Lomas/Loomis

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Lomas/Loomis Surname Genealogy

The origin of this surname is the “lost” medieval village of Lumhalghs
near the town of Bury in Lancashire. It no longer exists.
But it did in the 14th century. We think Lumhalghs was probably
pronounced something like “Lumhaush” at that time, which would explain
the surname Lomas
evolving from Lumhalghs
during the 15th and 16th centuries.  The names Lomas and Lomax were both evident in this area in the 16th
century and may have been interchangeable, even within the same
family.
Lomases
have outnumbered Lomaxes in England
by roughly three-to-two;
and they have spread more widely. There are also name variants
such as Lummis (found in Suffolk) and Lummus.
When Lomases and
Lomaxes emigrated to America
, the name Lomax generally
survived in the south. There were also Lummises and Lummuses.
But Lomas became Loomis.

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Lomas/Loomis
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Lomas/Loomis Ancestry

England.
Early Lomases and Lomaxes came from Bury in Lancashire and surrounding
parishes such as Middleton, Oldham, Rochdale and Bolton north of what
is now Manchester:

The 1642 Protestant returns
listed 25 Lomases/Lomaxes in Bury, 24 in contiguous parishes, and a
further 17 elsewhere in Salford hundred.

The Lomas name had spread to north Derbyshire by the mid 1500’s.
Nicholas Lomax is recorded at Haylee at that time and from him the name
spread around the county. Lomas names in the Glossop records
began in the 1660’s.

The Lomas name also cropped up in
Alstonfield records in north Staffordshire around this time. John Lomas was a
pedlar and preacher
there in the late 18th century (we know
about him because, as an old man, he set down his life story).
The Lomas name was to be found as well among Shropshire coal miners in
the 18th century and among those who later migrated to Rainford and to
Wigan in Lancashire.

Suffolk. The
Laurent Lomax name was to be found first in Bolton and then in Eye,
Suffolk where the third of the Laurent Lomaxes was recorded as being
born in 1493. They were schoolmasters in Elizabethan times and a
Laurent Lomax was a bailiff there in 1633.
Lomax and variants are to be found among the list of Suffolk
surnames. And the name spread further south, to Thaxted and
Braintree in Essex (and Joseph Loomis who emigrated to America in the
1630’s).

America. An early
settler was Edward Lomas from London. He arrived in 1635
and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. His descendants were
Lummises
and Loomises.

Loomis
A larger Loomis line was that started by Joseph Loomis
who had come to Boston with his family in 1638. He established
his home in Windsor, Connecticut (a house which still stands and has
been preserved by the Loomis family). Loomis here may have been
Lomas
(his son John was buried in Windsor in 1688 as Lomas).

His
descendants, who are said to represent the third largest of families in
America, all sport the Loomis name. They are to be found in New
York and New England and, from the early 1800’s, in the Midwest:

  • Elisha and Maria Loomis were missionaries in Hawaii in
    the 1820’s.
  • one
    branch, initially from Vermont, became noted physicians in New York
    and included Alfred Lee Loomis, the businessman and scientist who
    pioneered the development of radar.
  • James Loomis was an Oregon
    trail pioneer.
  • and another Loomis branch, beginning
    with William and Emiline Loomis, has been settled
    in SW Missouri since the 1870’s.

This Loomis genealogy has been
compiled in Elisha Loomis’s 1915 book, The Loomis Family in America.

Lomax The Lomax
name predominated in the South. Lomaxes there included:

  • Thomas Lomax and his brother Clebourne
    who established themselves in Maryland in the 1660’s and were
    the forebears of the Lomax family in Virginia.
  • William Lomax who came to North Carolina in the 1740’s. His
    descendants migrated to Mississippi and thence in the 1860’s by ox cart
    to central Texas. John A. Lomax, who grew up on the family
    farm there, later became known as a pioneering musicologist who did
    much to preserve American cowboy and folk songs.
  • and Samuel Lomax who came to Georgia with the British army in the
    1770’s and ended up settling in Perry county, Tennessee. His line
    is covered in John B. Lomax’s book Samuel
    Lomax and His Descendants,
    published in 1991.

Lummis/Lummus The
related Lummis and Lummus
names are also to be found in America. Charles Lummis, the publicizer
of the American southwest, is the most well-known Lummis
name.

The Lummus name is associated with construction in Georgia,
either the Lummus Corporation founded there in the late 1800’s or the
Lummus Supply Company, family builders in Atlanta since the
1920’s. Jack Lummus grew up on a cotton farm in Texas. He
became a professional footballer with the New York Giants but died
during World War Two in the attack on Iwo Jima.

Australia and New
Zealand.
Two Lummis families from Suffolk are recorded as
arriving in Australia:

  • Samman Lummis in Victoria on the Ballarat in 1853..
  • and William and Elizabeth Lummis who reached Sydney on the Samuel Plimsoll in 1875.

John Lomas from Derbyshire came to
Auckland, New Zealand in 1875, married, and started a large family
there. Another John Lomas, this one a coal miner from Cheshire, arrived
there
in 1879 and became prominent as a trade unionist for his
industry.

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Lomas/Loomis Miscellany

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

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Mahlon
Loomis was an early pioneer of radio telegraphy in America.
Samuel Lomax was a British Wold
War One general.
John A. Lomax was a well-known
American musicologist and preserver of folk songs.
Alfred Lee Loomis who founded
the
Loomis Laboratory in upstate New York was a noted scientist who
pioneered the develpment of radar.
Charles Lummis
was a publicizer of the American Southwest by his travels and
writings in the early 1900’s.


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Today

  • 17,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 10,000 in America (most numerous
    in California).
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).

 

 

 

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