Lomas/Loomis


Select 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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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.

Select Lomas/Loomis Miscellany

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


Select Lomas/Loomis Names

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.

Select Lomases/Loomises 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).



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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