Hi Maggie, I am researching the Skiffingtons of Cornaveagh and am aware of your grandmother Honor Loftus as well as the Gavans and Prendergasts. Do you happen to know your grandmother's date of birth and who she married? Is there a chance she would have resided later in Ballydavock?
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BarbSaturday 25th March 2017, 06:21PM
Hello Barb. That was quick! I didn't expect a reply so soon. I saw your post about Skiffington the other day when I found this site. I'd noticed the name on Grifiths' Valuation.
My Grandma was born 18th May 1867. I've only just discovered that she was registered and baptised as Honor. She married my granddad as Annie so we always believed that to be her name. 2 of my cousins are called Anne after her. No wonder my search for her birth or baptism was fruitless until now. She married twice. 1st marriage ( as Honoria Loftus ) was to Charles Joseph Wright in 1888 at Ballyhean. He was a soldier, 2nd Battalion Welsh Fusiliers, stationed at the time at Castlebar Barracks. He left the army within a couple of years. They remained in Castlebar until his death in 1898. No idea where he came from. Before her marriage she'd worked as a domestic servant in Belfast, then England.
My granddad was from Kilmovee parish. He'd been living in England for almost 20 years when he met Annie on a trip home. He'd also been widowed in 1898. (His 1st wife was Ann as well, which adds to the confusion.) He was a farm bailiff in England. He arranged a job for Annie as housekeeper to his employer's family, with a cottage for her & daughter. They married in 1901. They returned to Ireland in 1903 to live at Corneveagh for a while when Annie's father was unwell. The 2nd son of their marrige was born there and called after his grandfather. Then they returned to England to take up tenancy of a farm belonging to their former employer. They remained settled there until their deaths in 1930s.
I've never heard of Ballydavock. I've just googled it and seen your messages. What is the possible Loftus connection?
When my grandparents met, Annie was considering going to join her sisters in U.S., which is what her daughter did later.
Maggie MaySaturday 25th March 2017, 08:35PM
Thanks for the info. Ballydavock is about 6 km from Corneveagh. I have a marriage record for John Skeffington and Honor Loftus, dated 2/12/1855. My notes say they lived at some point in Ballydavock. This record is a bit sketchy as I've not made any connections to the correct family branch.
I also have a marriage record for John Skiffington and Honor Prendergast, dated 3/2/1849. Witnesses were Thomas and Honor Loftus. They lived in Corneveagh. Because of the date 1849 I wondered if this Thomas Loftus was the father of your Thomas Loftus (who married Mary Walsh in 1858), but I've not found any records yet.
The name Loftus always catches my attention. My husband's family (the Skiffingtons, now Skivington in the USA) had a stately family home in Scottsville, New York. It is now owned by a family named Loftus.
If I learn any more, I will be sure to let you know.
BarbMonday 27th March 2017, 05:05PM
Hi, Barb. I've found mention of an earlier Honor Loftus, also from 1849 church register. She was a sponsor at baptism of John Thornton, son of Thomas Thornton & Mary (Loftus). Other sponsor was James Gavan.
Thomas Thornton and Maria Loftus marrried 16th April 1842. Witnesses were John Thornton and another Mary Loftus. Other baptisms of children of this couple included: Margaret 1854, sponsors Pat Reiley and Margaret Loftus. Michael 1858, sponsors John Skiffington, Mary Hare. Patt 1864, sponsors Thomas Loftus, Bridget Thornton.
Thomas & Mary Thornton resided in Westland townland, adjacent to Cornaveagh. Griffiths' Valuation showed Thomas Loftus and Thomas Walsh occupied land in same section as Thomas Thornton. Thomas Loftus occupied land only. From that and positions of holdings of T.Loftus on Griffiths' map/ plan, I deduced that he was Thomas Loftus of Cornaveagh.
Godparents of Margaret Loftus (1869) , youngest child of Thomas & Mary Loftus were John and Mary Thornton. This John Thornton may have been the one mentioned above, baptised in 1849. Mary Thornton may have been his sister (1843). Given the seeming closeness of the families of Thomas Thornton and Thomas Loftus I am of the opinion that Thomas Thornton's wife, Mary Loftus was sister of Thomas Loftus, my GGF. (Mary Thornton witnessed marriage of Thomas Loftus 1858.) I'm also considering that Honor and Margaret Loftus were sisters of Thomas and Mary. Daughters of Thomas & Mary Loftus were Mary (1860), Bridget (1865), Honora (1867) and Margaret (1869). Sons were Michael (1859) and Patrick (1863).
Thomas Loftus, my GGF was likely to have been born around late 1820s/ early 1830s. Age on 1901 census was 73, giving an estimated birth year of 1828. He was 81 on 1911 census, estimated birth year 1830. Age on his death certificate (May 1912) was 83. Death was notified by a young woman who may have been a niece/ great-niece/ cousin of his wife. ( However, index to wills & probate has his age at death as 72, making his birth year about 1840. I think this was a mis-print.) His age at marriage in 1858 would have been around 30. He might have been aged 19-22 at the Skiffington & Prendergast marriage in 1849, so may well have been a witness. I don't know who parents of Thomas Loftus were. Since his sons were Michael (born 10 months after wedding ) and Patrick, I tend to think his father was Michael or Patrick, rather than Thomas. The boys' godfathers were Pat and Michael Walsh. None of the children had a godfather called Loftus so presumably Thomas had no brothers nearby. Neither was there a male Loftus marriage witness. I've assumed that GGF Thomas was the land occupier on Griffiths' Valuation as he was in a position to marry in 1858. ( Although the land-holder may have been his father/ grandfather/ uncle.) I see Griffiths recorded 2 Johns and a James Skiffington in Cornaveagh townland.
Excuse the emphasis on Thornton family. It was only through researching them I found the possible sisters of GGF Thomas Loftus. 1901 occupants of House 1 Westlands, John & Bridget Thornton + children look like same family.
Another Ballyhean Thomas Loftus, same age to my GGF on 1901 census was in Knockaraha townland.
BTW Loftus/Loftis has been transcribed as Loghs and Vogler.
My conclusions (IMO): Thomas Loftus had sisters Mary, Honor and Margaret. Thomas was likely old enough to be witness at a weddding in 1849, possibly with his sister, Honor. Their father's name probably wasn't Thomas. The Thornton and Loftus families were closely connected.
Do you know who witnessed John Skeffington & Honor Loftus marriage in 1855? Any godparents for offspring of either Skeffington marriage?
BTW grandma supposedly had an uncle/ great uncle who was a hermit. He'd joined 2 monasteries, either side of a stint as a miner somewhere in America (South or North). Not being suited to communal life he opted for a solitary one. I don't know if he belonged to her mother's or father's family. He may have been a missing Loftus uncle (?)
Maggie MaySunday 23rd April 2017, 08:46PM
The John Skeffington and Honor Loftus marriage took place in the Anglish RC Parish and was witnessed by John Blake and Margaret Fallon.
According to Roots Ireland, John and Honor had four children, all baptised in the Balla RC Parish, as follows:
Mary (b. 1857) - sponsors were Patrick Skeffington and Mary Skeffington
Patrick (b. 1861) - sponsors were Thomas Loftus and Mary Loftus
Martin (b. 1862) - sponsors were Thomas Skinner (?) and Mary Thornton
John (b. 1864) - sponsors were Thomas Thornton and Mary Gavin
Of these four I have no other information at this time. I'm waiting patiently for Family Tree Maker to make their update available before doing further research. Once they do so I'll then sync my tree with Ancestry and I'm happy to share that tree with you. I'll look at your information above and see how it fits in with my records, and get back to you if I learn anything new.
BarbMonday 24th April 2017, 01:01PM