.

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
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
    for Salt Lake City in
  • and Joe Lofthouse who was a Blackburn footballer who played for
    England in 1885.

A later Blackburn resident was the local
writer Jessica

Nat Lofthouse, the Lion of Vienna, was born
in Bolton in 1925, the son of the head horsekeeper of Bolton
Corporation, someone who delivered coal with a horse and cart.
His uncle Joshua Lofthouse emigrated to Australia.


Select Lofthouse Miscellany

John Lofthouse of Bedale.  In 1450 the court heard that John Lofthouse of Bedale had taken 20 beasts belonging to the lord of the manor and another 40 belonging to Thomas
Rand of Crakehall and kept them in Bedale for two days and nights.

He admitted that he had taken six oxen of Thomas Rand’s that had been
breaking down the hedges in the field in which they were kept, but he
seems to have claimed that the other cattle had strayed onto his land
and that he in fact had saved their owners money by feeding him with
his own corn “to the loss of his own beasts.”  He clearly believed
that attack was the best form of defence!

He disclaimed all responsibility for the straying of 160 sheep from
Rand and the jury agreed that he was not to blame.  The case
turned out to be a storm in a teacup.  John was merely put on good
behavior for a year and two friends stood surety for him.

18th Century Lofthouse Admissions to the Freedom of York

1746 Frank Lofthouse silk weaver
1748 John Lofthouse vintner
1758 Richard Lofthouse cordwainer
John Lofthouse brewer and victualler
William Lofthouse vintner
John Lofthouse wine cooper

These Lofthouses seem to have had a preference for the wine trade!

Lofthouses from Dallowgill and Kirkby Malzeard.  There
are two Lofthouse families that have been traced to this area of the
Yorkshire dales, one starting with George Lofthouse (born around 1680)
and the other with Ralph Lofthouse (born around the same time).  Many of
their descendants were buried in St. Andrew’s Church in Kirkby
Malzeard.  The
family farms, Knott farm and Ladyhill farm, are still standing.

are descendants in Utah of these Lofthouses because of James Lofthouse
who emigrated there in the 1850’s and founded the Mormon town of

The Lofthouse Colliery Disaster.  On March 21 1973, miners at the Lofthouse colliery in West Yorkshire
were working at a coal face which, unknown to them, was close to some
19th century mine workings that had become flooded.  There was a
sudden rush of water and sludge into the mine.  Most of the miners
fled to
safety.  But it was discovered that seven were missing.

For six days strenuous and increasingly desperate efforts were made
to reach them.  Eventually rescuers made it to the site of the
accident.  They found a small air pocket.  But nobody was in
it.  Only one of the bodies was ever recovered.

Nat Lofthouse – The Lion of Vienna.  Nat Lofthouse’s finest hour in an England shirt came in May 1952 at the
Prater Stadium in Vienna where he earned his nickname of “The Lion of Vienna.”

The Austrians were highly rated and regarded as one of the best teams
in Europe.  What made it ever more demanding was the rough
treatment he had to suffer from the tough-tackling Austrian
defenders.  Twice Lofthouse was badly hurt and twice the Bolton
player shook off the injuries to inspire his team to a famous 3-2

Midway through the first half Lofthouse opened the scoring with a tremendous left-footed drive from a short pass from Tottenham’s Eddie
Baily.  Austria equalized soon after before Jackie Sewell of
Sheffield Wednesday restored the lead.  Then with the score at 2-2
Baily was again the provider with a delicious through ball to Lofthouse
who ran from just inside his own half to fire the winner past the
advancing goalkeeper.

Lofthouse of Fleetwood.  Perhaps more than any other long-established Lancashire firm, Lofthouse of Fleetwood has managed to carve out a distinct market niche with a well-known product.

company makes the famous Fisherman’s
lozenges.  It was founded in 1865 by James
Lofthouse, a resident of Fleetwood, then a shipping port.  He was
the port’s pharmacist and he created an extremely strong liquid
containing menthol and eucalyptus which helped to clear the chests of
rain-soaked fishermen. To make it easier to transport, this liquid was
soon made into small lozenges.  For a hundred years, the lozenges
were made by hand on a marble slab and packed by hand as well.

In 1971,
the company expanded out of its cramped chemist’s quarters in Fleetwood
into a larger site on Maritime Street.  It remains family-owned,
run today by Tony and Doreen Lofthouse and their son Duncan.

Just Jessica.  The Blackburn reference library on Library Street was a solemn and sombre place.  The sun never shone there and no voice was ever raised
above a whisper.  It had a monastic atmosphere and the librarians
would act in a suitably reverential manner.

this changed when Jessica Lofthouse appeared.  The door would fly
open and she would be there: a magnificent presence in flamboyant
colors, twice as large as life and life was pretty large in her
case.  She was without a scrap of self-consciousness and proclaimed
her requirements in a loud voice.

was a well-known writer of more than twenty books on the Lancashire
countryside and its history. She died in 1988 leaving a bequest to
provide seats in the countryside for walkers to rest their weary bones.



Lofthouse Names

  • 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 an MP for Pontefract, was created Baron Lofthouse of Pontefract in 1997.

Select Lofthouse Numbers Today

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




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